As one of the nation's first professionally administered museum archives, PAFA collects, preserves, and provides access to records that document the historical activities of the institution (both school and museum) as well as prominent artists and art organizations associated with PAFA. PAFA's physical archives contain various mediums including printed matter, photographic materials, artifacts, rare books, and related ephemera.

With the generous support of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in 2017, PAFA’s Archives was able to integrate digitization into a core function for the institution. We are actively digitizing and adding new items on an on-going basis to grow the digital archive. 

To learn more about PAFA's history, please visit the online resources section of this website. 

See: Statement on Potentially Harmful Content


The Archives serves as the institutional memory of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA). The Archives’ mission is to preserve and provide access to records that document the goals and activities of the institution (School and Museum). The Archives is also responsible for ensuring institutional accountability, and for enhancing access to the rich and diverse resources in its care. The mission is carried forward by:

-Appraising, acquiring, and preserving the records of PAFA and related documentary materials;

-Offering a range of research and reference services to the public;

-Establishing policy and providing expert guidance on institutional record-keeping practices;

-Creating and promoting resources and services that broaden understanding of the history and culture of PAFA.