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Stained Glass Association of America Records

Identifier: MS-0205

Scope and Contents

The Stained Glass Association of America Records document the activities of a professional association for stained glass designers, fabricators, and studio owners. The collection is divided into seven series:

(1) Executive Functions, 1922-2008

(2) Committees, 1922-2012

(3) Photographs and Negatives, 1952-2000

(4) Slides, 1947-1991

(5) Scrapbooks, Circa 1960-1969

(6) Artifacts, 1981-2003

(7) Audiovisual Materials, 1987, 1999


  • Creation: 1922-2012


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

The Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA), was formed in Columbus, Ohio, in July 1903 under the name The National Ornamental Glass Manufacturers Association. Joseph E. Flanagan was elected President at the first convention, and a constitution and bylaws were adopted. SGAA is a professional trade organization that "actively works for the betterment of the craft of stained glass and architectural art glass through various programs that are designed to benefit the members of the SGAA and the clients whom we serve."

The Association published its first newsletter in 1906, "The Monthly Visitor," with name changes following in short order: "The Ornamental Glass Bulletin," and "The Bulletin of the Stained Glass Association of America." By 1931, its official title was "Stained Glass." The journal has had a variety of formats since its inception, and in 1958 became a quarterly publication, which continues today and reaches an international audience.

SGAA’s leadership consists of elected officers who, since 1939, serve two-year terms, and who cannot serve more than two consecutive terms in office. Officers include President, First and Second Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and General Secretary. Also steering the direction of the organization, SGAA has a number of committees which have varied over the years, governing such areas as the conference, education, health and safety, and membership, among others.

Categories of membership have also changed since the inception of the organization. 1903 applicants had to pass specific requirements for membership, but once in, were simply members. As the membership grew, the Executive Committee attempted to allow for the variety of experiences by creating different levels, each with their own rights and restrictions. In 1994, the leadership redefined the various categories as Accredited Members, Active Members, Affiliates, Student Affiliates, Emeritus, and Honorary, and modified membership requirements, voting, and officer eligibilities.

SGAA holds two General Membership Conferences per year, in the summer and winter, at a site selected by a majority vote of the members at a previous General Membership Meeting. The Summer Meeting is the annual meeting of the Association, and educational workshops are held during this meeting. Some of the activities here include the election of Officers, Directors, and the Nominating Committee; receiving of reports; and any needed changes to the bylaws; among other tasks. The Winter Meeting may be a Business Meeting of the General Membership. Special Meetings may be called as needed.

SGAA became involved in the question of apprenticeships in 1942. Many in the field saw younger stained glass workers developing skill in a particular job, and staying there without developing their skills further, thereby creating a deficit of well-trained workers. Studios responded positively to a nationally accredited, four-year program, which was instituted in 1945. Interest began to wane by the mid-1970s, however, due to a rise in the creation and availability of much shorter, specific training courses, and a lack of union influence in the stained glass movement. This lack of interest caused the Apprenticeship Committee to disband in 1987, but it was reinvigorated and renamed in 1990 as the Apprentice and Craft Training Committee, reflecting a broader educational program.

Along with these other educational initiatives, SGAA founded the Stained Glass School in North Adams, Massachusetts, in 1977, to help develop professional studio methods of stained glass and assembly. A nine-member Board of Directors was appointed, and the Educational Committee charged with developing the program. Although there was a great deal of interest in the program, steep inflation, high travel costs, difficulty with accommodations, and poor weather, took a toll on enrollment. SGAA responded in 1981 with the development of regional courses, and the North Adams School was closed by the Board. Regional classes continued, along with the addition of Members Only workshops, and the creation of a stained glass manual. Due to these and other efforts, the Stained Glass School continues to develop new educational programs today.


25.1 Linear Feet (31 Hollinger boxes, 1 half Hollinger box, 2 records cartons, 5 flat boxes, and 1 card file box)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from the Stained Glass Association of America in 2017.

Accession 2018.003

Earlier accessions include RR:16306 and others.

Processing Information

Processed by Hannah Cox in 2018.

Stained Glass Association of America Records, 1922-2012
A Guide to the Collection
Hannah D. Cox
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA