News

Furniture Catalog Collection Digitization Project Helps Make GRPM Collections Accessible Online

The Grand Rapids Public Museum (GRPM) is pleased to announce a digitization project made possible through a grant awarded by the Furniture Manufacturers Heritage Advised Fund and the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The Museum has more than 1,500 rare and out-of-print furniture catalogs that document Grand Rapids’ history in the furniture industry. In partnership with Kent Records Management, Inc., the Museum is in the process of digitizing the furniture trade catalogs created in Grand Rapids and the greater Grand Rapids area, and expects to have the project completed by the end of 2017.

The Museum recognizes the historical significance of these catalogs as artifacts documenting the City’s remarkable history in the furniture industry and innovative furniture designs. Museum staff respond to hundreds of research inquiries regarding furniture each year. The effort to digitize the furniture trade catalogs will undoubtedly encourage more research and continue to foster the scholarship of furniture construction, design and the study of Grand Rapids’ furniture history.

“This project allows us to make more of our Collections of 250,000 artifacts and specimens available online,” said Alex Forist, the GRPM’s Chief Curator. “Digitizing these furniture catalogs allows for high quality images to be available to the public to learn more about the industry that helped shape our region and our city.”

This digitization project will allow the Museum to offer full-page, hi-definition scans to the public to access via the GRPM’s Collections website, GRPMCollections.org. Visitors can view the completed furniture trade catalogs in the Furniture Industry Archives online gallery viewable here:https://www.grpmcollections.org/index.php/Detail/collections/274.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting the Norton Indian Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit www.grpm.org.