Preserving History: Major Grant from Getty Supports Scripps Archives

Scripps houses an important collection of archival documents and photographs related to visual arts, landscape architecture, campus architecture, and the history of the College. Now, with a generous grant from the Getty, the College will be able to process and organize the records to best preserve them and to increase their accessibility.

The $90,000 grant from the Getty, under the auspices of its On the Record: LA Archives Initiative, covers the arrangement, description, and preservation of Scripps’ art and institutional archives housed in the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery and in Denison Library.

“The funding will allow the records to be archivally treated for longer preservation,” according to Judy Harvey Sahak ’64, the Sally Preston Swan Librarian at Denison Library. Among the archival materials being processed under the grant include photographs of sculptures and personal papers of Albert Stewart; tapestrybound portfolios of photographs and other images of the work of Jean and Arthur Ames; architectural drawings and blueprints of Scripps College buildings, 1927-present; archives of the Scripps College Press and the Frederic Goudy Collection; and a collection of American Indian paintings collected by Hartley Burr Alexander for books on American Indian art.

The grant also funds the creation of a “finding aid”—or index, to the archival materials that will be digitally available in the Archives of California.This electronic catalog will allow the College’s collections to be better known and more accessible.

“We are grateful to the Getty for this major grant, which will preserve the wonderful archival resources at Scripps and make them available to scholars worldwide through the Online Archive of California,” says Mary Davis MacNaughton ’70, director of the Williamson Gallery and associate professor of art history. “This grant follows an earlier one from the Getty’s Electronic Cataloguing Initiative, which funded the creation of an electronic catalogue of the art collection at Scripps. We are honored to be part of these important projects which are bringing attention to the extraordinary visual arts in museum and college collections throughout Southern California.”