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The Gorham Manufacturing Company Archive

More than 6,000 linear feet of records dating back to the founding of the Gorham Manufacturing Company in 1831

Notice to Researchers

 

PLEASE NOTE:  DUE TO THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY IN RHODE ISLAND, THE HAY LIBRARY IS CURRENTLY CLOSED.  WE ARE UNABLE TO RESPOND TO GORHAM INQUIRIES AT THE PRESENT TIME.

In general, due to an administrative decision to move the collection to an out-of-state storage site in preparation for the 2013-2014 renovation of the John Hay Library, only a limited range of materials from the Gorham Company Archive are currently available for research use.   These materials include Gorham's printed sales catalogs and other reference works, which can be identified using JOSIAH (the Brown University Library's online catalog) as well as selected archival material.  Archival material that can be made available for research is listed in a spreadsheet that can be sent to researchers upon request to hay@brown.edu.

We ask researchers to note that Gorham research inquiries often require intensive study.  The staff of the John Hay Library are not able to undertake research on behalf of researchers who are unable to appear at the Hay Library in person to conduct their research. Researchers unable to travel to the Hay Library are encouraged to engage someone in Rhode Island to assist them in their research; we will be happy to work with any hired research assistant to facilitate the necessary research.  We also ask researchers to note that Library staff are not qualified to provide appraisals or assess value of Gorham objects.  For that, we refer researchers to the Antique Dealers Association of America, which maintains a list of qualified member-dealers on its website.

This page also outlines other resources that are currently available to assist anyone doing research on the Gorham Manufacturing Company and its products. 

Primary Sources for Researching Gorham

Brown Digital Repository (Brown University Library)

Provides online access to digital images representing a small selection of material from the Gorham Company Archive and other sources.  Includes materials from the Gorham Company Archive at the John Hay Library, the Fleet Library at RISD and the RISD Museum that were imaged for the IMLS grant project in 2007-2008, along with related images and other materials created by Brown students and faculty.

Fleet Library, Special Collections (Rhode Island School of Design)

RISD Museum (Rhode Island School of Design)

Gorham Bronze Division records, 1905-1978 (Smithsonian Archives of American Art)

Romaine Trade Catalog Collection   (University of California at Santa Barbara)

ArtSTOR Digital Library  (subscription resource, requires Brown login)

 

GORHAM PUBLICATIONS:

Famous Small Bronzes (1928)

Gorham Suggestions (1898) [FULL TEXT]

Bronze Memorials (1916)  [FULL TEXT]

 

MUSEUM CATALOGS:

Brooklyn Museum

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Cooper-Hewitt (National Design Museum)

Dallas Museum of Art

Gorham Virtual Reference

Compiled by Samuel J. Hough:

Roster of Gorham Craftsmen

Gorham Marks

Compiled by Giorgio B.:

Gorham Silver Marks

Gorham Flatware Patterns

Gorham Date Marks

 From the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks:

Gorham Marks & Date Codes

Whiting Silver Date Marks

The Gorham Process

Gorham Collectibles

Silver Chatter Blog

A general discussion of sterling silver issues, sponsored by Georgia Silver in Atlanta, GA

PBS Antiques Roadshow Archive

The captioned clip reviews a pair of 1904 Martele vases, but you can search the Roadshow Archive for other Gorham clips

Spencer Marks, Ltd.

Blog post on the history of steam power at the Gorham Manufacturing Company by Mark McHugh and Spencer Gordon, dealers in and scholars of silver history.  The site also includes a link for their Gorham Archive, which includes images of many Gorham pieces handled by Spencer Marks, Ltd.

Glass by Gorham (2012)

Produced by the American Cut Glass Association as an annual meeting souvenir.

Environmental Legacy

RI Dept. of Environmental Management

Urban Pond Procession

Archival materials documenting the work of the Urban Pond Procession project (now UPP Arts) since 2007 are available to researchers at the Providence Public Library

RI Art in Ruins