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Museum Archives

The objective of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives is to collect, organize, and preserve in perpetuity the corporate records and official correspondence of the Museum, to make the collection accessible and provide research support, and to further an informed and enduring understanding of the Museum's history. The department's holdings include Board of Trustees records, legal documents, Museum publications, office files of selected Museum staff, architectural drawings, press clippings, and Museum-related ephemera.

The Archives was established under the Museum's 1870 Constitution, which states that the secretary of the corporation "shall have custody of and preserve the corporate seal and the archives." Until the 1960s, the Archives primarily served as a resource for the Museum's secretary, other officers, and trustees, but has since expanded in scope to serve the needs of the Museum as a whole and of the public. The Archives operates under the direct authority of the Senior Vice President, Secretary, and General Counsel of the Museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives is accessible to Museum staff and to qualified scholarly researchers at the graduate level and above. See information about requesting access to the Archives.