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Archives & Special Collections at the Rakow Library: Collections

The Rakow Research Library is the world's most comprehensive glass research library. What's in special collections and archives? Find out by using this guide.

Our Manuscript Collections

Archives & Special Collections collects in the following areas:


Artists' Papers: Artists' papers are important not only because they reveal the history of each artist, but also because they offer background and context to the artist's work. They includes sketchbooks, photographs, letters, diaries, videos, design drawings, commission and sales records, and other materials generated in their creative processes and studio ventures.

Company Records: The records of glass manufacturers, stained glass firms, and other glass-centered businesses document the activities, interactions, and changes over the life of a corporation. Materials include business records, correspondence, ledger books, employee information, design drawings, manufacturing records, and marketing items.

Organizational Records: Glass-focused organizations bring people with common interests in glass together. Organizational records often include membership correspondence, minutes, bylaws, committee information, conference packets, and audiovisual recordings of conferences. Such records document the formation and development of organizations as well as organizational influence on the field of glass. 

Gallery Records and Collectors' Papers: Galleries are networks between artists and communities. Gallery records are comprised of artists' files, photographs and documentation of exhibitions, records of art sales, and promotional materials. Similarly, collectors' papers document the acquisition and sale of art works and decorative art objects, as well as relationships maintained with galleries, artists, and other collectors. 

Prints & Drawings: Ranging from the 16th century to the present, our prints and drawings 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.

Finding Aids

A finding aid provides a summary or snapshot of what a researcher can expect to find in each collection. Explore the Rakow's collections on ArchivesSpace, our archives and manuscript collections finding aid database.

Please note that finding aids are not available for all of our collections. If you don't find the information you are looking for, please contact the Reference Desk.

Contact Us

Archives & Special Collections
Rakow Research Library
Corning Museum of Glass
5 Museum Way Corning, NY 14830