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Archives + Research

The archives are part of Warhol’s life work and the greatest single collection of ephemera documenting the diverse worlds in which Warhol was active. The collection consists of perhaps half a million objects, and it tells Warhol’s story alongside the art collection.

The archives collection includes scrapbooks; press clippings; art supplies; source material; posters publicizing exhibitions and films; about 4,000 audio tapes of conversations between Warhol and his associates; thousands of documentary photographs; a nearly complete run of Interview magazine; his extensive library; hundreds of decorative art objects; and many personal items, such as correspondence, diaries, clothing, wigs, and cosmetics.

The keystone of the archives collection is Warhol’s largest serial artwork, the Time Capsules. Beginning in 1974, Warhol filled 569 standard-sized cardboard boxes, 40 filing cabinet drawers, and a large steamer trunk with materials spanning a nearly forty-year period, from the 1950s to his death in 1987, which he then sealed and sent to storage. Warhol used these boxes to manage the bewildering quantity of material that routinely passed through his life. Photographs, newspapers, and magazines; fan letters, business, and personal correspondence; artwork; source images; books, exhibition catalogues, and telephone messages; dinner invitations and poetry reading announcements; and ephemera were placed on an almost daily basis into a box kept conveniently next to his desk.