The Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Library, founded as part of The Corning Museum of Glass in 1951, is a public institution that houses the world's most comprehensive collection of materials on the art and history of glass and glassmaking. The Library Collection ranges from medieval manuscripts to original works of art on paper to the latest information on techniques used by studio artists. More than 150 archives contain unique material from individual artists, galleries, companies, scholars, and organizations. The Library also presents exhibitions featuring items from its collection.
On June 23, 1972, Corning and surrounding communities were devastated by a major flood. At The Corning Museum of Glass, hundreds of objects were broken, more than half the Library materials were saturated with water and coated with mud, and the facility was covered with a thick layer of slime. These photographs chronicle the determination of Museum staff and illustrate the steps taken toward conservation of glass objects and the restoration of Library materials.
Museum Under Water: The Corning Flood of 1972 (video)
The Corning Flood: Museum Under Water. This book describes the restoration process and offers suggestions for disaster planning gleaned from experience.
The creation of the largest single piece of glass ever made was entrusted in 1929 to Corning Glass Works using their signature Pyrex®. George V. McCauley, a Corning physicist and engineer, set about achieving what engineers at other companies had failed to do: casting a 200-inch mirror blank.
In March 1934, Corning poured a 200-inch disk, but part of the mold broke loose during the pouring, ruining the blank. The second attempt at pouring was successful and after the disk was finished it was taken by train to Mt. Palomar Observatory in California.
Corning Museum of Glass
Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Library
Rakow Library Collection Search
Rakow Library Exhibitions
Questions? Ask a Librarian!