University of Pittsburgh
April 17, 2001


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Apr. 17 -- The Helen Clay Foundation and the University of Pittsburgh entered into an agreement today that specifies the terms and conditions of the University serving as the preferred access site for portions of the Frick Family Archives.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Frick Collection will work with the University to identify those items in the Frick Archives that reflect the business activities of Henry Clay Frick's and other material of particular relevance to Western Pennsylvania. These materials will be located at the University's Archives of Industrial Society, where they will be freely accessible to all researchers, under the University's normal regulations with respect to archival material.

Additionally, the University will have the right to make the materials available to the public through displays or special exhibitions. The Helen Clay Frick Foundation will also consult with the University and the Frick Collection to determine appropriate annual budgets to defray processing and conservation costs. And the agreement grants the University an "exclusive worldwide license" to make the materials available to scholars and the public.

Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg noted that the agreement would help ensure that scholars and others will have access to materials that provide significant insight into an important part of the history of Western Pennsylvania. "We appreciate the confidence that the Helen Clay Frick Foundation has placed in the University by virtue of this agreement, and we look forward to working with the professionals from the Frick Collection to promote further study and understanding of Pittsburgh's proud past," Nordenberg said.

Adelaide F. Trafton, chairman of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, said that the Helen Clay Frick Foundation and the Frick family are delighted to be part of this "historic opportunity" to share the Frick Family Archives with Western Pennsylvania. "The proposed collaboration between two great institutions, the University of Pittsburgh and the Frick Collection, ensures that the Archives will be properly cared for and made available to a wide audience. We thank you for all of the effort that has gone into reaching today and look forward to many years of cooperation as we all come to learn more about the contents of the Frick Family Archives and anticipate new scholarship about Western Pennsylvania," Trafton said.

Nordenberg added that Pitt's Archives of Industrial Society are a particularly appropriate site for the Frick materials, since they have "nearly four decades of experience in preserving and making accessible the rich documentary heritage of the diverse communities, organizations and personages of Pittsburgh."

Pitt's Archives of Industrial Society, established in 1963, are home to more than 650 collections of historical records, personal papers, photographs, and related resources that document the development of one of the nation's paramount industrial societies here in Western Pennsylvania. Among the archives' collections are records from the Jones and Laughlin Steel Corporation, the Monongahela Inclined Plane Company, USX Corporation's Duquesne and National Works, the Bethlehem Mines Corporation, the NAACP, the Pittsburgh Symphony Society, and the United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers Union.

The archives also contain several outstanding photographic collections, including the Spencer Family Collection, comprising photographs taken by Charles Hart Spencer, who worked for Henry Clay Frick at the time.

The agreement reached by the University and the Helen Clay Frick Foundation will become effective upon approval of the settlement between the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, which is scheduled for a hearing in Orphan's Court of Allegheny County on May 29, 2001.