Last Updated: Jul 20, 2020     Views: 15

Hello! Thank you for your question. We've compiled some tips for researching stained glass firms and the windows they produced.

Image: The Robin Hood Window. London: Day & Son, 1862. Print. CGML 150194.

Where to Begin?

  • The Rakow Research Library staff has put together a stained glass research guide that includes, among other things, a list of archival and special collections that might be of interest.
  • Search for the name of the firm in the Rakow Research Library online catalog and in ArchivesSpace, where you can view finding aids for many of our archival collections.
  • Search ArchiveGrid or WorldCat to see if the firm's records exist at another institution and where.
  • Contact the historical society and public library in the town where the firm was/is located, as they may have special collections related to the firm.
  • Contact the state historical society where the firm was/is located.
  • The Rakow Research Library is not the only institution that has hundreds of trade catalogs produced by dozens of stained glass firms, many of which have been digitized. So do the Smithsonian Libraries, the Hagley Museum and Library, and others. If you don't find what you are looking for by searching an institution's online catalogs and finding aids, contact them directly for assistance.
  • Several states have ongoing projects to index stained glass windows, many of which can be found online.
  • Old journals such as Decorator and Furnisher may include advertisements for firms. Some women’s magazines such as House Beautiful and Ladies Home Journal include some ads for stained glass firms, as does Century Magazine. Another source for ads is Sweet’s Catalogue of Building Construction, some issues of which have been digitized and are available online. Search HathiTrust and Google Books to locate digitized issues of these and other periodicals.
  • The Internet can be excellent an resource for brief information, especially for late 19th-century firms, and images of church windows.

Borrowing Library Materials

If you wish to borrow copies of library items, please contact your local library. The Rakow Research Library will lend designated books from its collection and will send copies of articles requested by other libraries. Your library can request items through the OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system or by direct request through email at For more information, please see our ILL policies and procedures.

Please let us know if there is anything specific that we could assist you in finding. Best of luck in your research!


More extensive lists of resources on stained glass windows and firms in the United States and internationally are available upon request. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance via Ask a Glass Question or by email (, phone (607-438-5300), or text (607-821-4029).





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