Look, Read, Find

Boxes Under the Bed™

Boxes Under the Bed ™ is a national project to identify and rescue quilt-related items in need of preservation, such as letters, clippings, and patterns.

In homes across our nation, "boxes under the bed" lie filled with vital but elusive information about the history of quilting in the United States as practiced since the 19th century. These patterns, clippings, manuscripts, catalogs, and correspondence form an undiscovered but invaluable archival resource of American history and culture.

Boxes Under the Bed ™ leads a grassroots effort to record information about the patterns, clippings, manuscripts, catalogues and correspondence related to quiltmaking.

Guidelines for this project show quiltmakers and others how to identify important quilt history and gather significant quilt documentation. In cooperation with the Library of Congress's American Folklife Center, Quilt Alliance sponsored two Boxes Under the Bed ™ workshops at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 1996 and 1997. These programs have engendered local and regional Boxes Under the Bed ™ efforts, including a model project organized by the Michigan State University Museum. You can learn more about organizing your own Boxes under the Bed ™ project on this Web site.