Archival Sources

One major concern and consideration for HADC is the lack and scattering of archival sources and vertical files within the field of Haitian art. Through our work with WCA, HADC has identified a treasure trove of sources associated with their collection. These sources range from accession reports, exhibition materials, curatorial notes, journal and newspaper articles, and correspondence. As the vertical files contain a wealth of information about Haitian history, art, and culture, the documents provide a critical perspective in understanding the framing of Haitian art and its narrative.

Vertical files provide a historical and geographic marker of the developing narratives of Haitian art at a singular point in time. We can see the aesthetic and cultural correlations made regarding specific works of art through exhibitions and programming. It encourages research to move past the history and formal analysis of artworks and provides information regarding human engagement and human experience related to these works. The vertical files tell us how many lives these works have impacted, how art affects life, and how art connects lives across temporal and physical space. It is this mixture of metadata and classification that will make Haitian art more discoverable in library catalogs and databases.