With more than 4,000 furniture and design specific volumes, the Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library is the largest and most comprehensive furniture specialty collection in the world. Its new website now enables users to search the collection before visiting the library.
A team of photographers, stylists and web designers from The Alderman Company, led by Jeff Williams, created a new website which was launched this month. Ordinarily, websites are not newsworthy. However, this state of the art site is a platform designed to incorporate video, stunning photography, and web based research tools as well as an e-commerce portal to purchase books.
When asked his intent, Williams responded: “The most useful websites are visual and intuitive. We had access to extraordinary graphic resources. The library itself is gorgeous. It is an updated 1923 mansion with period architectural elements and fixtures. It is so remarkable that it is on the National Register of Historic Places. Iconic furniture has been donated over the years. And, with more than 4,000 oversized and illustrated furniture and design related volumes, there is an inexhaustible supply of stunning images, sketches, drawings and architectural renderings—many dating back to the 18th century. Our photography and design teams really enjoyed this assignment. We took some dramatic photographs, but it is still cooler to actually be there.”
Charlie Sutton, President of the Library’s Board of Directors, commented: “We are very grateful to the talented team at Alderman Studios who have lent their time, talent and creativity to this endeavor. With more than 5 billion websites, the best way to stand out is by having one that is both functional and beautiful. This site takes advantage of the newest web technology and incorporates images of the remarkable books, furniture and architecture in the Library.”
The library has made a number of changes recently. The building has been renovated and most of the collection has been re-cataloged according to the Library of Congress standards that allow users to search its vast catalog by subject, author, and style or through wild card metatags.
The Alderman Company is known for its philanthropic contributions of talent and resources to the Triad. When asked why he became interested in supporting The Furniture Library, Williams, a new member to the Library’s board of directors said: “This is a labor of love. Though Alderman is now widely diversified, we cut our teeth servicing the furniture industry. Our mission is to find what is unique and authentic about a product or place and communicate it visually. The Library is about research, design and collaboration and these images tell that story.”
About Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library:
The Bernice Bienenstock Furniture Library—a worldwide center for research, design, and collaboration—holds the world's largest collection of rare and significant books on the history and design of furniture. Founded in 1970 and endowed by the Bienenstock family, the Library is devoted the advancement of knowledge about design, furniture, interiors, architecture, textiles, finishes, and constructions.
The rare book collection contains volumes published since 1640. With the exception of Yale, it is the only library in America that houses the original works of 18th century furniture masters Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite, as well as a complete set of Diderot's Encyclopedia. (26 volumes published in the 18th Century.) Unlike Yale, the Bienenstock Furniture Library is open to the public. A special climate and humidity controlled room houses these rare volumes. An appointment with the curator is required to examine these books, and you must wear white gloves, but they are available to the public. The library also contains rare drawings and furniture details. It is a treasure trove of inspiration for anyone interested in design.
The Library operates a specialty bookstore selling significant contemporary works, out-of-print, and hard-to-find volumes. Most Library services are free. Bienenstock Furniture Library, located in High Point NC, is open to the public and welcomes professionals and scholars for research, collaboration, meetings, seminars, lectures, and events. Visit www.furniturelibrary.com
. The easiest way to stay up to date on the developments of the library is to “like” its Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/BienenstockFurnitureLibrary.
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