WSU Libraries

Herman Miller Consortium Collection

Overview

At the September 2000 meeting of the Herman Miller museum consortium, the consortium members enthusiastically endorsed the idea of creating an online web-accessible database of the consortium’s holdings. The complete holdings of the consortium collections were at the time maintained on The Henry Ford’s collection management database, ARGUS, which was only accessible on The Henry Ford’s local network.

Consortium members requested that The Henry Ford, as the lead member of the consortium, develop a proposal for the development of an online database. These initiatives resulted in a collaborative project with The Henry Ford and the Library System to digitize and catalog Herman Miller product literature and furniture, and make these records publicly accessible and preserved in the digital format.

Historical Context

Herman Miller, Inc., based in Zeeland, Michigan, began in 1923 as a manufacturer of residential furniture. Over the years, the company has become a leader in design and manufacture of modern furniture for both home and office. Many famous designers, from Charles and Ray Eames to George Nelson, have created furniture for the company, and they are famous for innovations in design and ergonomics such as "Marshmallow Sofa" and "Molded Plywood Chair". Today, Herman Miller, Inc. has customers and locations around the world.

In 1988, Herman Miller, Inc. established the Herman Miller Consortium to share the historical product collection that had been accumulating as part of Herman Miller's corporate archives in Zeeland, Michigan. The consortium collection, now held by thirteen museums all over the country, contains about 750 pieces of furniture, as well as a large quantity of product literature. As the lead institution in the consortium, The Henry Ford maintains the record of the consortium holdings.

Credits

Benson Ford Research Center
Judith Endelman
Jessica Lehr
Henry Prebys
Stephanie Chontos
Jeanine Head Miller
Lisa Korzetz
Jessica Lehr
Caroline Moore
Kathy Steiner
Carol Wright

Herman Miller
John Berry
Marg Mojzak

Wayne State University
Matt Decker
Fran Krempasky
Adriene Lim
Shawn McCann
Jeff Trzeciak
Nardina Mein

WSU Libraries
3100 David Adamany Undergraduate Library
5155 Gullen Mall
Detroit, MI USA 48202
(313) 577-4023 / 5525 - fax