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Archives of American Art Journal: Submission Guidelines

First published in 1960 as the Archives of American Art Bulletin, the Archives of American Art Journal is the longest-running scholarly periodical devoted to the history of American art. Today it supports new approaches to and out-of-the-box thinking about primary sources.

All contributions to the Archives of American Art Journal must engage in some meaningful way with the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art. Founded in 1954, the Archives is dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in the United States. With more than 20 million items, it is the largest collection of its kind in the world.

The Journal publishes two types of articles:

  • Research-based, feature articles of 5,000 to 8,000 words (including endnotes) for peer review;
  • Non peer-reviewed short texts of 1,000 to 3,000 words (including endnotes) that explore new acquisitions or highlight discoveries in the Archives’ collections.

If you are preparing a manuscript that fits one of these categories, we encourage you to contact guest editor Tanya Sheehan at We also welcome proposals for other kinds of research-based or creative contributions that think in innovative ways about primary sources in American art history and thus support the mission of the Journal.

Designed by Pentagram, the Journal has been distributed by the University of Chicago Press since 2015. It is currently published twice a year, in the spring and fall. Back issues are available through JSTOR.


A complete manuscript submission includes all of the following, emailed to

  • A cover sheet with the manuscript title, author name and contact information, and an abstract of no more than 250 words. The author should not be identified anywhere else in the submission.
  • The manuscript text, double-spaced, with endnotes. Please do not use headers or footers. Text and notes should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.
  • A PDF of all proposed illustrations, with complete captions.

Only original, previously unpublished work that is not under review elsewhere will be considered for publication in the Journal.

Unlike many other peer-reviewed publications, the Archives of American Art Journal obtains and pays for all image reproductions and permissions to publish them. Once a manuscript is accepted for publication, we work with authors to choose appropriate illustrations. All final decisions regarding images are at the discretion of the editor.

Editorial Process

The Archives of American Art Journal uses a double-blind system of peer review for feature articles. Each manuscript is assessed by the editorial board and, if approved for further review, sent to two outside readers. If there is disagreement among the readers, an additional peer review may be solicited. Acceptance may be conditional on revisions made at the editor’s request and further internal or external review. As an accepted article is edited, authors will be consulted at all stages through galleys. Authors of accepted manuscripts are required to enter into a formal publication agreement with the Smithsonian Institution. Final editorial control and the decision to publish feature articles and short texts rest with the editor of the Archives of American Art Journal.

For more information about the editorial process, please contact guest editor Tanya Sheehan at

Advisory Board

Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University

Julia Bryan-Wilson, University of California at Berkeley

Betsy Fahlman, Arizona State University

Lee Glazer, Freer and Sackler Galleries

Katherine Manthorne, The Graduate Center, CUNY

David McCarthy, Rhodes College

A. Joan Saab, University of Rochester

Gwendolyn Dubois Shaw, University of Pennsylvania

James Smalls, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

H. Barbara Weinberg, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Emerita