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Jim McWilliams Archive

Identifier: MS176

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Jim McWilliams Archive, filling 9 boxes and one oversize folder and containing approximately 7.57 gigabytes of born-digital files, spans the years 1960-2015 and is arranged in five series:

1. Correspondence, Photographs, and Clippings, contains correspondence with and photographs of a number of McWilliams’ professional and personal acquaintances, including the artist Claire Van Vliet, arts patron Audrey Sabol, writer/filmmaker Joan Kron, former Dean of the Hartford Art School Bernard Hanson, McWilliams’ former student Julianna Kovach Zingale, and artist Joan Jeanrenaud (performing "Ice Music," a piece composed by McWilliams for Charlotte Moorman). Also included are photographs of McWilliams and his longtime partner Ernesto Herrera. This series includes greeting and holiday cards designed and made by McWilliams.

2. Design Work is arranged in several subseries, according to the client for whom the work was done: Hoosuck Arts Guild, Bad Boy Apparel, Exhibition Postcards and Catalogs, and Other Design Work by Jim McWilliams. The latter includes a variety of items, such as McWilliams’ business card and printouts of his work, as well as corporate annual reports, and stationery and letterhead design.

3. Audiovisual Media includes cassettes, VHS tapes, photographic negatives, and slides.

4. Digital Media includes formats such as Jaz disks and CD-ROMs.

5. Born-Digital Materials includes files from McWilliams’ computer, and an audio recording of an interview of McWilliams conducted by Scott Krafft, Curator of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections.


  • 1960-2015


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations. Born-digital materials in Series 5 are available for reading room use only, and their consultation requires advance notice.


9 Boxes

7.57 Gigabytes (Data extracted from one (1) external hard drive)

1 folder

Language of Materials



Jim McWilliams (born February 10, 1937) is an artist and graphic designer who was active as an avant-garde performer and creator of performance works during the 1960s and 1970s. The Jim McWilliams Archive contains correspondence, photographs and clippings; design work; audiovisual media; digital media; and approximately 7.57 gigabytes of born-digital materials.


The Jim McWilliams Archive is organized into 5 series: correspondence, photographs and clippings; design work; audiovisual media; digital media; and born-digital materials.

The arrangement of born-digital materials have been arranged as a format series. Digital files have been maintained in their origintal order within the file directories and orginal file names have been maintained.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Accessible born-digital material within the collection must be viewed within the reading room during research appointments. All necessary hardware and software will be provided during the appointment to access these materials to the best of our abilities. Available born-digital materials in this collection are delivered to researchers in born-digital formats. Requests for different access methods, such as those not using computers or with the aid of assistive technologies, must be made in advance of a research appointment to Library staff. Please contact to make an appointment or inquiry.

Custodial History

Born-digital materials in this collection were transferred via a write blocker and were disk imaged creating preservation copies to extract the contnet without altering its data. Preservation files have been extracted from the disk image and undergone a checksum algorithm. The files have been bagged to allow for future data integrity and authenticity checking and repair according to the Libraries' Digital Preservation Policy. Not all files from born-digital media items (e.g., CD-ROMS) in the collection may have been transferred yet.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Jim McWilliams, 2016. The external hard drive in the collection was imaged on September 27, 2016. Contents of poster addition housed in oversize folder 1 received from Kovach Design.

Separated Materials

The following books were received as part of this collection and have been cataloged separately with the note: “Library copy from the Jim McWilliams archive”:

Moore, D., Skoggard, C., & Holtzman, J. (2006). Rooms. New York: Rizzoli.

Fernandez, R., & Sterling Francine Clark Art Institute. (1982). Eastern winds : The imprint of Japan on nineteenth and early twentieth century Western graphics, 11 December 1982 to 30 January 1983, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts : Exhibition and catalogue. Williamstown, Mass.: The Institute.

Slesin, S. (2003). Helen Rubinstein : Over the top : Extraordinary style : Beauty, art, fashion, design. New York : Woodbridge: Pointed Leaf ; ACC Distribution.

Jongerius, H. (2002). Hella Jongerius process. New York, New York: Maharam.

