Expanding Discourse - Digitizing the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' Visiting Artist and Symposium audio collections

Material Description

PAFA proposes the digitization of audio records generated from two distinct but important aspects from PAFA’s history as America's first museum and fine art school. First, audio records from the School’s Visiting Artists’ Program (1983-1985). Second, audio records of the Museum’s Symposium Program (1982-1986, 1994, 1999, 2003, 2005). All audio records were recorded in-house by PAFA staff members at the time of the events. Media was most likely stored in the library for students, faculty, and scholars to use when they were first created. There are no accession records to verify when the media transferred to the archives. It is safe to assume that the media was transferred to the custody of the archives within 1-2 years after creation. The two collections are currently arranged in the archives by format which includes 3 reels of tape and 74 compact cassettes, with an estimated 95 hours of content. The audio collection, in general, is not represented in the institution’s catalog or included in any finding aids or databases. Furthermore, the collection would be restricted since the archives does not have the proper equipment to provide proper access to the media. The only mention of audio collections can be found in a PDF file which is linked on PAFA’s website: (page 46). The description in the “Guide” is minimal and easily overlooked by researchers. Moreover, the audio collection would not be discoverable using our website’s search feature. The archives is currently working on building better discovery tools for the entire collection which includes the audio collection.

Year Added:



Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts


Mr. Hoang Tran


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