Lowell's American Textile History Museum Has Closed for financial reasons. The Museum was founded in 1960. For about sixty years they have been a primary source for ----well---American Textile History, particularly about the New England mills that printed so much of the fabric that found its way into quilts.
Read the sad news here: (It's not breaking news---they decided in June.)
A few things we will miss:
Homefront and Battlefield: Quilts & Context in the Civil War
See a great day at this blog post:
I would guess they had more dated sample books than any library---at least
any library that was free and open to the public by appointment.
Other swatch libraries might charge you $500 to access them.
Photographs and documents about the American mills.