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Museum records

Identifier: 10S

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of records of the Wellesley College Museum (under various names, see Related Names), dating from 1875-2006. Series I. Administration (1975-1981) consists of administrative records including records of acquisitions, annual reports, budgets, insurance documentation, inventories, records of requests for information, copies of the bulletin The Art Museum, event materials, and various subject files. Series II. Exhibitions (1891-2006) consists of records of specific exhibitions, including planning documents for possible exhibitions. These files may include correspondence, planning documents, catalogs, photographs, records of expenses, shipping and insurance, condition reports, research, fundraising, publicity, and reviews.


  • 1875-2006


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research, but contains some material which has been restricted as per the Wellesley College Archives Access Policy: To make an appointment to view unrestricted materials, please contact the Archives staff by email at or by phone at (781) 283-3745.

Conditions Governing Use

The Wellesley College Archives welcomes researchers to use materials in the public domain, to make fair use of copyrighted materials as defined by copyright law, and to request permission to use works whose copyright is held by Wellesley College. All materials from the Archives, regardless of copyright status, should be attributed to the Wellesley College Archives, Library & Technology Services when cited, quoted, or reproduced.

Biographical / Historical

An Art Gallery space existed in College Hall as early as the opening of the college, and Harriet A. Walker was the first Curator of Museum as of 1876. The first edition of The Art Museum bulletin (1923 June) explains: "The Museum as distinct from the Art Department may be said to have begun with the purchase by Mrs. [Pauline] Durant, almost at the time of the founding of the College, of vestments and laces from the Jarvis Collection,—the collection from which Yale University secured its extraordinary collection of Early Italian paintings. Since then, from time to time additions of value have been made." In 1889 a new Farnsworth Art Building was constructed (by architects Rotch and Tilden), and in 1957 that building was demolished and the Jewett Arts Center was built and opened in 1958 (architect Paul Rudolph). In 1993-1994 the Davis Museum and Cultural Center was built, and the Jewett Arts Center was renovated (both by Rafael Moneo Studios / Payette Associates). The first Museum Director was Alice Van Vechten Brown, who served from 1897-1930.


38.9 Linear Feet (88 letter-sized Hollinger boxes, 1 thin letter-sized Hollinger box, 1 oversized box, 1 flat storage Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged into two series. Series I. Administration includes documentation created during the administration of the museum, and files are largely in alphabetical order. Series II. Exhibitions consists of records from exhibitions held at the museum (including planning documents for potential exhibitions); these files are largely in chronological order.

Related Materials

The Wellesley College Archives also holds the papers of John McAndrew (3P McAndrew), who was the Director of the Art Museum from 1947-1957. The bulletin The Art Museum (1923-1943) is accessible online at this URL:

Separated Materials

Regarding materials separated due to restrictions: Collection contains materials that are restricted as per the Wellesley College Archives Access Policy. These restricted materials have been physically separated from the collection.
Museum records, 1875-2006: a guide
In Progress
File-level description by Student Assistant Sophia Pechaty, collection-level description by Natalia Gutierrez-Jones, Project Archivist.
2019 January 31
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Wellesley College Archives Repository