Since the birth of the contemporary Women's Art Movement, Rutgers University has worked hand-in-hand with feminist women artists and art historians to nurture, exhibit, and document art by women. The Women Artists Archives National Directory (WAAND) is a pioneering project designed to capitalize on the shared experience and expertise of Rutgers' artists and art historians and its vaunted information technology specialists. This directory endeavor is a comprehensive survey of U.S. archival collections holding primary source documents of and about women visual artists active in the U.S. since 1945.

Funded initially by a grant-in-aid from the Getty Foundation, WAAND was developed by Dr. Ferris Olin and Judith K. Brodsky, founding directors of the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities (CWAH) at Rutgers. Grace Agnew, Associate University Librarian for Digital Library Systems, and Jane Otto, Scholarly Open Access Repository Librarian, Rutgers University Libraries, were WAAND's digital architects. Nicole Plett served as project manager. The WAAND Founding Advisory Council included a diverse group of artists, art historians, curators, and librarians: Camille Billops, founder of the Hatch-Billops Collection Archives of African American Cultural History: Sherman Clark of New York University Libraries; Janis Ekdahl of the Museum of Modern Art Library; Mary Garrard of American University; Barbara Natanson of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division; Fernanda Perrone of Rutgers University Libraries; Susanne Warren, Director of the John G. McCullough Free Library in North Bennington, Vermont; and Karen Weiss of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

WAAND was designed as a research tool for scholars, students, artists, collecting institutions, and the general public. In its content and its methodology, WAAND has served as a model in the development of archival directories.

Any archive holding primary source material about any U.S. woman visual artist active after 1945 is encouraged to complete and submit a repository directory form for women artists represented in its collections. WAAND is currently maintained by the Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities and the Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.

Structure of the Directory

WAAND consists of three linked databases: a Repository Directory, Collections, and an Entity (artist or artists' organization) Database.

The Repository Directory is a database of organizations; it includes name, location, contact information, services provided, audiences served, and access policies for each organization. The Collections database describes the primary source material on a particular woman artist or artists' organization that is held by a particular repository. The Entity database will comprise basic information about the artist, such as dates of activity, genres, and regions where the artist has worked. In order to more readily identify papers of individual women artists within larger collections, the Entity database includes entries for artist organizations and collectives such as artist publications, alternative spaces, and artists' communities.

The databases are linked to one another through unique identifiers. This allows information about the artist and the primary source material to display together with information about the archive holding the collection. This database structure is transparent to the end users.

Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities
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