Weekly Obsession: Vintage Library

My dad was a librarian in Michigan in the ’80s, very near the Herman Miller worldwide headquarters. So I grew up around mass-manufactured steel office supplies, molded plastic chairs, books, and the things associated with books: tote bags, Kik Step stools, bookends, bookmarks. Though I came close, I never became a librarian. But several of my friends are currently in library school. So if the career is coming back, why not bring back the style, too?

vintage metal fileascot librarian blouse

Two of my dad’s pet peeves: people who thought librarians said, “Shhh,” and people who pronounced it, “li-bary.” What a radical!

gift cardslebag

I love vintage library furniture. It acts as an industrial-strength junk drawer, or a no-nonesense place to get work done. Who couldn’t get work done on this desk?

library card filesteelcase desk

And don’t forget the hardware — a handy date stamp and some date due cards and pockets.

date stampdate due cards and pockets

7 comments | Click here to reply

Le Bag! I just bought one of those but I can’t find anything about it! Do u know where it comes from? How old? any history? btw- very cute blog!


Just read John Kelly’s column in the Washington Post about the disappearance of the date due stamps, cards, and pockets. See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/06/AR2009040603445.html

I’m sure that the formerly omnipresent stamper will soon be a collectible.

I’ll miss it.


Library pieces are great – I would love to have a card catalog to stash stuff in!


I’m with you on the library love! I love that special color of light Danish wood that you find in libraries and schoolrooms from the 60’s. It’s lighter but has a golden mellowness. Yum.


Ive always had a thing for furniture with little drawers! and I love that heavy duty old school dress. great theme!


I love that top from HalfCaf…it has librarian written all over it. And I completely agree with your take on library furniture. Excellent post!



I’m still holding out that you’ll become one of us. Just kidding. My secret dream is to work at the Miller archives.

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