Furniture Design Collection

One of the world's finest collections of books on furniture

Located in the city once called the “Furniture Capital of the World,” the Grand Rapids Public Library holds one of the world’s finest collections of books devoted to furniture history and design.

The core of the Furniture Design Collection was acquired in 1904 from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World’s Fair at St. Louis when the Library purchased every furniture title available from the French Book Trade Exhibit. Subsequently, both the Library and the Grand Rapids Furniture Designers Association have added hundreds of important titles from around the world. Now numbering over 4,000 items (excluding periodicals and trade catalogs), the Collection continues to grow.

The Furniture Design Collection can be searched in our catalog.

Furniture Periodicals

Furniture and Business Periodical Index Search (1883-1949)
Indexes the Michigan Tradesman, Furniture Manufacturer/Artisan, Grand Rapids Furniture Record, and Michigan Artisan

Local Resources

The Grand Rapids Public Museum also holds a significant collection of photographs, catalogs, design drawings, industry publications, and other ephemera documenting the furniture industry in Grand Rapids.

The Furniture City History website, maintained by the Grand Rapids Historical Commission, is a good resource for additional information about the history and heritage of the furniture industry in Grand Rapids.

Web Resources

Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library
Furniture specialty library in North Carolina

Herman Miller Consortium Collection
Images related to furniture design at Herman Miller

Winterthur Library
Decorative arts museum digital collections