Collections

The aim of the Index is to preserve and make accessible information about quilts and the artists who made them, and the rich stories associated with making and using quilts. The Quilt Index (QI) team works closely with individuals and organizations to build the database to insure preservation of endangered records, make existing collections better known, and to strengthen the Index as a global research and education resource. In the first years of the QI, the focus of the QI was on preserving and making accessible the records from American quilt documentation projects, those massive grassroots research efforts begun in the 1980s. While the QI team continues to work with partners towards getting the records of all US state documentation projects into the Index, the team is now working towards the goal of getting private and public collections worldwide into the database. The QI team is also developing tools that will ultimately make it possible for individuals to upload their own quilts, stories, and artist information.

Please read the descriptions of each collection as each reflects the collecting interests, research strategies and other parameters associated with the individual or organization that owns each collection. When researchers use the Quilt Index, they should factor in these differences.

Collections use the Quilt Index's online entry forms to enter and manage their quilt information and images. View sample web entry forms.

Collections

American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress has been a valuable consultant throughout the development of the Quilt Index. Quilts from the AFC's online project Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978-1996 are now indexed on this site.

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American Quilt Study Group

With NEH support, AQSG has digitized the abstracts for its journal Uncoverings and developed a plan and budget for future inclusion of the journal in the Quilt Index.

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Arizona Quilt Documentation Project

In 1986 the Arizona Quilt Project was formed. Over a two year period 2,774 quilts were documented. The Arizona Quilt Project produced an educational program called Quilt-ED, produced a video Quilts: Pieces of Time, and published the book Grand Endeavors: Vintage Arizona Quilts and their Makers. In 1997 the records were deposited into the Library and Archives, Central Arizona Division, Arizona Historical Society.

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Connecticut Quilt Search

Beginning in 1991, The Connecticut Quilt Search Project documented over 3,000 quilts over a six year period. The Project culminated in 2002 with the publication of Quilts and Quiltmakers Covering Connecticut. The original archives are held in the library of The Connecticut Historical Society.

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Country Heritage Park

As a pilot for Canadian quilt study and research collections, quilts from the Canada Packers Original Quilt Collection, Canada Packers Quilt Competition Quilts, and Country Heritage Park permanent collection quilts archived at Country Heritage Park in Milton, ON, and documented by Judy Lyons were entered into the Quilt Index.

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DAR Museum

The Daughters of the American Revolution Museum (DAR Museum), founded in 1890, owns nearly 350 quilts and counterpanes dating from the 18th century to the early 20th century. The records relating to these quilts, including those prepared for the Quilt Index, are housed at the DAR Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Florida Quilt Project

The Florida Quilt Project ran from 2009 through 2012, seeking to find and record quilts currently in the state of Florida. The Sunshine State Quilters Association offered a grant program for groups to host Quilt Discovery Days in communities around the state, and sponsored the data entry of records from those events.

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Gasperik Collection

The Mary Gasperik Quilts consist of 80+ quilts made in Chicago at the height of the quilt revival of the 1930s and 40s. Nearly all quilts are still owned by her descendants who generously supported this online project spearheaded by grand-daughter Susan Salser. 

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Hawaiian Quilt Research Project

The Hawaiian Quilt Research Project, begun in 1990, documented over 1,200 quilts and 1,500 patterns made or designed before 1959, the year Hawaii became the fiftieth state. More than 600 are publicly available on the Quilt Index.  The remaining records are currently closed as work begins in preparation for writing and publishing a comprehensive history of Hawaii's unique quilting heritage.

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Illinois State Museum

The Illinois State Museum's collection of 388 quilts are entered into the Quilt Index. These quilts were documented by the Illinois Quilt Research Project - IQRP.

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International Quilt Study Center & Museum

IQSC&M has contributed two sets of quilts from its general collection as part of an international planning project supported by the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services. IQSC&M quilts from the United Kingdom and from several countries in South Asia are being entered under this pilot.

