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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. With more than 20 million items in its continually growing collections, the Archives is the world’s largest and most widely used resource dedicated to collecting and preserving the papers and primary records of the visual arts in the U.S.

The Journal publishes two types of articles:

  • Research-based feature articles of 5,000 to 8,000 words (including endnotes) for peer review that present innovative interpretations of archival materials;
  • Short commissioned texts of 1,000 to 3,000 words (including endnotes) for editorial review that highlight specific materials in the Archives’ collections or explore historical and methodological questions about primary sources.

We also welcome proposals for other kinds of research-based or creative contributions that 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 with endnotes, all double-spaced. Please do not use headers or footers. Text and notes should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.
  • A single PDF containing all proposed illustrations, with complete caption information (e.g., artist, title, date, medium, dimensions, collection/location).
  • When preparing manuscripts for submission, authors should keep in mind that the Journal publishes image-rich essays with full-color illustrations. Feature articles typically include up to 20 illustrations, while commissioned texts include 3–5 illustrations. The Journal encourages authors to reproduce materials from the Archives of American Art that enrich their arguments. All final decisions regarding images are at the discretion of the editor and managing editor.

Unlike many other peer-reviewed publications, the Archives of American Art Journal obtains and pays for all image reproductions and permissions to publish them. 

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 editor and, if approved for further review, sent to two outside readers. Acceptance may be conditional on revisions made at the editor’s request and further internal or external review. As an 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.

For more information about the editorial process, please contact 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
Robin Veder, Penn State Harrisburg
Darren Waterston, artist
H. Barbara Weinberg, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Emerita