UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES //

About UArts Archives

The University of the Arts Archives seeks to acquire, preserve, and provide access to records and other materials that document the history of the University of the Arts and its predecessor institutions. Through our physical collections, as well as our digitized items, we provide discovery opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and researchers to learn more about the unique history of this institution.

The University of the Arts was formed in 1985 when Philadelphia College of Art merged with Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts. At the time of the merger both colleges were over a century old and held prominent reputations in Philadelphia as educators of the visual and 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 being granted university status from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. The University of the Arts remains the only university in the United States dedicated to educating students in the visual and performing arts, design, and writing. The Archives aims to reflect this unique heritage and convey its significance within the larger social and cultural history of arts education in Philadelphia from the late 19th century to the present.

For research questions or to set up an appointment, please contact:

Lillian Kinney
Cataloger/Archivist
likinney@uarts.edu
OR Sara MacDonald
Public Services Librarian
smacdonald@uarts.edu

UArts History

UArts Digital Collections
For accessing archival photographs, full-text publications, finding aids, and more.

The University of the Arts: Name Changes
This helpful webpage provides a clear and concise chronology of the many mergers and name changes the University and its predecessors have undergone.

Dorrance Hamilton Hall
A short history of the iconic building that has long served as the University’s emblem. Written by Eugene Bolt, former Associate Director of Development, with additional content by Sara MacDonald, Public Services Librarian.

Leslie W. Miller
Leslie William Miller served as the first principal of the art school from 1880 to 1920.

Locations of the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art
A timeline of the various locations of Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now The University of the Arts' College of Art, Media and Design), prior to the move to Hamilton Hall in 1893.

Notable University of the Arts Alumni
A frequently updated list of the renowned artists, dancers, musicians, actors, writers, and other creative thinkers who attended UArts and its predecessor institutions.

Collection Policy

 PDF Version

I. Statement of Purpose:

The University of the Arts Archives seeks to acquire, preserve, and provide access to records and other materials that document the history of the University of the Arts and its predecessor institutions. Through our physical collections, as well as our digitized items, we provide discovery opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and researchers to learn more about the unique history of this institution.

As defined by the Society of American Archivists, archival records are:
“Materials created or received by a person, family, or organization, public or private, in the conduct of their affairs that are preserved because of the enduring value contained in the information they contain or as evidence of the functions and responsibilities of their creator.”1

Thus, the University of the Arts Archives contains records and documents produced by the University of the Arts and its preceding institutions that are no longer considered active.

1 Society of American Archivists. (2018). Archival record. Glossary of archival and records terminology.


II. Historical Background of the University:

The University of the Arts was formed in 1985 when Philadelphia College of Art merged with Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts. At the time of the merger both colleges were over a century old and held prominent reputations in Philadelphia as educators of the visual and 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 being granted university status from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education. The University of the Arts remains the only university in the United States dedicated to "educating students in the visual and performing arts, design, and writing." The Archives aims to reflect this unique heritage and convey its significance within the larger social and cultural history of arts education in Philadelphia from the late 19th century to the present.


III. General Collection Guidelines:

Chronological Guidelines:
The University Archives collects records beginning with the formation of our predecessor institutions in the 19th century.

Scope of Collections:
Non-current records generated or received by the University’s administrative offices, academic departments, University clubs and organizations, and student activities. Included are records such as meeting minutes and agendas, correspondence, memos, and reports.

Official university publications, including annual reports, newsletters, yearbooks, handbooks, brochures, and posters.

Alumni and student publications (if focused on UArts-related topics, with intended dissemination to the University community). These include items such as:
Programs, photographs, video-recordings, and other documentation of official University events, such as commencement exercises, exhibitions, symposia, parties, plays, concerts, and recitals. Press releases on University news and events, published by the University. Blueprints, photographs, and master plans of the University campus.

Types of Materials:
Records range in a wide variety of formats, such as manuscripts, photographs, digital files (both digitized and born-digital formats), audio/visual materials, regalia, and scrapbooks.

Restrictions:
We do not currently maintain the personal papers of individual administrators, alumni or faculty members. Similarly, we do not collect faculty and staff employment records or any student records. Researchers looking for information on former students should contact the UArts Registrar. Graduate theses are retained in the Libraries’ Visual Resources and Special Collections and the UArts Digital Collections, which can be searched through the UArts Libraries’ online catalog.


IV. Acquisitions

Acquisitions refer to the archival items accessioned by a repository into the collection. What is “accessioning”? Accessioning is “to take legal and physical custody of a group of records or other materials and to formally document their receipt.”2 These records can be obtained either by an authorized transfer by an internal department within the university or via a signed deed of gift by a donor. Acquisitions are intended to support the mission of the archives and fall within the designated collecting criteria.