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Kansas State Historical Society

The Kansas Quilt Project (archived at the Kansas State Historical Society) recorded more than 12,000 quilts in 1986 and 1987. At 72 Quilt Discovery Days the project saw quilts dating from the early 19th century to those just out of the frame. The KQP invited Kansans to bring quilts made all over the country. The Kansas Historical Society serves as the public repository for the archives and photos. (Note: Images are being digitized.)

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Louisiana Regional Folklife Program

Begun in 2001, the Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project features over 2500 quilts made in Louisiana from early 1800s to the present, including quilts documented in 1987-1990 and 1997, thanks to the Louisiana State Archives. Records are housed at Louisiana Tech University.

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Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project - MassQuilts

The New England Quilt Museum, founded in 1987 and located in the historic district of Lowell, Massachusetts, owns over 500 antique and contemporary quilts, quilt tops, and quilt-related objects. Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project (MassQuilts) initiated in 1994, has documented over 7,000 pre-1950s quilts originating or currently owned in this state.

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Michigan State University Museum

The Michigan Quilt Project (MQP) was established in 1984 to document, preserve, and present Michigan's quilting history. Records are housed at MSU Museum.

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Minnesota Quilters Inc

The Minnesota Quilt Project, a permanent subcommittee of the state-wide guild Minnesota Quilters, Inc., has documented more than 4,000 quilts made before 1976 and continues ongoing documentation in Minnesota. 

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Mountain Heritage Center

The Mountain Heritage Center, a regional museum located on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC, has been collecting quilts and related textile tools of the Southern Appalachian region since 1975. Forty quilts included in the Quilt Index, dating from 1830 to 1975, are representative of the museum's regional collection of over 500 textile-related artifacts.

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National Quilt Museum

The National Quilt Museum, founded in 1990 in Paducah, Kentucky, owns over 300 quilts representing 192 award-winning contemporary quilt makers.

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North Carolina Museum of History

The North Carolina Museum of History houses the archives of the North Carolina Quilt Project (NCQP). Concentrating on quilts made before 1976, the NCQP documented more than 10,000 quilts in 76 documentation days in 1985 and 1986. Featured on the cover of North Carolina Quilts, published by UNC Press (1988) featured this North Carolina Lily quilt.

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Quilt Alliance

The Quilt Alliance -- Document. Preserve. Share.
The Quilt Alliance (formerly Alliance for American Quilts) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 to document, preserve and share the rich art and history of quilts and quiltmakers. Since 2006 the Alliance has held a small quilt contest and auction aimed at documenting the work of today's quiltmakers while providing an important annual revenue stream to support the Alliance.

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Quilts and Health

Name a disease or illness and you will find at least one quilt that has been made connected to that illness. Sometimes you will find thousands. The Michigan State University Museum and the MSU College of Human Medicine are engaged in an effort to document images and stories of quilts related to personal well-being, health education, patient advocacy, memorialization of victims of illnesses, and/or health-related fundraising. The initiation of this project was funded in 2014 by a grant from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

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Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum

The Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado, is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the art and history of American quilts and quiltmaking, by providing outstanding exhibits and educational resources to the public. The quilts in our permanent collection and all related documentation are housed at the Museum.

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Royal Alberta Museum

Located in Edmonton, the Royal Alberta Museum (RAM) is Alberta's provincial museum. It opened its doors to the public December 6, 1967, during Canada's centennial year. The museum houses a collection of 75+ quilts dating from the 1880s to the present and relating to Alberta's history. The Western Canadian History Program at the RAM initiated the Alberta Quilt Project in 2009 to document both heritage quilts and contemporary quilts from around the province in order to capture more completely Alberta's quilting history.

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Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives

Beginning in 1988, The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey (HQPNJ) documented over 2,500 quilts that were either made in or brought to New Jersey prior to 1951. The Project's records are held by Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries.

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Signature Quilt Pilot Project

The Signature Quilt Project began in 2003 and documented a series of signature quilts. In 2009, with the support of the Salser Foundation, the SQP became the pilot project to test new IMLS-funded tools for individual quilt submissions to the Quilt Index.

