We would very much like to hear about your archive as it exists currently and regardless of whether or not you have a specific plan for it. This is the checklist for the artist, estate, and PCPP to consider when assessing a work plan. Pdf format is available for print-friendly version. 

1. What comprises your archive?

1) Approximately how many of the following are in the archive?

  • Early prints

  • Modern prints

  • Contact sheets

  • Negatives

  • Transparencies

  • Others (Please specify)

2) Sizes
3) Media
4) Print types (i.e. Exhibition quality or work prints, if any prints are signed, etc.)

2. How is your archive organized? 

1) Number of files
2) Number of boxes
3) How is your archive cataloged?
4) Finding aids?

3. What is the ultimate goal for the archive? 

Have you created general inventories, lists, and / or databases of what you have and where everything is located?

Is there an institution, museum, library or individual interested in your work?

4. Ephemera

Here is the list of ephemera that we are usually looking for. 

  • Correspondence

  • Caption envelopes

  • Agency and gallery documents

  • Journals

  • Diaries

  • Exhibition pamphlets

  • Postcards

  • Announcements

  • Press

5. Copyright

Who owns the copyright to your work currently?

What is/are the theme(s) of your work?  Is it recognizable as yours?


Implement a clear organization of your photographs, negatives / transparencies, contact sheets, and papers / ephemera.

Don’t be afraid to edit your archive. This can be the hardest step, but institutions have limited space and funds; as such, all parties involved have limited resources with which they are able to preserve only the most important parts of an archive.  Discard things (particularly excessively duplicated items) from the archive that do not materially enhance or contribute to the understanding of the archive.

Make recordings and / or notes about certain iconic images or important jobs /assignments to record dates and anything else that might be important for archivists or scholars to know in the future. The more information available, the more accessible the work.  

Make a list of your top images and / or bodies of work. Limit this to a list of no more than 100 important images and then 300-500 potentially usable images for stock, or other related purposes.

Sign, date, and title all existing prints and digital files once the edition has been completed.  

Create a list of local institutions or colleges you have attended or with whom you have a connection.  Similarly list institutions that have collected similar subjects to your bodies of work.