David Farneth Named Institutional Archivist for the J. Paul Getty Trust
June 25, 2001
Los Angeles--The Getty Research Institute announces the appointment of David Farneth as institutional archivist for the J. Paul Getty Trust. Farneth assumes responsibility for establishing and maintaining the Getty's historical archives, devising and implementing a records management program for records in all media (including electronic), and furthering the development of an oral history program for the Trust.
Farneth was most recently director of the Weill-Lenya Research Center in New York City, where he also served as archivist of the Kurt Weill Edition and editor of the critically acclaimed Kurt Weill Newsletter. In his position at the Getty he will head the Getty Trust Institutional Archives, a newly established department of the Getty Research Institute Research Library.
"I look forward to preserving the Getty's unique contributions to the exhibition, conservation, and study of the visual arts at the local, national, and international levels," comments Farneth, "both for the enhancement of the Getty's current programs and for the benefit of future generations of researchers."
A records management program will address the organization and preservation requirements of records currently stored offsite and will be coordinated with other Getty initiatives designed to preserve its vast collection of digital images. Farneth will take advantage of new international standards being developed for administering access to institutional papers and electronic records and will streamline the efficiency of storing and retrieving the formidable amount of information related to the Getty's programs.
The historical archives will be situated within the Research Library of the Getty Research Institute, and cataloguing records will be integrated into the Research Library's search and retrieval system. As institutional archivist, Farneth will be gathering documentation pertaining to the Getty's history from outside sources as well. He also assumes administration of the Getty Trust Oral History Project, which has just completed an initial phase of 25 interviews with trustees, senior executives, and program directors. These interviews capture the insights and perspectives of people who have made critical contributions to the development of the Trust and its programs from the time of J. Paul Getty's death in 1976 to the opening of the Getty Center in 1997. Future phases of the project will document the years up to 1976 and institutional changes made after 1997.
In welcoming Farneth to the Getty Research Institute in February 2001, Research Library Chief Librarian Susan M. Allen said: "The Research Library has been given the added responsibility of preserving the history of the Getty Trust. We are delighted to have David Farneth join us as the first institutional archivist. In the few months he has been here, he has shown himself to be more than equal to the task."
With expertise in records management, cataloguing, scholarly research, and archival conservation, Farneth has held positions as head archivist of the Dia Art Foundation in New York and music librarian at both the University of Delaware and the Dallas Public Library. His numerous publications include Kurt Weill: A Life in Pictures and Documents and Lenya: The Legend.
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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.
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The Getty Research Institute is an operating program of the J. Paul Getty Trust. It serves education in the broadest sense by increasing knowledge and understanding about art and its history through advanced research. The Research Institute provides intellectual leadership through its research, exhibition, and publication programs and provides service to a wide range of scholars worldwide through residencies, fellowships, online resources, and a Research Library. The Research Library - housed in the 201,000-square-foot Research Institute building designed by Richard Meier - is one of the largest art and architecture libraries in the world. The general library collections (secondary sources) include almost 900,000 volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogues encompassing the history of Western art and related fields in the humanities. The Research Library's special collections include rare books, artists' journals, sketchbooks, architectural drawings and models, photographs, and archival materials.