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Freer and Sackler Archives

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives is a manuscript and photograph repository dedicated to furthering the study of Asian and Middle Eastern art and culture, as well as turn-of-the-century American art. The Archives collects, preserves, and makes available documentary materials supporting the holdings and research activities of the two galleries and enabling scholars to analyze primary materials.

The Collections

The Archives houses more than 160 collections—amounting to over one thousand linear feet of materials—dating from the early nineteenth century to the present. Rich and diverse materials include the personal and professional papers of preeminent art historians, archaeologists, artists, dealers, and collectors, plus major collections of nineteenth- and twentieth-century photography of Asia and the Middle East. The collections also include still and moving pictures, graphics, audio tapes, and other forms of documentation.

Collection highlights: Manuscripts and Papers
Collection highlights: Photography And Graphics

Accessing the Collections

Prior to contacting the Archives, we encourage researchers to first review our online records in the Smithsonian Collections Search Center, which has a complete list of our collections, as well as links to finding aids and highlighted objects. If specific information cannot be found through our online resources, or if you want to arrange an appointment, please contact us via our query form or telephone Archives staff at 202.633.0533.


We actively seek donations that support the collecting mission of the Archives. If you own items you believe would enhance our holdings, the Archives welcomes your inquiry. Because we are unable to accept all potential gifts, please do not send your collection until after you have contacted us. Please e-mail a brief description of the material, including the size of the collection, the media (photographs, letters, films, etc.), and any relevant background information. We will respond at the earliest opportunity.

The Archives cannot provide appraisals. Prospective donors who require or desire a monetary assessment are encouraged to contact an independent appraiser or any one of a number of appraisal societies, such as the American Society of Appraisers (800.272.8258).

Online Resources

Herzfeld Resource Gateway
An online resource gateway that consists of all cataloged material from the Ernst Herzfeld Papers.

Sevruguin Resource Gateway
Sevruguin was one of the most successful commerical photographers in Iran.

Alice in Asia Resource Gateway
Photographs from the 1905 Taft Diplomatic Mission to Japan, China, Korea and the Philippines from the collection of Alice Roosevelt Longworth.

Smithsonian Collections Search Center The Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) is a public database with archival and library holdings.

Smithsonian Collections Blog
Posts featuring collections across the Smithsonian's Archives, Libraries, and Special Collections.

Please note: The Freer Gallery of Art will be closed to the public from January 2016 until summer 2017. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open for the duration of the renovation. Learn more »