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Harvard University Library Notes / November 2007 / No. 1340
Getty, IMLS Provide New Support for HUAM's Archives
Thanks to an award from the Getty Foundation's Archival Grants Program, the Harvard University Art Museums (HUAM) will advance the preservation of papers of the museum's 20th-century principals, including Edward Forbes, Paul Sachs, and Agnes Mongan.
"We're thrilled by the Getty Foundation's award," said Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard University Art Museums. "Partial analysis of our archival holdings of the Harvard University Art Museums' directors' papers has only begun to reveal the influence that these figures exerted on museum theory, the training of museum professionals, conservation science, and the growth of art history as a discipline in the United States and Europe. The Getty's support will enable the Harvard University Art Museums to make these documents discoverable by, and useful to, a new and dramatically expanded audience."
The Getty grant follows closely on a recent award from the Institute of Media and Library Services to support the inventorying, cataloging, and description of the holdings of the HUAM Archives, which contains an estimated 1,500,000 documents that capture historical information in the form of records of significant events and the perspectives and opinions of key cultural figures of the 20th century, pertaining to art history, art collecting, museum theory and practice, and social history.
"We are very grateful to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for this generous grant in support of one of our research centers," said Lentz. "The grant supports not only the Archives' collection of correspondence, artists' papers, architectural drawings, scrapbooks, and many other primary source materials, but also helps us to fulfill our mission as a leading center for research and teaching in the visual arts. This essential funding provides us with the ability to catalog the Archives and provide improved access for students, scholars, and members of the public."
The Harvard University Art Museums are one of the world's leading arts institutions, comprising three museums—the Fogg Art Museum, the Busch–Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum—and four research centers—the Straus Center for Conservation, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the HUAM Archives, and the US headquarters for the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis. As an integral part of the Harvard community, the three art museums, together with the four research centers, serve as resources for all students, adding a special dimension to their areas of study.