Previously one of the largest producers of marble in the world, The Vermont Marble Company, as a supplier, designer, fabricator, and seller, was a global competitor in the European-dominated world of building and ornamental stonework from the early to mid-20th century. In addition to its extensive mining operations, including exclusive rights to all deposits marble in Vermont, Colorado and Alaska, Vermont Marble Company produced the stuff of monumental America from everyday memorials to commercial and domestic palaces to national monuments. Notable commissions include The United States Supreme Court Building, the Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery, and Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.
The University of Pennsylvania acquired the collection in 2013, and holdings were split between the University of Pennsylvania Libraries and the Architectural Archives. The collection includes job books, individual project files, drawings (linens, blueprints, pencil sketches and original watercolor designs), photographs, printed trade catalogs with illustrations and salesmen’s kits. The photographic record contains thousands of negatives documenting the company’s many quarries, stone yards, trimming rooms, construction sites and finished projects. All these records are further extended and complemented by perhaps the most unusual aspect of the archives, a carefully assembled and cataloged collection of stone reference samples from quarries throughout the world.
The Vermont Marble Company Sample Collection features 3,930 specimens of marbles, travertines, and granites. It is currently being digitized, and over 1,000 pieces of stone are available for discovery on ArtStor. The catalog, which will continue to be expanded upon, provides detailed information about classification, region of origin, and uses of various stones in Vermont Marble Company commissions. When used alongside the ledger books, index cards and other paper materials in the collection, the samples provide an incredibly rich set of resources for studies into American architectural heritage of the 20th century.
Available through JSTOR is the Vermont Marble Company Photograph Collection. The collection features over 1,000 images documenting the history of the Vermont Marble Company from its beginning in the late 1800’s as the Sutherland Falls Marble Company, to its final years in the 1970s, and the development of a museum about the company in the 1990’s. In addition to the Vermont Marble Company photographs, there are many images documenting the ‘company’ towns and landscapes in Rutland County, Vermont, particularly Proctor.