• Design resources and archives

    Online AIGA Design Archives
    AIGA Design Archives. Designed and developed by Second Story.


    The world's largest library catalog is searchable by title, subject, or author. It can be used to find an item in a local library.

    AIGA, the professional association for design
    (formerly American Institute of Graphic Arts)
    The Archives Room
    233 Broadway, 17th floor
    New York, NY 10279

    The bulk of the collection consists of printed records, including: AIGA newsletters and journals since 1922; AIGA conference collateral since 1985; AIGA competition collateral as well as exhibition catalogues documenting selections from AIGA national juried competitions since 1915; AIGA design annuals since 1980; and membership directories since 1928. In addition, the collection includes binders of 35 mm slides from travelling exhibitions from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; flat files housing works by AIGA Medalists collected since 2004; and flat files housing works by AIGA chapters dating back to 1988. The collection also contains printed ephemera from the early beginnings of the organization as well as materials from the AIGA annual, tapes from past talks, national conferences, lecture series and seminars.

    Contact: Heather Strelecki, Archivist, 212 710 3145

    Archives of American Art (Smithsonian Institute)
    Research Centers and Offices
    Washington, DC and New York, NY

    With over 20 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives is the world’s largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in America.

    Arts of the Book Collection
    Yale University
    Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library
    180 York Street
    New Haven, CT 06511

    Examples of and material relating to the book and its attendant arts: binding, typography, illustration, calligraphy, book design and architecture, paper making and decorative papers and the history of the book.

    Contact: Art Subject Specialists

    The Chicago Design Archive

    The Chicago Design Archive provides the one permanent, online record of excellent design created by local professionals from the late 19th century to the present.

    Chicago Design Museum
    Block Thirty Seven
    108 N. State Street, 3rd Floor
    Chicago, IL 60602

    Contact: Tanner Woodford

    City College of New York
    The Morris Raphael Cohen Library
    North Academic Center (NAC) Room 5/301
    160 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY 10031

    "The George Lois Big Idea Archive" from legendary art director, designer and ad man, comprises films, TV and radio commercials, print ads, posters, scripts, correspondences, photos, memorabilia and numerous other items from a remarkable career spanning more than 65 years. 
    Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
    Doris and Henry Dreyfuss Memorial Study Center
    2 East 91 Street
    New York, NY 10128

    A variety of materials, ranging from slides and book covers to promotional materials, printed ads, to original artwork, correspondence, clippings and drawings. www.siris.si.edu (Smithsonian Institution Research Information System) is the search engine that serves the entire Smithsonian Institution.

    Contact: Stephen Van Dyk, Head Librarian, 212 849 8330

    Cranbrook Academy of Art Library
    39221 Woodward Avenue
    Box 801
    Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303

    An extensive collection on graphic design history, theory and professional practice. Books are available through inter-library loan.

    Contact: Judy Dyki, Head Librarian, 248 645 3364

    Design Museum of Barcelona
    (Museu del Disseny de Barcelona)

    This collection is formed by pieces both historic and contemporary that illustrate the technological evolution of the graphic arts over three centuries. Accordingly, most of the holdings comprise dies, typographies (with the typefaces, punches and dies from important sets ranging from the eighteenth to the twentieth century), photogravure and intaglio plates by numerous local artists.

    Architecture & Graphics
    Denver Art Museum
    100 W 14th Avenue Parkway
    Denver, CO 80204

    AIGA Design Archives in Denver represents the largest and most comprehensive holding of contemporary American communication design in the world. Consisting of approximately 12,000 physical artifacts created from approximately 1980 to 2010, the collection recognizes award-winning entries made to the organization’s annual competitions.

    Contact: Darrin Alfred, AIGA curator

    The Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles, CA 90049 1688
    Primary materials for the history of modern artistic and intellectual movements such as Realism, Symbolism, Futurism, the Bauhaus, Russian Constructivism, Dada, Surrealism and Fluxus. Collection of audio and video recordings from International Design Conference, Aspen (IDCA).

    Contact: Senior Staff, 310 440 7335

    Graphic Design Archives West Michigan

    A place to gather, assess, and preserve the rich legacy of graphic design, paper manufacture, and printing in West Michigan. 

    Contact: Barbara Loveland and Linda Powell

    The Herb Lubalin Study Center
    Cooper Union
    41 Cooper Square, Room LL119
    New York, NY 10003

    The graphic work of Herb Lubalin, in addition to the works of other New York-based designers such as Lou Dorfsman, George Tscherny and Push Pin Studios.

