American Textile History Museum

American Textile History Museum
Now closed, the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA was an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution that told America's story through the art, history, and science of textiles. ATHM held the world's largest and most important collections of tools, spinning wheels, hand looms, and early production machines, as well as more than five million pieces of textile prints, fabric samples, rolled textiles coverlets, and costumes.

The American Textile History Museum dedicated more than 50 years to preserving the past and shaping the future. Their collections, education programs, research library, and on-line catalogue provided a fascinating in-depth look at the world through the art, history, and science of textiles.
In November 2015, facing an ongoing financial crisis, the ATHM Board of Trustees voted to undergo a major transformation for ATHM, recognizing that the Museum was no longer able to fiscally operate under its current format and business model. On January 1, 2016, the Museum’s exhibits closed to the public as the Board and staff focused on identifying a strategic transformation for the future. All programs and classes were closed as of June 30, 2016.

The ATHM’s Collections Committee and Board of Trustees worked to identify committed charitable organizations to serve as faithful, long-term stewards of the museum’s significant collections, and ultimately decided to transfer the bulk of the American Textile History Museum Osborne Library Collection to Cornell University Library with some materials going to the Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine.

Useful Links
Access ATHM’s old website through the Wayback Machine (may load slowly)

Kheel Center at Cornell University Library

Osher Map Library at the University of Southern Maine