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Write for the Archives of American Art Journal

Guidelines for submitting scholarly articles for publication consideration.

The Archives of American Art Journal publishes two types of articles:

  • Research-based, feature articles of 5,000 to 7,000 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 journal's mission. 

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 art in the United States. Read by scholars, artists, students, and others interested in American art and visual culture, today it showcases new approaches to and out-of-the-box thinking about primary sources. All contributions must be appropriate for the journal's broad audience and engage in some substantial, 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 US.

The Archives of American Art Journal publishes two types of articles:

  • Research-based feature articles of 5,000 to 7,000 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 journal's mission.

The Archives of American Art Journal is distributed by the University of Chicago Press. It is published twice a year, in the spring and fall. 

Only original, previously unpublished work that is not under review elsewhere will be considered for publication.

A complete manuscript submission includes all of the following:

  • An abstract of no more than 150 words
  • The manuscript text as one MS Word doc file, with endnotes, all double-spaced. Please do not use headers or footers. Text and notes should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition
  • 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 include up to 15 illustrations, while commissioned texts include 3–5 illustrations. We encourage 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.

Authors should submit manuscripts through Editorial Manager®, the Archives of American Art Journal’s online submission and peer review system. Please visit http://aaaj.edmgr.com to register in the system and upload your submission.

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 at least two outside readers. 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. Final editorial control and the decision to publish rest with the editor.

For more information about the editorial process, please contact editor Tanya Sheehan at sheehant@si.edu.

  • Peter John Brownlee, Terra Foundation for American Art
  • Larisa Dryanksy, Université Paris-Sorbonne
  • Lee Glazer, Freer and Sackler Galleries
  • Jennifer González, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Suzanne Hudson, University of Southern California
  • John Ott, James Madison University
  • Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, University of Pennsylvania
  • James Smalls, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Darren Waterston, artist