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  • AIGA archives and special collections

    The archives of AIGA serve to identify, preserve and make available records of enduring value. AIGA's aim is to make conditions suitable for access and to support research that will add to the literature of design and to safeguard its legacy.

    The collections

    AdamsMorioka Archives Vault

    The AdamsMorioka Archives Vault at the AIGA National Design Center is an invaluable resource for AIGA members and design scholars. Including works from 1914 to the present, the vault's artifacts serve as the memory of the organization's extensive history and association with the century's most influential designers.

    More than 1,500 unique items are housed in this archive. The bulk of the collection consists of printed records created by and for AIGA, including: exhibition catalogues and design annuals documenting the selections from AIGA competitions since 1915; newsletters and journals published since 1922; AIGA conference materials produced since 1985; and a flat file for the works of AIGA medalists. The vault complements the online AIGA Design Archives, as well as the physical archives of AIGA design competition entries dating back to 1980, which are housed at the Denver Art Museum.

    Hours
    Monday–Friday
    11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., by appointment
    Closed on weekends, national holidays and during AIGA's biennial design conference.

    Use of the vault is a benefit of AIGA membership and is also made available to nonmembers whose focused research into the history of AIGA, the profession or design may be assisted by this resource.

    AIGA Design Archives

    AIGA Design Archives is one of the richest online resources available to those who practice, study and appreciate great design. It represents the quality of work being created, as well as shifting aesthetics and sensibilities of the designers of the day. Included in this resource are more than 20,000 selections from AIGA's annual juried design competitions dating from 1924 through the present. In addition, it features special collections of major American design firms and practitioners whose design accomplishments might otherwise not be preserved online or made available to the public. These now include the work of Chermayeff & Geismar (1960–2006), Vignelli Associates (1962–2008) and the Push Pin Graphic (1960–2005).

    The online experience, initially developed and recently redesigned by Second Story Interactive Studios, features easier and deeper searches, faster results, live filtering, improved navigation, new presentation modes and the ability to share inspiration on social networking sites.

    View all available works at designarchives.aiga.org.

    AIGA Archives at the Denver Art Museum

    Since 1980, AIGA has produced an annual publication documenting AIGA's activities and competitions. More than 6,000 of the physical artifacts selected in these competitions are now a permanent part of the AIGA Archives at the Denver Art Museum, with a dedicated AIGA curator. This collection will be available for study and exhibition and will grow by approximately 300 selections a year.

    AIGA National Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum from Charles R. Carpenter on Vimeo.

    Butler Library's Rare Book and Manuscript Library

    A collection of more than 4,000 books dating back to 1923 is housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library within Columbia University's Butler Library, in New York. These books were selected from AIGA's longest running competition, “Fifty Books of the Year,” now known as “AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers.” Each year's selections are added to the collection and are available for research. Access restrictions may apply.

    Schedule an appointment or learn more about the AIGA archives

    If you would like to make an appointment to view the archives at the AIGA National Design Center or would like more information about the Denver and Butler Library collections, contact AIGA archivist Heather Strelecki at 212 710 3145 or send her an email.

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