2 Society of American Archivists. (2018). Accession. Glossary of archival and records terminology.

Acquisition Focus:
Being an academic institution, the University of the Arts Archives receives a majority its holdings from various offices and departments at the University in accordance to the official UArts Records Retention Policy. On occasion we accept donations from alumni, faculty, and other members of the University community if they are relevant to the scope of our collections. We do not purchase or sell materials.

Restrictions:
The University of the Arts Archives is committed to preserving those items related to the university’s history and community. The Archives seeks to make them available for research as soon as possible. At the same time, it has an obligation to guard against invasion of privacy and to protect the confidentiality of its records in accordance with all applicable laws. Therefore, every private donor has the right to impose reasonable restrictions upon their papers or work to protect confidentiality for a reasonable period of time. Restrictions on access are for a fixed term and are determined at the time of donation. The Archives does not accept agreements that restrict access to material in perpetuity or does not supply a specific date releasing the restriction. It encourages minimal access restrictions consistent with the legal rights of all concerned.

Official University records will not be restricted unless dictated by records retention schedules, or the needs of departments. Commonly restricted items include Board of Trustees documents, Strategic Planning materials, Governance collections, and correspondence received or generated by deans and directors of the Colleges and Schools/Departments.

Procedure:
As previously stated, material for the Archives may be transferred from an internal department or donated by an outside party.

Transfer of official University records:
The transfer of University records to the Archives should be in accordance with the UArts Records Retention Policy and other Archival Policies. All transfer of records must be accompanied by a signed accession form or confirmed through written correspondence.

Donation of non-official records:
Before an item will be accepted into the Archives, the archivist must evaluate it. The University Archives wishes to avoid donations that are accompanied by any restrictions on use and access, although this will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The Archives will not accept materials without a legal transfer of title through a deed of gift. All transfer forms must be signed by the archivist, director of libraries, and the donor. Material on deposit will only be accepted if there is a signed agreement between the archivist and the depositor designating the material for permanent donation after a specified period of time. The Archives will not accept materials that are closed to researchers in perpetuity.


Last Updated: January 2019 by Lillian Kinney

Archival Access, Inquiries, and Use Policies

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Access

The University of the Arts Archives provides access to its physical collections, as well as our digitized items available through the UArts Digital Collections website, in order to educate those interested in the history of our institution. We are open to students, faculty, staff, and researchers who would like to learn more about our unique past. Physical materials are non-circulating, are stored in restricted access stacks, and must be accessed with assistance from the archivist. All researchers must observe the Regulations for Use (see below) of the archives.

Digital Collections
A large number of the Archives' photographs and publications (i.e., annual reports, school catalogs, commencement programs, newsletters, and exhibition catalogs) have been digitized and made available on the UArts Digital Collections website in the Archival University Publications and Archival Photographs collections. Most administrative records have not been digitized due to their volume, as well as privacy issues and other restrictions. Researchers are instead encouraged to search those collections through finding aids.

Finding Aids
According to the Society of American Archivists, a finding aid is a "single document that places the materials in context by consolidating information about the collection, such as acquisition and processing; provenance, including administrative history or biographical note; scope of the collection, including size, subjects, media; organization and arrangement; and an inventory of the series and the folders."1 Researchers can access the University of the Arts Archives' finding aids through the UArts Digital Collections under Archival Finding Aids.

1 Society of American Archivists. (2018). Finding aid. Glossary of archival and records terminology.


Inquiries

Researchers, please note: We do not currently maintain the personal papers of individual administrators, alumni or faculty members. Similarly, we do not collect faculty and staff employment records or any student records. Archival documents do not constitute official records of graduation or even attendance. Official confirmation of attendance, degrees earned, etc., must be obtained from the UArts Registrar. Researchers looking for information on former students should first contact the UArts Registrar at registrar@uarts.edu.

Requests for archival information or research will be accepted only in writing via email and may require about a month's time for a reply. If you wish to continue your research by viewing a collection in person, you must make an appointment with the archivist directly. When making a research request, please provide as much information as possible regarding your question. This can include specifics such as dates, college name[s], where you previously found information, and any prior knowledge you might have on the subject.

Please submit archival inquiries in writing to:

Lillian Kinney
Cataloger/Archivist
The University of the Arts Libraries
320 S. Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19102
likinney@uarts.edu

Sara MacDonald
Public Services Librarian
The University of the Arts Libraries
320 S. Broad St.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
smacdonald@uarts.edu


Regulations for Use

What makes archival collections different from their library counterparts? Archives are different from the types of collections you see on a library shelf because they are not mass produced and are often “one of a kind,” therefore making them irreplaceable and valuable to a collection.2 As such, archival repositories have rules for the proper handling of materials, in order to ensure the continuing preservation of their content and format. The University of the Arts takes special care in housing the archival collections with respect to archival standards. Therefore, collections are not to be browsed and may only be accessed in their physical forms by appointment only.

Visitors to the archives must abide by the Prohibited Items list. If you happen to have any of these on your person at the time of arrival, they can be stored by library staff.

2 Pugh, Mary Jo. (2005). Providing reference services for archives & manuscripts. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, pages 15-16.

Instructions for Handling Archival Materials

Archives staff will conduct all moving of materials to research areas and the reshelving of items. Patrons are only allowed to view one box at a time.

Archival material must be kept in the order in which they are found. If materials appear to be out of order, do NOT rearrange them. Any problems should be reported to archives staff.

Wash your hands frequently in order to prevent damage to items from dirt and natural oils. Gloves are only necessary for items deemed as fragile by staff and will be provided.

When handling documents, avoid touching their surfaces more than is absolutely necessary.

Do not touch areas with ink or other types of documentation.

Only pencils, small notebooks, cellphones, and laptops are allowed when accessing materials. Hands should be free of pencils when handling documents.

Keep the material flat on the table at all times. If a bound item cannot lie flat, proper materials for viewing will be provided.

Do not write, lean, or place any object on the surface of any materials. Do not stack materials.

Before moving materials make sure the path to the destination is clear, as well as the table top. Materials should always be lifted slowly and with both hands.

Keep work areas clean at all times.

Oversized materials should never be moved without assistance.

Prohibited Items
Items that may not be brought into the archival research area for security purposes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Art portfolios
  • Audio devices
  • Briefcases
  • Cases for equipment
  • Computers larger than laptop size (laptops are allowed)
  • Large containers (includes items like paper bags, boxes, backpacks, shopping bags, etc.)
  • Drinks (includes bottled water)
  • Food
  • Food or drink containers
  • Handbags or purses larger than 9.5" x 6.25"
  • Luggage
  • Musical instruments and their cases
  • Newspapers
  • Outerwear (such as raincoats and overcoats)
  • Scissors or other cutting implements
  • Umbrellas
If you have any of these items on your person, please leave them with library staff while handling materials.

Copy Work
Any photocopy requests of archival materials that are unavailable through the Digital Collections website must be approved by the archives staff and all copying done only by staff members. To avoid damaging any materials, the archives staff reserves the right to decline photocopying fragile bound items. Staff also reserves the right to decline the copying of items protected by copyright or intellectual property laws, as well as any other restrictions stated in archival or records retention policies.

Publication
If you wish to cite materials from the University of the Arts Archives within a publication, you must complete the following permission form and abide by the stated rules within the agreement. Proper citation of archival materials should include author, title, date, and collection information; as well as an acknowledgement that the materials are held by the University of the Arts’ University Libraries.

Last Update: January 2019 by Lillian Kinney

Image Request Price Schedules

 PDF Version

The University of the Arts Libraries provides fee-based reproduction services for those needing digital image reproductions of items within the UArts Archives and Special Collections. Orders are to be submitted via email to the Archivist or Visual Resources & Special Collections Librarian, depending upon which department you are requesting images from. All digitization of materials from the collection are completed by library staff. We may contact you before processing your request in order to review the pricing and details of your order.

Pricing for reproductions follows. For uses other than non-profit academic or scholarly purposes (i.e., commercial use), use fees may also apply and will be negotiated. Please review our Access & Use Policies, as well as our Permission to Publish form, for additional information regarding rights and responsibilities.

Digital files will be provided in TIFF format for high-resolution requests unless otherwise specified. We do not provide physical copies. For turnaround time, please allow up to two weeks for each order. For orders requesting an excess of materials that have not already been scanned, please allow for additional time if necessary. Any orders needed in one week or less are deemed as Rush Orders. Rush service is dependent upon staff availability and rush fees will apply.

The University of the Arts Libraries reserves the right to refuse any reproduction request that might damage materials, or if, in their judgement, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of copyright law.

Reproduction fees are waived for University of the Arts faculty, staff, and students.

Please make checks out to “The University of the Arts Library” and mail to: The University of the Arts, University Libraries, 320 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19102. For international orders, please contact the library for options.

Digital Reproductions

Image Fees
Existing digital file $10 fee per image
New digital scan $25 fee per image
New digital photograph of item $30 fee per image
Please note: $20 processing fee applies to all orders

Additional Expenses
Rush fees Additional 50% of total fee
Shipping (of any physical digitized items such as CDs) Market rate
Handling (for above shipping) $20
Electronic delivery No charge

Please note: the purchase of digital images does not constitute permission to publish. You must submit a Permission to Publish form prior to obtaining any images for these purposes.

All images must be credited with the following credit line: “University of the Arts. University Libraries and Archives.”

For any additional questions please contact the Archivist or Visual Resources & Special Collections Librarian.

Last updated: January 2019 by Lillian Kinney

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