The SAAF (Southeast Asia Art Foundation) Archive is one of five component sections of the Asian Art Archives, a photograph collection located in and administered by the History of Art Department in Tappan Hall. A resource of almost 200,000 photographs, the Asian Art Archives are open by appointment only to faculty and students for study and research. Not all of the material in the archives is described and some resources may not be available for research. The Archives are non-circulating and material may not be removed to other areas in the building.
The SAAF Archive was established in 1977 in Hill, New Hampshire to provide a research center for the study of Southeast Asian art and archaeology. The photo archive features collections of visual materials by photographers and leading scholars of South and Southeast Asian art, including Yves Coffin, Elizabeth Gosling, A.B. Griswold, Eleanor Mannikka, Forrest McGill, Walter Spink, Ezra Stoller, Carol Stratton, Vichai Poshyachinda, and Hiram Woodward, Jr. It also includes photographs from private collections, museums, and dealers worldwide.
Under a gift agreement made in 1993, the SAAF Archive was transferred from New Hampshire to the University of Michigan. The U-M is noted for the strength of its South and Southeast Asian studies programs, with a distinguished tradition of research and teaching in the art and architecture of the region. In addition to the approximately 100,000 photographs and slides in the SAAF Archive, the gift by Southeast Asia Art Foundation and its trustee, John A. Thierry, also includes books and sculpture, housed respectively at the Hatcher Graduate Library and Museum of Art.