Archival and historical materials related to the Seattle Art Museum reside in two places: the Special Collections Division at the University of Washington Libraries and the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library at the Seattle Art Museum.
Institutional Archives: University of Washington
The Seattle Art Museum's institutional records are held in the Special Collections Division 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 this
Historical Materials: Seattle Art Museum
Additionally, frequently requested historical material about the museum is kept in the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library and is available to the public. Materials in this collection consist of annual reports, program guides, bulletins and newsletters, clippings, and exhibition catalogues. Materials must be consulted in the Bullitt Library reading room.
Email us for information and access.
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. Email us to request information or images from this archive.
For a brief historical background on the museum, please visit our
About SAM page.