    Contact: Ann Holcomb, 212 353 4021

    Herbert Bayer Collection and Archive
    Denver Art Museum
    100 West 14 Avenue Parkway
    Denver, CO 80204

    Extensive collection of Bayer's artwork including paintings, watercolors, drawings, pastels, graphics, photography, sculpture, models, designs for Bayer's large-scale projects, textiles and jewelry, exhibition design, furniture design, book, catalogs, announcements, pamphlets, magazines and other documents. Herbert Bayer: Collection and Archive at the Denver Art Museum (University of Washington Press, 1998) by Gwen Chanzit is the catalogue of the collection.

    Contact: Gwen Chanzit, Curator, 720 865 5000

    International Dada Archive
    University of Iowa
    100 Main Library
    Iowa City, IA 52242 1420
    The work of Dadaists with strong involvement in typography and advertising design (George Grosz, John Heartfield, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Hoch, Iliazd, Kurt Schwitters, Jan Tschichold, Tristan Tzara).

    Contact: Timothy Shipe, Curator, 319 335 5824 

    Internet Archive
    300 Funston Avenue
    San Francisco, CA 94118

    In late 1999, the organization started to grow to include more well-rounded collections. Now the Internet Archive includes: texts, audio, moving images, and software as well as archived web pages in our collections, and provides specialized services for adaptive reading and information access for the blind and other persons with disabilities.

    Letterform Archive
    1001 Mariposa Street, Unit 307
    San Francisco, CA 94107

    Letterform Archive is a nonprofit library and museum dedicated to inspiration and education in the letter arts. Opened to the public in February 2015, the Archive offers visitors hands-on access to its curated collection of 30,000 items related to lettering, typography, calligraphy, and graphic design spanning 2,000 years of history.

    Contact: info@letterformarchive.org; 415 802 7485

    The Library of Congress
    Prints and Photographs Division
    101 Independence. Ave, SE
    Washington, D.C. 20540

    A collection of American, European and Latin American popular and applied graphic arts, caricatures, posters, cartoons and political prints.

    Contact: Ask A Librarian, 202 707 6394 (specify that query is for prints and photographs division)

    M+ at West Kowloon
    29/F, Tower 6, The Gateway, 9 Canton Road
    Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    The new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, as part of West Kowlon Cultural District, focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture, and moving image. Scheduled for completion in 2018.

    Contact: Jennifer Wong, Assistant Curator (Design and Architecture)

    Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives
    School of Visual Arts
    380 Second Avenue, 2nd floor
    New York, NY 10010

    Dedicated to preserving and making accessible design works of significant artistic, cultural, and historical value by preeminent designers, illustrators, and art directors who have close ties to the School of Visual Arts. The collections represent the artistic and intellectual vitality of the SVA community and provide an invaluable resource to students, designers, and researchers who wish to study the breadth of a designer's work, including Gail Anderson, Louise Fili, Steven Heller, Stefan Sagmeister, Deborah Sussman, George Tscherny, Henry Wolf, and more.

    Moscow Design Museum

    The focus of the museum's archive is Soviet design from 1950 to 1980. It includes contemporary Russian graphic design, movie posters, industrial design objects, and a full collection of the All Union Institute of Technical Aesthetics (VNITE) magazine. The archive also houses photographic slides, rare VNITE prototypes, the archives of the Union of Designers of the Soviet Union, and the private archives of designers, including Vladimir Runge.

    Contact: info@moscowdesignmuseum.ru; +7 495 991 90 42

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit  (MOCAD)
    4454 Woodward Avenue
    Detroit, MI 48201

    Museum of Design, Atlanta (MODA)
    1315 Peachtree Street
    Atlanta, GA 30309

    As the only museum in the Southeastern United States dedicated exclusively to design, MODA’s mission is to explore the many facets of the design disciplines as they exert a positive influence on Atlanta and the Southeast.

    Museum of Design, Zürich

    The Design Collection is devoted to the design of twentieth-century mass-produced objects, and the philosophy they reflect. The focus is on a broad representation of Swiss design, juxtaposed with reference objects of international provenance. The collected objects include items by well-known designers and commonplace objects of anonymous design.

    Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Study Centers
    11 West 53 Street
    New York, NY 10019
    Ephemera, covers and posters including large holdings of designers such as Cheret, Holwein, Kauffer, Cassandre, Bayer, Matter, Beall, Tanaka, Muller-Brockman and Starowieyski. The website provides a link to the Museum's DADABASE, the combined online catalogue of the Library, Museum Archives and Study Center.

    Contact: Jenny Tobias, Associate Reference Librarian, 212 708 9433

    New York Public Library (NYPL)
    Research Libraries
    Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street
    New York, NY

    In the always expanding digital realm, The New York Public Library provides patrons worldwide with powerful online tools to help them discover its extensive resources and services. Visitors can browse the Library’s immense collections, download e-books, and view more than 800,000 items from its award-winning Digital Gallery.

