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MoMA releases digital archive

Yesterday, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) released a digital archive depicting a comprehensive account of the New York museum’s exhibitions since its inception in 1929 to today. Available to the public for free, the resource contains firsthand materials such as photographs, press releases, archival documents, and catalogs for 3,500 exhibitions presenting art, photography, architecture, and design. The motive behind the project, which took two-and-a-half years to finish, is to foster scholarship and interest for modern and contemporary art.

The project was started and carried out by MoMA’s Michelle Elligott, chief of archives, and Fiona Romeo, director of digital content and strategy. To make it possible, three archivists imported more than 22,000 folders of records from 1929 to 1989 that had been held by its registrar and curatorial departments where they preserved, vetted, and created descriptions for each file. With this process, the archive can be easily searched by period or exhibition type. By providing a detailed list of all participants in the exhibitions, artist pages have also been significantly bolstered, now containing more than 20,000 names. Additionally, a list of of the heads of each curatorial department since the museum’s founding has been added.

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