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Institutional Archives


The Institutional Archives contain the official papers and records of the Art Institute of Chicago, dating back to the institution’s founding as both a museum and a school in 1879.

The archives are divided into four major series: museum records, school records, affiliated organizations, and personal papers.

The Institutional Archives have special access policies, and an appointment is required to view materials. The archives staff are available during the week via the library reference desk:

Monday through Friday 1:00–5:00

To make an appointment or for more information, contact us at (312) 443-3666 or

In addition to the Institutional Archives, you can access archives of the Art Institute’s annual reports and press releases. The Ryerson and Burnham Libraries hold many materials related to the history of the Art Institute of Chicago in their collections.


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