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Finding Images in the Archives

A guide to locating images of people, places, and works of art, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Archives.

Strategies for Finding Images of People

Key questions:

  • During what time period did they work at the museum?
  • Which department did they work in?
  • Did they attend any major events, such as exhibition openings?

Start by searching the person's last name in ArchivesSpace. Keep a close eye on the collections that are being pulled up by your search. Do you recognize any of the image collections? If so, it is more likely that your hits will result in an image.

If nothing is coming up in ArchivesSpace, use the questions above to triangulate what collections you might need to look in.

Keep in mind that many folders will not include the names of individuals pictured, so, if you can locate relevant material about an event, that is the best place to start.

Contact the archives with the collection names and box numbers you wish to examine.

Collection Highlights

From the mid 1920s to the early 1970s, the Public Relations department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art diligently maintained over 60 scrapbooks of press clippings related to the museum.

Trustee headshots and images of staff in departments around the museum in the Rights and Reproductions Photograph Collection are a treasure trove.

Curator Emeritus Joseph Rishel

Best Collections for Event Photography

If you are trying to find specific images, knowing the exact date of the event is very helpful. Many of the collections are organized by date and not by topic.