    Contact: Through Ask NYPL, librarians are available to answer patron questions on any topic at any time; 212 930 0834
    Parsons The New School for Design
    Libraries & Archives
    66 W 12th Street
    New York, NY 10011

    The collections document the history of all divisions of The New School, as well as the lives and work of people and organizations in a range of subject areas that intersect with the interests of New School students and faculty, including the Bea Feitler papers and Ivan Chermayeff graphic work.

    Contact: 212 229 8914

    R. Hunter Middleton Chicago Design Archive
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    Richard J. Daley Library, M/C 234
    Special Collections
    801 South Morgan
    Chicago, IL 60607
    Numerous collections that document the history of design in Chicago, with special emphasis on the period dating from the 1930s through the 1960s.

    Contact: Peggy Glowacki, Special Collections Librarian, 312 996 2742 

    Rare Book and Manuscript Library
    Butler Library at Columbia University
    535 West 114th Street, 6th floor East
    New York, NY 10027

    Until 2010, annual selections from “Fifty Books of the Year,” “The Book Show,” and “50 Books/50 Covers” were given to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Columbia’s Butler.

    Contact: Jane Siegel, Graphic Arts Subject Specialist

    Rochester Institute of Technology
    Wallace Memorial Library
    90 Lomb Memorial Drive
    Rochester, NY 14623

    Collection of posters, cartoons and materials documenting the work of graphic designers such as Mehemed Fehmy Agha, hans Barschel, Lester Beall, Alexey Brodovich, Will Burtin, George Giusti, William Golden, Alvin Lustig, Cipe Pineles and Ladislav Sutnar.

    Contact: Kari Horowicz, Art and Photography Librarian, 716 475 2557

    Vignelli Center for Design Studies
    One Lomb Memorial Drive
    Rochester, NY 14623

    The Center houses Lella and Massimo Vignelli's extensive professional archives which includes primary source material and finished works. It also includes work by Bill Bonnell and Pierre Mendell, and the RitaSue Siegel archive.

    Contact: Roger Remington

    Walker Art Center Achives and Library
    Vineland Place
    Minneapolis, MN 55403
    Exhibition catalogs, artists' books and design periodicals, as well as taped interviews and lectures by designers such as Wolfgang Weingart, Tibor Kalman, Ivan Chermayeff, Charles and Ray Eames, April Greiman, Katherine McCoy and Massimo Vignelli.

    Contact: Librarian, 612 375 7680

    Walter Gropius Archive
    Lyonnel Feininger Archive
    Busch-Reisiger Museum
    32 Quincy Street
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    Walter Gropius's architectural drawings and related photographs as well as Feininger's drawings and photographs. The Walter Gropius Archive (Harvard University, 1990-1991) edited by Winfried Nerdinger is the catalogue of the Gropius archive.

    Contact: Reference, 617 495 2384

    Wolfsonian Foundation Library

    1001 Washington Avenue
    Miami Beach, FL 33139
    Decorative and fine arts, objects, posters, original works of art on paper, archival materials, books and ephemera on the decorative design and architectural arts.

    Contact: Head Librarian, 305 535 2641

    Vitra Design Museum
    Charles-Eames-Str. 2
    D-79576 Weil am Rhein

    The estates of prominent designers such as Charles & Ray Eames, Alexander Girard, Anton Lorenz, George Nelson and others are maintained in the archive of the Vitra Design Museum. The holdings also include company publications, brochures, posters, patent documents and drawings.

    Contact: info@design-museum.de, +49 7621 702 3200

    Select online design collections

    Bard Graduate Center, Art & Design Oral History Project

    The Bard Graduate Center Craft, Art and Design Oral History Project is an online archive of oral history interviews of contemporary craftspeople, artists and designers. The primary form of these interviews are transcripts, illustrated with photographs of the interviewees and their work; some also feature audio and video clips.

    Robert Brownjohn (2002 AIGA Medalist)

    A living archive of Robert Brownjohn's work arranged and described by his daughter Eliza Brownjohn. 

    Seymour Chwast Archive (1985 AIGA Medalist)

    Established in 2015, the Seymour Chwast Archive is a digital repository for his often groundbreaking, frequently humorous, and constantly expanding body of work. Featuring selections from the designer’s personal collection, the site includes posters, books, packaging, typography, painting, sculpture, editorial illustrations, and ephemera from the 1940s to the present.

    Corita Kent (2016 AIGA Medalist)

    The Corita Art Center is a gallery and archive dedicated to preserving and promoting the work and spirit of artist, activist and educator, Corita Kent.

    Elaine Lustig Cohen (2011 AIGA Medalist)

    Highlights of Elaine’s career from 1944 to the present, arranged by year.

    Alvin Lustig (1993 AIGA Medalist)

    Highlights of Alvin's career.

    Have another resource to share? Contact AIGA's archivist, Heather Strelecki

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