Digitizing Storefront's Archive for Web-based Public Access

Material Description

Storefront is not a collecting institution. All material held in its archive has been generated by the organization's programs and activities dating from Storefront's founding in 1982. The archive contains 115 c.f. of records, and has been arranged as three collections: Program Files (1982-2010, 75 cf), Institutional Records (1979-2008, 10 cf) and Original Artworks (1982-2012, 30 cf). Program Files document Storefront's public programs and events, and the broad spectrum of political, social and environmental issues they address. Spanning important local, regional and national concerns, this material includes all aspects of the programming process, from conception and research to implementation and outreach. Institutional Records document Storefront's operational activities, primarily during its first two decades. This material includes the papers of Storefront's former Executive Directors and funding applications with detailed program narratives. The Original Artworks collection contains works on paper and a small number of three dimensional objects produced by program participants for exhibitions and events. All three collections document early work by several now nationally and internationally recognized artists, architects and designers. The archive's material spans diverse, heterogeneous formats including text documents (press releases, correspondence, proposals, budgets, work plans, hand-written notes, clippings); images (photographic prints, slides and negatives, newsletter films); publications (tabloid newsletters, catalogues and books) and audio-visual media (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs and MiniDVs). Using selection criteria for each collection that determine which records will be digitized and published for web-based access, Storefront has identified approximately 28 c.f., or 25% of the archive's material for immediate item-level cataloging and digitization. Selection criteria include the anticipated value of the records to Storefront's public audience and to researchers, the importance of the material to Storefront's history and program, and media preservation concerns.


Storefront for Art and Architecture is requesting funding over 18 months to digitize and disseminate core records from its archive, a unique, nationally significant collection of design material documenting over three decades of the organization's activities. This project will address the archive's urgent need to provide web-based public access to the most important components of its collections. By working with the Internet Archive (IA) and Google Cultural Institute (GCI), Storefront intends to maximize the project's cost effectiveness, efficiency and impact. More specifically, Storefront is requesting CLIR support to 1) catalog and digitize 28 c.f. of the archive's material; 2) upload all digitized content to the IA for permanent hosting and management; 3) convert Storefront's existing finding aids to searchable HTML formats linked to IA-hosted records; 4) update exhibition pages on the archive section of Storefront's website; and 5) publish select digital records on GCI.


Digitizing Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded


Year Added



Storefront for Art and Architecture


  • Ms. Chialin Chou (Storefront for Art and Architecture)
  • Ms. Eva Franch i Gilabert

Date Range

1979 - 2012

Geographic Scope

Early records (1979-87) focus on New York City's built environment. Subsequent material encompasses diverse local, national and international sites and issues.


  • 6000 Letter and legal size on standard paper documents (notes, articles, newspaper clippings, artist profiles and research, ephemera, financial documents, promotional and press materials, correspondence, project proposals, admin files, etc.)