The Foundation’s archives preserve two collections, the Jack C. Massey Architectural Archives that house a significant collection of large-format architectural drawings, and the Mr. and Mrs. Paul Van der Grift Architectural Image Archives containing historic photographs, slides, and digital image collections. These collections advance the Foundation’s mission by facilitating the preservation of and access to invaluable historic documents. Housed in a climate-controlled vault in the Foundation’s headquarters, the archives and library house plentiful resources that are available to Foundation members as well as researchers, architects, students, and historians.
The Foundation’s most precious collections are the architectural drawings of four prominent Palm Beach architects: Marion Sims Wyeth (1889–1982); John L. Volk (1901-1984); Belford W. Shoumate (1903–1991); and Henry K. Harding (1904–1984). The architectural drawing collections contain over 50,000 original renderings, some nearly a century old. The archives also house over 3,000 property files arranged by address, containing photographs, newspaper articles, historic designation reports, and other information about the built environment of Palm Beach.
The Foundation is committed to research initiatives that enhance its collections and advance scholarship in the history of Palm Beach. Over the past 20 years, the Foundation has published 7 books that document the town's heritage. Seasonal staff-curated exhibitions highlight the Foundation's collections and explore the significance of historic preservation in the 21st century.
The Robert M. Grace Library, named in honor of a founding member of the Foundation, is a beautiful reading room with a comfortable seating area overlooking Pan’s Garden. The library houses a circulating collection of books and periodicals on topics such as architecture, historic preservation, gardening, landscape architecture, urban planning, and local history.
The Foundation’s library also hosts periodic museum exhibits which celebrate the lives and works of prominent Palm Beach architects, designers, and residents whose contributions to the beauty of the island are still evident today. The library complements the Foundation’s archival collections and promotes historic preservation advocacy and education initiatives.
Research assistance is available by appointment. Appointments may be scheduled with the Director of Archives to use the Foundation’s library and archive facilities.
Facility use is one of many benefits included in Foundation membership fees. Non-members of the Foundation are charged a daily facility usage fee. Fees are charged for one-time use of digital photographs and video footage, document reproductions, and other services. Photocopies of certain materials may be made for personal, educational, or research purposes. Fees are assessed based on the type of use, such as personal, commercial, exhibition, or publication. A complete list of policies and fees will be provided upon request.
311 Peruvian Avenue
Palm Beach, FL 33480
(561) 832-0731, ext. 112
Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm
Closed on major holidays.
Visitors are required to wear a mask or facial covering and observe CDC social distancing guidelines.