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Author: Elizabeth Broman

Conducting a Condition Survey of Special Collections

Le Document du décorateur, troisième série : fleurs stylisées. fNK3449.D62 CHMSC
Le Document du décorateur, troisième série : fleurs stylisées. (18–?) fNK3449.D62 CHMSC

In 2011, The Cooper-Hewitt Museum National Design Library was awarded a $96,000 grant from the CCPF (Collections Care and Preservation Fund, an internal grant awarding source) of the Smithsonian Institution to conduct a condition assessment survey of approximately 4,000 items of its Special Collections. We’ve done many preservation and book housing projects over the years, with repairs and custom enclosures made when the occasion demanded, but we’ve never had the opportunity or plan in place to look at the condition of our Rare Book  collection as a whole before.

Patio Furniture Time! Woodard Furniture

Woodard Furniture catalog 1934
Woodard Furniture catalog 1934


Over the past several years I’ve noticed a growing interest in wrought iron furniture- for both indoor and outdoor use, with people requesting information and images of furniture going back to the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Is there is a retro revival going on? Are people restoring their old patio furniture or finding missing or replacement pieces at auctions and yard sales?

Welcome CHNDM Library Summer Intern, Eleanor Peters

Eleanor Peters at The National Design Library
Eleanor Peters at The National Design Library

My name is Eleanor Peters and I’m the 2012 Peter A. Krueger Summer Intern at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Library. I recently graduated from Middlebury College where I studied Art History and Anthropology. Growing up in New York City, I was a frequent patron of the New York Public Libraries. On any given weekend I could be found maxing out my library card with books about everything from Egyptian hieroglyphs to the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef. Since then I have always had a love of books and a great appreciation for libraries and book preservation. From my own experiences, whether reading for leisure or doing research for my senior thesis this past spring, libraries have been invaluable resources and centers of boundless learning. Therefore I am excited to spend 10 weeks working with my supervisor, Reference Librarian Elizabeth Broman, to learn what happens behind the scenes at the National Design Library.