McWilliams, J., & Hoosuck Community Resources Corporation. (1976). A Concert of Baroque Music by the Stanesby Ensemble.

McWilliams, J., & Hoosuck Community Resources Corporation. (1976). Hoosuck Master Conference.

Goldin, N., Heiferman, M., Holborn, M., & Fletcher, S. (1989). The ballad of sexual dependency (1st pbk. ed.). New York, N.Y.: Aperture Foundation.

Nest : A Magazine of Interiors. (1997).

Fine, R. (1992). The Janus Press, 1981-1990 : Catalogue raisonné. Burlington, Vt.]: University of Vermont Libraries.

Dobke, Becker, Roth, Becker, Patrick, & Roth, Dieter. (2004). Dieter Roth in America. London: Edition Hansjörg Mayer.

Tschichold, J. (1992). Treasury of alphabets and lettering : A source book of the best letter forms of past and present for sign painters, graphic artists, commercial artists, typographers, printers, sculptors, architects, and schools of art and design. New York: Norton.

Greenberg, C. (1984). Mid-century modern : Furniture of the 1950s (1st ed.). New York: Harmony Books.

Rossell, D., Schwabsky, B., & Gago, L. (2002). Ricas y famosas. Madrid, España: Turner Publicaciones.

Van Vliet, Reid, Reid, Nancy C., & Maple Ridge Gallery, host institution. (2007). Claire Van Vliet : Primal land, Northwest Ireland. Newark, Vermont: Maple Ridge Gallery.

Janus Press. (2000). Janus Press checklist 1990-. Newark, Vt.]: [Janus Press].

Leddick, D. (1997). Naked men : Pioneering male nudes, 1935-1955. New York: Universe Pub.

Cass, D., Wetenhall, J., & Sterling Francine Clark Art Institute. (1982). Italian paintings, 1850-1910 : From collections in the northeastern United States : Catalogue and exhibition. Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Redé, A., & Vickers, H. (2005). Alexis : The memoirs of the Baron de Redé. Dorset : Wimborne Minster, Dorset: Estate of the late Baron de Redé ; Distributed by the Dovecote Press.

Massey, J., & Container Corporation of America. (1976). Great ideas. Chicago]: The Corporation.

Slesin, S. (1982). A flair for paper designs. New York, New York: TImes Books.

Fine, R., & University of Vermont. Library. (2006). The Janus Press, fifty years: Catalogue raisonné for 1991-2005 : Indexes for 1955-2005. Burlington, Vt.: University of Vermont Libraries.

Kaufman, & Van Vliet. (1993). Aunt Sallie's lament. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.

Swiss Institute. (1995). Chocolate!. New York, N.Y.: Swiss Institute.

Burch, Van Vliet, Allen, Manley, Burch, Kathleen, Allen, Susan Macall, . . . San Francisco Center for the Book. (2015). The Janus Press at sixty : San Francisco Center for the Book : February 14 through May 24, 2015. San Francisco, California: San Francisco Center for the Book.

Deitcher, D. (2001). Dear friends : American photographs of men together, 1840-1918. New York: Harry N. Abrams.

Dobke, Roth, Vischer, Walter, Garrels, Roth, Dieter, . . . P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center. (2003). Roth time : A Dieter Roth retrospective. New York : Baden: The Museum of Modern Art ; Lars Müller.

Harper, Glenn, Sachs, Harper, Cheryl, Glenn, Constance W., Sachs, Sid, . . . Philadelphia Arts Council. (2003). A happening place. Philadelphia]: Jewish Community Centers of Greater Philadelphia.

McLean, & Van Vliet. (1999). In black and white : Landscape prints by Claire Van Vliet. Lewiston, Maine: Bates College Museum of Art.

Van Vliet, Hanche-Olsen, Hanche-Olsen, Eystein, & Janus Press, publisher. (2013). Greed. Vermont: Janus Press.

Loney, Van Vliet, Holden, Manley, Holden, Audrey, Manley, Fletcher, & Janus Press. (2003). Rise : Governors Bay Sept/Nov 2000. Newark, Vt.: The Janus Press.

Guide to the Jim McWilliams Archive
Laura Alagna, 2017 Additions: Nick Munagian, 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US