About the Library Collections

About the Library Collections

Browse and learn more about each material format. Our online catalog contains records for these materials.

Manuscript Collections

Manuscript CollectionsThe Rakow Research Library holds an extensive and growing number of manuscript collections. Currently there are over 210 collections created by contemporary glass artists, glass collectors and galleries, industrial producers of glass, glass scholars and glass-focused organizations. These collections include unique primary source materials, including batch books (glass recipe books), correspondence, diaries, ephemera, photographic images, posters, records of industrial design and production, scrapbooks, and sketchbooks. These collections are largely available for public research. Visit our library policies page for more information about using special collections and archives materials.

Auction Catalogs

Auction Catalogs

The Library owns a significant auction catalog collection and currently receives catalogs from modern art, decorative arts, and antiquities sales world-wide. The catalogs are a unique resource, helpful in determining the prices of glass objects sold at auction while providing accompanying details about objects such as dimensions, artist, year of creation, and provenance.

Periodicals

Periodicals

With over 850 active subscriptions and over a thousand titles from the 18th to the 21st century, the Library houses a large periodical collection to support the study of glass. The periodical collection not only consists of many glass-related magazines, collector club newsletters, and scholarly journals, but also serial publications in broader subject areas such as art, architecture, archaeology, science, and technology.

Books

Books

The Library collects books that describe

  • the art of glass: glass art, architecture and sculpture; mosaics; stained glass; neon; glass beads and jewelry; techniques of glassmaking; glass craft projects
  • the business of glass: glass manufacture; glassmaking firms; union publications; worker conditions and health issues
  • the history of glass: styles from different time periods and countries; history of glass technology
  • the objects of glass: collectibles; tableware; lighting; scientific instruments
  • the people of glass: artists’ biographies and exhibition catalogs; glass collectors’ catalogs
  • the science of glass: glass chemistry; properties of glass; optics; uses of glass

Books in related fields of study are also collected in order to support research of glass topics. Areas of particular interest include archaeology, general art and architecture, decorative arts and craft, museum studies and collection catalogs, antiques price guides, and world history and cultures.

Trade Catalogs

Trade Catalogs

The Rakow Library has an extensive collection of glass company trade catalogs, representing firms worldwide, dating from 1722 to the present. Trade catalogs provide primary source information on glass in its artistic, historic, economic, and sociological aspects.

Films & Videos

Films & Videos

The Rakow Library acquires video materials in support of the instructional, research, and informational scope of its collection policy. Made available to on-site users, this non-circulating collection includes educational and instructional videos, documentaries, lectures, presentations, non-commercial productions, and more to aid in the study and research of glass.

Works of Art on Paper

Archives

The Library is home to thousands of works of art on paper, ranging from the 16th century to the present. Works include lithographs depicting glass objects and glass making, stained glass cartoons, design drawings (some embellished with watercolors or crystals), technical drawings, and contemporary monoprints and pyrographs. Most works of art on paper are available for public research. Visit our library policies page for more information about viewing works of art on paper.