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Corcoran FAQ

Corcoran Archives

Above image: František Kupka, (Czech, 1871–1957), Untitled, 1912, Oil on canvas

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the Corcoran Archives open to the public?

A: Yes, the archives are open to the public with a few exceptions:

  • Board of trustees records and directors' records are restricted for 25 years from the date of creation
  • Development records are closed for research
  • Student educational records are governed by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy of student education records. Student records are closed for the lifetime of the student, and are presumed to be open 75 years after the date of record creation
  • Personnel and financial records are closed for 50 years from date of record creation

Q: Can I come in and look at the collection?

A: Yes. But please bear in mind - the collection is almost 2000 boxes, and parts of it are stored offsite.  You will need to call or email to make and appointment so we can make sure that the materials you need are ready for your visit.

Q: Will the collection be available online?

A: Over time, we hope to digitize large portions of the collection and make them publicly available online.  A few sample items have already been digitized and can be viewed online.   

Q: Can I get copies and scans from the collection?

A: Yes. Please see our guidelines on the Copies and Reproductions page 

Q: I’ve heard that the Corcoran Archives were split up between multiple institutions. Is that correct?

A: No. The entire institutional archive is at GW. There are several related collections that may be useful. 

Q: How do I cite the Corcoran collections?

A: Please include the following elements in your citation:

  • document description and date,
  • record group number, 
  • collection name,
  • box and folder numbers,
  • Special Collections Research Center, George Washington University Libraries, Washington, DC.

For example: "Meeting Minutes, Corcoran Board of Trustees," 1902. RG 1, Corcoran Gallery of Art board of trustees records, box 4, folder 7. Special Collections Research Center, George Washington University Libraries, Washington, DC. 

Q: I worked for the Corcoran and have a document collection of my own. Is GW interested in adding to the collection?

A: We welcome inquiries about potential donations that may fill gaps in the collection. Please contact us with any inquiries.

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