The department of American Decorative Arts at the Yale University Art Gallery has numerous research archives that have been assembled and acquired by its curators over the past eighty years. They range from the Bigelow-Phillips Papers on early American silversmiths to the records of the postmodern design firm Swid Powell. A goal is to make more of these resources available online. Currently the Rhode Island Furniture Archive and portions of the Israel Sack, Inc., Archive are available as digital resources.
Rhode Island Furniture Archive at the Yale Art Gallery
The Rhode Island Furniture Archive at the Yale University Art Gallery documents furniture and furniture making in Rhode Island from the time of the first European colonization in 1636 through the early nineteenth century. Bringing together records of surviving furniture, individuals who owned it, and known furniture makers, this archive aims to provide a complete account of the specific culture, local variations, and artistic practices surrounding the first two centuries of furniture making in Rhode Island.
Israel Sack Furniture Archive
The Israel Sack, Inc., Archive pulls from the larger Sack Family Archive, an extraordinary collection of comparative material for the study of American furniture housed at the Yale University Art Gallery. This archive contains 10,000 black-and-white photographs, over 17,000 color transparencies and slides, 125 binders of illustrated advertisements from the Sack firm, notes from the preparation of Albert Sack’s books, and a library of books on American furniture and early American decorative arts, including industry periodicals.