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South Africa

The South Africa Quilt History Project (SAQHP) is a trans-national research project to facilitate a network of individuals and institutions committed to creating access to digital texts and images related to South Africa's rich heritage of quiltmaking. The project endeavors to join forces with and augment the work of the South African Quilters' Guild that has focused on documenting historical quilts. The SAQHP aims to provide, through the Quilt Index, a centralized, freely- accessible repository for South African quilt history and a means for museums, guilds, individual researchers, quilt owners and quilt artists to contribute information to that repository. 

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State Historical Society of Iowa

The State Historical Society of Iowa houses the Mary A. Barton Collection, documenting the creation of quilts from 1840-1920. SHSI also holds documentation for over 2500 quilts registered with the Iowa Quilt Research Project.

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Tennessee State Library

The Quilts of Tennessee survey began in late 1983, focused on documenting quilts made in Tennessee prior to 1930, and recorded 1,425 quilts. Continuing documentation has increased the collection. Tennessee State Library and Archives serves as the public repository for the physical collection. 

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University of Louisville

The Kentucky Quilt Project, formed in 1981, was the first quilt documentation project to survey a state's quilts. The records are now housed at the UARC.

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University of Nebraska - Lincoln

The Nebraska Quilt Project (NQP) began in 1987 and resulted in registration of over 3,000 quiltmakers and almost 5,000 quilts made in Nebraska or brought to the state by homesteaders or pioneers before the 1920s. Records now reside in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections.

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University of Rhode Island

RIQDP documented more than 800 quilts in sixteen documentation days between 1992 and 1997. Led by faculty and staff in the Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design Department, the project surveyed quilts in public and private collections made and/or used in Rhode Island before 1949.

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University of Texas at Austin

The Briscoe Center for American History has contributed quilt images and information for the Winedale Quilt Collection and the Texas Quilt Search quilts published in “Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, 1836-1936” as well as ephemera from the Kathleen McCrady Quilt History Collection, the Joyce Gross Quilt History Collection, and the Quilts, Inc. Archive.

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Waldvogel Archival Collection

Merikay Waldvogel has collected and researched quilts since the mid 1970s.  Although she has also written about older quilts, her primary interests are in the 20th century:  the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest, Depression Era Quilts, as well as quilt designers, authors, makers (such as Mary Gasperik, whose Star Arcturus is featured, left) and companies that propelled the 20th century quilt styles. Quilts from 1933 Sears National Quilt Contest and ephemera from her personal collection are entered in the Quilt Index.

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West Virginia Department of Archives and History

The West Virginia Heritage Quilt Search, Inc. was established in 1990 to document quilts made prior to 1940. In 1992, 42 documentation days were held throughout the state, resulting in 4204 documented items. Records are housed at the Archives Library located in the Culture Center at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, WV.

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Western Pennsylvania Quilt Documentation Project

Recording quilts as tangible evidence of women's creativity and history, this project is operating under the auspices of the Beaver County Historical Research & Landmarks Foundation. The five year project began in 2009 and encompasses the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington and Westmoreland).

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Wilene Smith Private Collection

My goal has been, and continues to be, to find and collect, preferably in original form, everything that has ever been published about quilts and quiltmaking, with an emphasis on the identities, sources, and evolution of published quilt designs throughout the 19th century and the first three quarters of the 20th century. (Left: ca. 1880 quilt block, unidentified pattern, Somerset County, PA)

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Wisconsin Quilt History Project

The Wisconsin Quilt History Project was created in 1988 to document the stories of quilts and their makers. More than 20 years and 7500 quilts later, a dedicated group of volunteers is still recording the stories in the stitches. The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts has grown out of this effort, and houses the documents plus many donated quilts and textiles.

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Wyoming Quilt Project, Inc.

The Wyoming Quilt Project (WQP) was established in 1994 and recorded 2800 quilts by December 2009. There was one team of 8-10 people each time who documented quilts in the summers, mostly in the south, east and middle of the state, until 2002. From 2002 forward quilts were documented only in Laramie, WY.

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Become a Contributor

We are now accepting applications from new collections. Download application materials as PDF files here: