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Library Records


This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Library Records
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
1.25 linear feet
None available.
Cite as:
[Item identification and date], [Series info.], Library Records, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives.
PDF Version:

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The PMA Library has been an important resource throughout its long history. Gifts of books are recorded as early as 1877, and funds for book purchases came with the Wilstach Collection in 1893. Hired as Librarian in 1928, Paul Vanderbilt built the collection and its organization until leaving in 1942. Marjorie Lyons then assumed the role, and in 1968 Barbara Sevy became Librarian. By 1989, when Anita Gilden succeeded Sevy as Librarian, the department had grown to a staff of six full-time employees, including an archivist, slide librarian, and research and reference librarian. Gilden oversaw the Library until 1993.

Scope and Contents

The records include correspondence, arranged alphabetically, generated from 1940 to 1979, as well as memoranda written by Anita Gilden during her tenure as librarian from 1989 to 1993. Reports include one generated by the Librarian for the fiscal year 1940-1941, slide library sales reports, 1954-1960, and a copy of the Museum's goals and program for 1977. Clippings document the Library's "Public Days" event of the same year. Other materials pertain to the Library's budget needs from 1967 to 1988. Documentation consists of reports, summaries, proposals, memos and notes regarding purchases, subscriptions, staff salaries, and a revolving fund.

For documentation of the Library's activities from approximately 1925 to 1955, including WPA projects, see the Fiske Kimball Records.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Philadelphia Museum of Art Archives

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Merle Chamberlain and Louise Rossmassler (12/31/87). Revised 2007.


Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation

Revision Description

Kat Stefko: Updated links from "mellon-archives" to "archives." Susie Anderson: New nodes and citation Bertha Adams: July 10, 2007 Bertha Adams: July 10, 2007 Bertha Adams: Revised from Merle's 1987 finding aid 9/20/20041/20/20067/10/20077/10/200711/20/2007

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. Access to institutional records less than 10 years old is at the discretion of the Archivist.

Use Restrictions

The Records of the Library are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Processing Information

These materials were arranged and described by Merle Chamberlain and Louise F. Rossmassler in 1987. REvised 2007. Funded by a grant from The Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Annual reports of the Philadelphia Museum of Art include Librarian's Reports.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. Includes "Library" subseries as part of the "Service departments" series. Additional information is included in the "WPA and other relief programs" series. Fiske Kimball Records.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art

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