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Indiana State Museum Wooton Desks exhibit collection

Identifier: L408

Scope and Contents

Items in this collection consist largely of photocopies of original articles, catalogs, and photographs used in the research and creation of the exhibit, Wooton Patent Desks: A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place at the Indiana State Museum in 1983. Included are articles, advertisements, catalogs, and other historical information regarding the Wooton Desk Company and other contemporary furniture makers in Indiana. There is background information on William S. Wooton, the Wooton Desk Company, and one of his employees, Zue Jackson, as well as background information on Haynes, Spencer and Company and their employees. Other material includes administrative files surrounding the creation of the exhibit, such as Indiana State Museum's correspondence about the acquisition and treatment of Wooton desks, notes, forms, drafts, and other documents that went into the preparation of the exhibit. There are also several photographs of Wooton desks including one photograph of William S. Wooton and his granddaughters.


  • 1850-1983


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Historical Note

In 1870, William S. Wooton arrived in Indianapolis from Richmond, Indiana, where he had been a partner in the George H. Grant and Company, which manufactured school furniture, office furniture, and court supplies. In Indianapolis, Wooton established Wooton and Company on October 6, 1874. In 1874, the Wooton desk, or "Wooton's Patent Cabinet Office Secretary," was patented. Later that year, Wooton, John G. Blake, and Harmon H. Fulton filed articles of association for the Wooton Desk Company with the object of manufacturing and selling office desks and school and church furniture. By the early 1890s, the Wooton Desk Company was operating in Richmond, Indiana.

The Indiana State Museum curated an exhibit entitled, Wooton Patent Desks: A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place that occurred from April 8 to August 8, 1983. The exhibit featured Wooton desks and other office secretaries as well as providing historical context for Wooton and other furniture makers during the Victorian era.


0.62 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/10/26 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid created 2016/10/26 by Lauren Patton.


Indiana State Museum Wooton Desks exhibit collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.