Archives and Historical Material
Institutional Archives at UW
The Seattle Art Museum's institutional records are held in the Special Collections of the University of Washington Libraries. The Special Collections Division is located on the bottom floor of the Allen Library South on the University of Washington campus.
Currently, the records cover 1908 to 2004 and measure over 423 cubic feet. The materials include correspondence, writings, minutes, reports, exhibition files, conferences and conventions, project and planning files, committee files, lists, indexes, policy manuals, newsletters, publications, publicity, clippings, scrapbooks, engagement books, catalogues, photographs, slides, ephemera and subject files. A preliminary finding aid to the records is available online.
To further identify materials applicable to your research, it may be necessary to visit the Special Collections. Please note that a portion of SAM records are stored off-site from UW Libraries. When you have identified boxes that you would like to view, the materials will be delivered to Special Collections within 24 hours of your request.
Researchers are welcome to contact Special Collections with questions by telephone at 206.543.1929 or through an email web form.
Historical Materials at SAM
Additionally, frequently requested historical material about the museum is kept in the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library at SAM Downtown and is available to the public. Materials in this collection consist of annual reports, program guides, bulletins and newsletters, clippings, exhibition catalogues and much, much more. A complete finding aid for materials available at the Bullitt Library will be available shortly.
The museum also maintains an internal archive of documents concerning past exhibitions, events and installations. These are available to researchers on a case-by-case basis. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request information or images from this archive.
History of SAM
SAM celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2008. For brief historical background on the museum, please visit our History of SAM site.