About the Project
The goal of the project is to survey, assess, preserve and document
records from the furniture manufacturing industry in the Greater Gardner
area. Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) Library seeks to work
collaboratively with area businesses, individuals, and civic organizations
to increase the public’s access to these records.
Phases I and II of the project were made possible through a Massachusetts
Documentary Heritage Grant provided by the Secretary of the Commonwealth,
William Francis Galvin, through a grant from the National Historical
Publications and Records Commission. Documentary Heritage Grants fund
projects that promote and result in the documentation, preservation,
and use of historical records in Massachusetts.
Mount Wachusett Community College was awarded grants in 2003 and 2005
for Phases I and II of the project. Phase I resulted in the formation
of a steering committee, and the creation of an inventory of furniture
history resources. In Phase II the inventory was expanded and then added
to the new project web site which is being maintained by Mount Wachusett
Community College and which serves as a project portal. MWCC will continue
to add information to the web site as it becomes available. Phase I was
completed in 2004 and Phase II in 2006.
Additional grant funding will be sought to continue the project.
In addition to surveying and creating a guide to resources, other goals
of the project included assessing materials, assisting in their preservation,
making survey results accessible to the public, and involving the community
in helping to preserve the furniture history of the area.
Because of the project, some companies and individuals have donated
materials which have been given to institutions in their communities,
helping to preserve these items. There has been strong community support
for the project, and other related projects are in motion. One of these
is a series of oral histories with people who owned or worked for some
of the long-time companies in the area. There is also interest in producing
a documentary video of the area’s furniture history. At the center
of these projects is the desire to preserve the unique and important
contribution the area made to furniture design and production in the
The survey results on this web site represent many, if not most, of
the places which house documents produced by furniture companies. These
include company records, catalogs, company newsletters, photographs and
other materials. It is hoped that more places and information will be
added as time goes on. Please see “contact us” on our home
page if you know of or have other materials which should be added.