Since the early 2000s, Yoors’s son Kore, director of the Jan Yoors Studio, located in New York City’s West Village, began compiling his father’s work and assembling a physical and digital archive. The archive is housed inside the framework of the loom that produced so many of the tapestries. It includes an inventory consisting of surviving preliminary designs for tapestries, full-scale cartoons for tapestries, photographs, sculptures, paintings, gouaches, and tapestries.
The archive has since evolved to contain a wealth of documents including: over 12,000 pages of letters and ephemera which include 300 documents from the years 1940 to 1945. Including false passports and letters to and from Yoors in prison, 4,500 pages of journals and diaries, and 65,000 photographs taken by Yoors from the years 1934 to 1977.
Additionally included are manuscripts for each of Yoors’s memoirs including The Gypsies (1968), Crossings (1971), and Gypsies of Spain (1971). It includes materials related to the 1961 trip through the Balkans with documentary filmmaker Henry Stork and anthropologist Luc de Heusch, the film Only One New York (1964) and the book of the same name with Yoors’s photographs (1965), as well as all ephemera, correspondence, and photographs related to his 1966-67 commission to photograph postwar religious architecture for the First International Congress on Religion, Architecture, and the Visual Arts. It includes copies of the Gypsy Lore Society Journal from 1945 to 1961, for which Yoors was a frequent contributor, and 66 letters between Yoors and Dora Yeats, editor of the Gypsy Lore Society. 697 press clippings and exhibition related materials from 1946 to the present day are also available. And documents related to commissions and the preparations for exhibitions.
Furthermore, the archive comprises a wealth of audio-visual material including radio interviews, recordings of Roma music, television footage from WOR TV of Yoors painting in his studio in 1958, a VRT documentary in Flemish from 1975, a biographical film about Yoors from 1983 produced by Cindy Hoy, and Weaving Two Worlds, a documentary from 2008.
The Jan Yoors Archive has affiliations with the KADOC Archive in Leuven, Belgium, which contains documents related to the lives of Magda Peeters and Eugeen Yoors.
The archive openly welcomes visitors and scholars interested in any facet of Jan Yoors’s life and work.