The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University Libraries preserves and provides access to an array of primary sources including archival materials, books, periodicals, media, and over 5,000 plastic artifacts produced from the mid-19th century to the present day that document the invention and development of plastic. Some of the SCRC's special collections within this unique collection area of plastics have been made available on this site for virtual discovery, access and research. This digital library resource, known as "The Plastics Collection," is one of the most significant academic digital tools available for learning about historical plastic artifacts and primary sources online. We welcome you to join our global community of individuals interested in expanding their current knowledge of plastics in the past to better understand plastics in our present world.
The collection area of plastics at SCRC was established in 2007 when members of the Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA)—an association of plastics industry professionals interested in preserving the plastics industry's past—approached SUL about establishing a physical plastics collection and companion website. "The Plastics Collection," initially envisioned as a "virtual museum of plastics," and website were generously funded by the PPA. This availability of "The Plastics Collection" on SUL’s Digital Library platform would not be possible without the partnership and philanthropy of the PPA, whose foresight and passion for plastics history supported the evolution of this digital tool. The project of "The Plastics Collection" has evolved over the past fifteen years thanks to the financial support of the PPA's Plastics History and Artifacts Committee, Glenn and Patsy Beall, Syracuse University alumnus Harry Greenwald ('51), the Greenwald-Haupt Charitable Foundation, and by a gift in honor of Dewey Rainville by the PPA.
For more information about SCRC's Plastics Collection Area, please visit the Plastics Collection Area page. For research support and to learn more about researching and discovering the joy of archival research on SU’s campus, please explore the Plastics Collection Lib Guide.
Digitized Plastics Collections include:
Antique Comb Collector's Club (AC3) Collection
The Antique Comb Collector's Club (AC3) Collection consists of an assortment of material relating to the club's history.
Edwin F. Bushman Collection
The Edwin F. Bushman Collection spans the period 1946-1992 and focuses primarily on research and documentation for projects conducted over the course of his career.
Plastics Artifacts Collection
The Plastics Artifacts Collection is a supplement to the numerous manuscript collections relating to organizations and individuals who played a significant role in the development and manufacture of plastic products in the United States.