As defined by the Society of American Archivists, archives are broadly defined as "the noncurrent records of an organization or institution preserved because of their continuing value." Thus the University of the Arts Archives contain records and documents produced by the University of the Arts. We do not currently maintain files on adminstrators, alumni or faculty other than documents such as commencement programs, course catalogs, annual reports, etc., produced by the University itself. Researchers looking for information on former students should first contact the UArts Registrar.
Much of our archival information such as annual reports, school catalogs, commencement programs, exhibition catalogs and other material has been digitized and made available at https://archive.org/details/uarts on the Internet Archive. Please see these instructions for using the Internet Archive. The same materials are also available at UArts Libraries' Digital Collections under Archival University Publications.
Requests for archival information or research will be accepted only in writing (e-mail is considered writing) and may require about a month's time for a reply. Please do not visit without an appointment as it is likely staff will be unavailable without an appointment. Instead, please provide as much information as you can in writing about your question, including approximate year for your person or event, which college, where you've already found information and what you already know, etc. Please submit archival inquiries in writing to:
The University of the Arts Libraries
320 S. Broad St
Philadelphia PA 19102
If you have questions about Dorrance Hamilton Hall, the university's landmark building at 320 South Broad Street (Broad and Pine), please see the information in our brief history of Hamilton Hall and in the chronology of locations of what is now the College of Art and Design.
The University of the Arts was formed in 1985 when Philadelphia College of Art merged with Philadelphia College of Performing Arts. Known for a short time as Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts, the school changed its name to University of the Arts in 1987 after receiving university status from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. Both colleges are more than a century old. The archives reflect this fascinating social and cultural history of arts education in Philadelphia.