• Title
    • Harrington College of Design Special Collections
    • Harrington College of Design Special Collections, 1902-2012 RG 09.12.01
  • PublisherCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositoryCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • Physical Description13.46 Cubic Feet 8 record boxes, 7 print boxes, and 2 specialty sized boxes Forms of material: Books, magazines, comic books, slides.
  • Date1902 - 2012
  • AbstractThe Harrington College of Design Special Collections books were acquired by Columbia College Chicago in 2015 when Harrington College announced it would close by 2018. Harrington College was founded by interior designer Frances Harrington in 1931. The collection contains books and publications on architecture, interior design, and fine art from 1902-2012.

Originally called the Frances Harrington Institution of Interior Decoration, Harrington College was founded by Frances Harrington, a New York interior designer, in 1931. She had previously given lectures in design for Chicago professionals before expanding her lecture series into a school.

At about the same time that Harrington was founded, industrial manufacturers had begun to differentiate the appearance of their products to boost sales during the Great Depression, which led to a rise in demand for designers. Many designers were drawn to Chicago for the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition, and schools such as the New Bauhaus (later the Institute of Design and currently a part of the Illinois Institute of Technology), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago opened industrial and product design programs over the following decades.

In 1959, the college was renamed Harrington Institute of Interior Design under the leadership of former student Robert Marks, who expanded the school's interior design library to better student research. The college was renamed again in 1999, this time to Harrington College of Design, after being purchased by Career Education, a for-profit education company. The name was changed to reflect the fact that the school now offered a wider variety of programs like commercial photography and communication design.

Due to increased regulatory constraints on for-profit colleges and decreased enrollment, Career Education and Harrington College announced in 2015 that the school would begin the process of closing, which will end in August of 2018. Columbia College Chicago welcomed nearly 145 undergraduate students for the Fall 2015 semester, who would receive their degrees from Columbia. For master's and associate degree students, Columbia hosted Harrington faculty and students in a "teach out," during which students will complete their Harrington degrees using Columbia's facilities.

The Harrington College of Design Special Collections encompasses books and other publications that cover information art and design topics from around 1000 B.C. to 2012 in 13.46 cubic feet (15 boxes). The collection is housed in eight record boxes and seven print boxes. The collection is split into eight series, which are made up of books, magazines, and comic books on architecture, interior design, and fine art. Series eight is made up of Harrington publications from the 2000s and early 2010s.

The collection is divided into eight series by subject:

Series 1: Architecture and architectural details Series 2: Architects and historical buildings Series 3: Interior decoration Series 4: Furniture Series 5: Museums and exhibit design Series 6: Fine art Series 7: Graphic design and architectural illustration Series 8: Harrington publications.

Within each series, the folders are arranged chronologically by the information covered by the material, rather than date of publishing. Oversized material is housed in artifact boxes.

University of Illinois at Chicago Design Archives - History and ephemera of the American Society of Interior Designers and school publications, exhibits, and lectures from the Institute of Design in Chicago, another Chicago design school.

Arizona State University Design Library - Frank Lloyd Wright Ephemera, Blaine Drake, Valley National Bank Drawings, and Albert Chase McArthur Collections contain information about or related to Frank Lloyd Wright. The Albert Chase McArthur and Paul Schweikher Collections contain information about Chicago-based architecture firms.

University of Minnesota Twin Cities Northwest Architectural Archives - The Gray Purcell Papers Collection contains drawings from the firm of Louis H. Sullivan, and the Louis W. Claude Papers Collection contains designs and plans for buildings in Chicago and around the Midwest.

The majority of the Harrington College of Design Special Collections books are available for research.

Some folders have limited access, due to age and fragility. Physical access to certain, fragile manuscripts in the collection may be unavailable pending approval from the College Archivist.

Materials are the property of Columbia College Chicago. Intellectual property rights of work belong to the original creators. Materials within the collection that are published and copyrighted maintain their copyright protections and must be used according to United States Copyright Law. Use of this collection and its materials is understood to be primarily for research, teaching, and creative study; additional uses, such as publication, exhibition, or other appropriate purposes may be considered upon consultation with the Archivist.

All physical materials must be viewed during a scheduled appointment time within the College Archives & Special Collections office. No materials are to be circulated unless otherwise consulted with the Archivist.

The collection belonged to the Harrington College of Design until the College closed in 2015, and it was then acquired by Columbia College Chicago.

Transferred from Harrington College of Design Library, 2015

  • Subject
    • Architecture -- History
    • Art -- History
    • Interior decoration -- History
    • architectural history
    • fine arts
    • interior design