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PMA Collections Research

Recommended steps to help you search for information about objects in the Museum’s permanent collection.

Researching Artworks at the PMA

These are recommended steps to help you search for information about objects in the Museum’s permanent collection.

The easiest way to locate information about an object is with its accession number.  The accession number is typically listed on the object’s label or caption.  More information about accession numbers is available here.

Begin your search by going to Marcel, the Museum’s online collection database (available on Museum computers).

Marcel has information about all accessioned objects in the Museum’s collection.

Note: No long-term loans, promised gifts or special exhibition materials are available through Marcel.

In Marcel, enter the object accession number in the “object number search” search box.  If you don’t know the accession number, enter the artist’s last name and/or a keyword from the title of the work in the “keyword search” box. Click on the relevant object to open its object record.  More information on searching in Marcel is available here.

The object record will contain basic information about the work as well as an image (if available).   Many records will contain additional useful information such as an exhibition history, a bibliography, or a list of published references.  The citations from these lists can then be searched and requested via the library catalog.