Researching stained glass firms and the windows they produced can be a challenging endeavor. Here are some resources to consult:
Search for the name of the firm in the Rakow Research Library's online catalog.
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.
There may also be a state historical society or a local university library that has information about the firm.
Some firms produced trade catalogs with sample windows and projects pictured. The Rakow Library has hundreds of trade catalogs produced by dozens of stained glass firms, many of which have been digitized. Other institutions with large trade catalog collections include the Smithsonian Libraries, the Hagley Museum and Library, Winterthur, and others. The Library of Congress has published a good research guide on finding trade catalogs that may be helpful.
Some states and cities have ongoing projects to index stained glass windows which can be found online, like the Michigan Stained Glass Census. There are Facebook groups for some cities as well. If you don't find anything online, search Worldcat for book surveys of the firm or of stained glass in the city where the firm was located.
Some associations offer valuable resources for researching stained glass. For example, the Stained Glass Association of America publishes an index to its journal, Stained Glass, dating back to 1906. Your local library may have a copy of this index. If not, contact the Rakow Library. We can look for the firm you are researching in our copy of the index. There are other associations with publications as well, such as the British Society of Master Glass Painters. Associations often have websites with lists of resources or links to experts.
Old journals sometimes include advertisements and articles relating to firms. Search HathiTrust, Internet Archive, and Google Books to locate digitized issues of older periodicals. Newer articles can be found in online subscription databases, such as the Avery Index or Art & Architecture Complete. Check your local library to see what subscriptions they have to architectural databases.
You may find articles or advertisements related to your firm in historic newspaper databases. Some of these are free to search online, such as the Library of Congress's Chronicling America. The state or country where your firm existed may also have digital newspapers online. Try looking at Elephind, which collects together numerous digital newspaper databases or search your country/province/state name for digitized newspaper projects.
Check out our Stained Glass Guide for more information on researching stained glass.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
Was this helpful?
Please note: The Corning Museum of Glass is a non-profit, educational institute and, as such, cannot answer questions about rarity or value of your glass. For more information about appraisal services, see our curatorial FAQs.