UW-Madison Libraries and the Chipstone Foundation partner to support a multifacted website and various digital resources for research in the decorative arts, with a special focus on Colonial American material culture. Over 70 historical books have been scanned and placed online. See, for example, Thomas Chippendale’s 1754 edition of
“The Gentleman and Cabinet-maker’s Director.” Link:

Over 2,000 objects appear in an online image database of furniture, ceramics, and more. Finally, a web portal organizes annotated links to online documents, exhibits, videos, organizations, etc. of interest to the Colonial America material culture researcher. The site and databases expand continually. Contact the Kohler Art Library to suggest additions.

Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database
In partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Material Culture Program and the Chipstone Foundation, Emily Pfotenhauer, a 2006 graduate of the UW-Madison Material Culture Program, has developed the Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database, a digital catalog of furniture, ceramics, textiles, and other decorative arts made by early Wisconsin craftspeople from the collections of museums and historical societies throughout the state.

Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Libraries and Museums

Chazen Museum of Art
Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection
Kohler Art Library
Memorial Library
Ruth Ketterer Harris Library
Silver Buckle Press
Steenbock Library
Wisconsin Historical Society

Print Resources
Ames, Kenneth, and Gerald W.R. Ward, editors. Decorative Arts and Household Furnishings in America, 1650-1920: An Annotated Bibliography. Winterthur, Del: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1989. NK 805 D3 D43 1989 Art Library Reference Collection, Steenbock; Z 5956 D3 D43 1989 Historical Society.
Ehresmann, Donald L. Applied and Decorative Arts: A Bibliographic Guide (2nd ed.). Englewood, Colo: Libraries Unlimited, 1993. NK 1110 E3 1993 Art Library Reference Collection.
Frank, Isabelle. Theory of Decorative Art: An Anthology of European and American Writings, 1750-1940. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press for The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, 2000. NK 25 T48 2000 Art Library.
Franklin, Linda Campbell. Antiques and Collectibles: A Bibliography of Works in English, 16th Century to 1976. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1978. NK 1125 F6 Art Library Reference Collection.
Greenhalgh, Paul, editor. Quotations and Sources on Design and the Decorative Arts. New York: Manchester University Press, 1993. PN 6084 D46 Q68 1993 Art Library Reference Collection.
Martin, Ann Smart, and J. Ritchie Garrison, editors. American Material Culture: The Shape of the Field. Winterthur, Del: Henry Francis Du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1997.
E 161 A388 1997 Art Library, Historical Society, Steenbock.
Schlereth, Thomas J. Material Culture: A Research Guide. Lawrence, Kan: University Press of Kansas, 1985. E 161 M35 1985 Art Library, Memorial Reference, Historical Society, Steenbock.
Schlereth, Thomas J. Material Culture Studies in America. Nashville, Tenn: American Association for State and Local History, 1982. E 169.1 M416 1982 Art Library, Historical Society, Steenbock.
Trench, Lucy. Materials and Techniques in the Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Dictionary. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. NK 30 M38 2000 Art Library Reference Collection, Steenbock Library.

Journal, Magazine, and Newspaper Databases
Unless noted, the following are licensed resources available to University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers only.
America: History and Life (1982-)
Art Full Text (1984-)
Art Index Retrospective (1929-1984)
ARTbibliographies Modern (1974-)
Arts & Humanities Citation Index (1980-1989; only at campus libraries); see Web of Knowledge
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals (1930-)
Bibliography of the History of Art (1973-)
Biography and Genealogy Master Index (1976-)
Design and Applied Arts Index (1973-)
Design Abstracts Retrospective (1894-1986)
Historical Abstracts (1955-)
Humanities Abstracts and Full-Text (1984-)
Index to Nineteenth-Century American Art Periodicals (1844-1907)
Internet Library of Early Journals (18th -19th Centuries) PUBLIC ACCESS
JSTOR – Journal Storage Project
NewspaperARCHIVE (1700s-)
19th Century Masterfile: Series I (1786-1907)
Palmer’s Full Text Online [London Times] (1790-1905)
PIO: Periodicals Index Online (formerly Periodicals Contents Index) (Late 18th Century -1993)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune (1849-1986)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Los Angeles Times (1881-1986)
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2004)
ProQuest Digital Dissertations (1861-)
Readers’ Guide Full Text (1983-)
Readers’ Guide Retrospective (1890-1983)
Times (London) Digital Archive (1785-1985)
Victorian Database Online (1945-) PUBLIC ACCESS
ViVa: A Bibliography of Women’s History in Historical and Women’s Studies Journals (1995-) PUBLIC ACCESS
Web of Science (1982-)

Licensed resources available to UW-Madison researchers only.
Grove/Oxford Art Online
Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts (in Oxford Reference Online)
OED Online (Oxford English Dictionary)
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Reference Universe
World Biographical Information System

Electronic Texts and Multimedia Collections
Unless noted, the following are licensed resources available to UW-Madison researchers only.
ACLS Humanities E-Book Project (Antiquity-to date)
American Pamphlets
American Periodicals
American Poetry Database (Colonial Period – Early 20th Century)
America’s Historical Newspapers (1690-1922)
British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries (1500-1900)
Database of African-American Poetry (1760-1900)
Defining Gender, advice literature (1450-1910)
Early English Books Online (1475-1700)
Everyday Life and Women in America (c. 1800-1920s)
Eighteenth Century Collections Online (1700-1800)
Eighteenth Century Fiction (British, 1700-1780)
Evans (Early American Imprints) Series I (1639-1800)
German Decorative Trade Bindings (19th and 20th Century) PUBLIC ACCESS
Gerritsen Collection: Women’s History Online (1543-1945)
Global Perspectives on Design and Culture (3000 BC – contemporary)
Godey’s Lady’s Book, Folio I (1830-1845) and II (1846-1855)
Hearth: Home Economics Archive (1850-1950) PUBLIC ACCESS
Home Cultures, full-text journal available via Ingenta
Historical Primary Sources, Texts from UW-Madison Collections (1851-1911)
Litfinder (9th century-current)
London Low Life
Nineteenth Century Collections Online
North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries and Oral Histories (1840-)
North American Women’s Diaries and Letters (Colonial Times to 1950)
Periodicals Archive Online
World of Russian Folk Art PUBLIC ACCESS
Wright American Fiction (1851-1875)
See the UW-Madison’s list of databases containing pre-1970 content for additional resources.

On-Campus Traditional
Chazen Museum of Art
Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection
Design Gallery (School of Human Ecology)
Kohler Art Library
Memorial Library
Mills Music Library
Ruth Ketterer Harris Library
Silver Buckle Press
Special Collections (Memorial Library)
Steenbock Memorial Library
UW-Madison Archives and Records Management Service
Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research
Wisconsin Historical Society Archives & Library
Women’s Studies Librarian’s Office
Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures
Visual Culture Studies

Other Wisconsin Resources
The Chipstone Foundation
The Kohler Foundation
John Michael Kohler Arts Center
Milwaukee Art Museum
Milwaukee Public Museum
Nick Engelbert’s Grandview
Ten Chimneys
Wisconsin Historical Museum
Wisconsin Veterans Museum

Finding Art Images
Identifying Period Styles (architecture and interiors)
Identifying Period Styles (Art History/Visual and Material Culture)