Unlock the 5 Best Digital Archives Available at Your Fingertips
1. Archives of American Art. Founded in 1954, the Archives is a central repository of American culture of inestimable value, like the world’s Fort Knox, according to Douglas S. Cramer, a former TV producer who is a major supporter of the Archives. It comprises of more than 16 million items including personal correspondence between Frida Kahlo and her lover/husband Diego Rivera), ephemera, private journals, gallery records, critical writing, scrapbooks (Alexander Calder’s, for example) and oral histories like Wayne Thiebaud’s, Eric Fischl’s, Lee Bontecou’s and more than 2,000 others). Many items are art historically meaningful; others are merely fun and fascinating. The extensive collections are a vital resource for anyone interested in American culture, research or public interest. Its goal is to be the central depository for the history of American art and was a long hidden treasure until 2006. If you inherited a work of art you can search for it there to get a better idea for the artist as well as find similar works and read about its history to start and build a provenance for your new acquisition. For a virtual visit tour aaa.si.edu.
2. Vincent Van Gogh’s Letters
A free database of all the letters sent by or to the Van Gough, transcribed and translated with images of the artworks mentioend in each correspondence. vongoghletters.org
3. Wolgang’s Vault. Concert recordings from the 1950s to today, including 15 hours from the 1959 Newport Jazz Festival. Most are free to listen to.
4. Modern Homes Survey
A comprehensive survey of modern homes at no cost featuring more than 80 mid-century modern houses in New Caanan, CT. Coordinately by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Philip Johnson Glass House.
5. NY Philharmonic
history.nyphil.org. A free, fully searchable performance history going back 165 years!