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National Plastics Center & Museum Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: National Plastics Center & Museum
Title: National Plastics Center & Museum Records
Inclusive Dates: 1925-2008
Quantity: 4 linear ft.
Abstract: Collection consists of administrative records, financial records, and publicity materials from the Museum in Leominster, Massachusetts.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

The National Plastics Center & Museum was located in Leominster, Mass. in the former Lancaster Street School building. It was incorporated as a non-profit in 1982, long after plastics had become integral to everyday life, but during a time when the effects of plastics production and consumption were being widely debated. The National Plastics Center & Museum was thus founded not only to preserve the foundations and past of the plastics industry, but also to help educate the public about plastics and intervene in public discourse, highlighting the contributions of plastic to the overall quality of modern life, and how the plastics industry was contributing toward environmental sustainability.

In addition to maintaining permanent and rotating collections and accumulating artifacts, the National Plastics Center & Museum conducted public outreach, like their PlastiVan program, which travelled throughout the U.S. educating students and teachers about the chemistry, history, processing, and environmental issues around plastics. Starting in 2006, the Society of Plastics Industry provided professional management services to the institution. The National Plastics Center & Museum was closed in 2008, after struggling for several years to attain substantial attendance numbers.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The National Plastics Center & Museum Records contains records relating to the organization's inventories and artifacts, communications, budgets and financial statements, publicity materials, and press coverage.

Administrative records contains finding aids and inventories, trustee newsletters, administrative communications, conference materials, meeting minutes and agendas, town records, and documents about the museum's construction.

Financial records contains the organization's bank and financial statements, pledge records and payments, expense reports, budgets, and contractor invoices and estimates.

Publicity contains newsletters, membership packets, and brochures from the National Plastics Center & Museum, related newspaper, magazine, and journal clippings, and a promotional video.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Arranged into series by topic.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Issues of Pioneer Valley News have been transferred to Rare Books for cataloging. Please refer to the Classic Catalog to locate these items.

Special Collections Research Center has numerous holdings in the areas of plastics and industrial design. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Irvin I. Rubin Plastics Corporation.
National Plastics Center & Museum.
Robinson Plastics Corporation.
Society of Plastics Engineers.
Society of the Plastics Industry.
State University of New York at Stony Brook. Waste Management Institute.

Associated Titles

Plastics & molded products.


Plastics -- History.
Plastics -- Museums.
Plastics industry and trade -- Congresses and conventions.
Plastics industry and trade.


Leominster (Mass.) -- History.
Leominster (Mass.) -- Intellectual life.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Expense reports.
Financial statements.
Video recordings.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

National Plastics Center & Museum Records,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from National Plastics Center & Museum, 11/06/2008.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: DF
Date: 2014
Revision history: 29 Aug 2014 - Rubin artifact info returned to Rubin Papers (MRC)

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Administrative records
Oversize 1 Book inventory 2005 - inventory arranged by book numbers, titles, authors, and reference numbers
Box 1 Flannagan, Richard 1984-1985
Box 1 Galvin, Jack 1934, 1984-1985 (2 folders)
Box 1 Keville, John 1984-1986 (2 folders)
Box 1 Kilcoyne, Mary 1994
Box 1 Trustees 1984-1985
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1971, 1981-1994
Box 1 Conferences 1987, 1989-1991 - programs, letters, photographs, and preparatory materials
Oversize 1 Conferences 1973-1977 - a binder of planning materials for RETEC conferences
Box 2 Construction 1931, 1975, 1982-1985 - communications with contractors and Leominster officials about the construction of the museum; also includes information about Lancaster Street School, which the museum took over
Oversize 1 Doyle library and archives finding aids 2007-2008 - binder of finding aids for Museum collections
Box 2 Grant proposal 1998 - proposal for Informal Science Education grant from the National Science Foundation
Box 2 Information and material requests 1993-1995 - mostly requests for "Passing through" educational video and accompanying teacher's guide (2 folders)
Box 2 Meeting minutes and materials 1970-1975, 1983-1985, 1993-1994, 1996, 2000 3 folders
Oversize 1 Pioneer Valley SPE secretary reports 1982-1983
Oversize 1 Plastics & Molded Products, indexes and contents, vols. 1-11 1925-1934, 1998 - a binder containing photocopies of indexes and tables of contents of Plastics and molded products
Box 3 Program evaluations circa 1993-1995 - teacher evaluations about "Passing through" educational film and accompanying teacher's guide
Box 3 Town and school records 1928, 1932-1936, 1944-1948, 1954-1957, 1983 - city council agendas and notes, Leominster street list, property assessments, assorted letters
Box 3 Trustee newsletters 1984-1986
Box 3 Waste Management Institute 1989 - communications and notes regarding the Waste Management Institute at SUNY Stony Brook
Box 3 Memorabilia 1997, undated - 2 ribbons and 1 Gala pin
Box 3 Miscellaneous 1939, 1955, 1984-1988, 1991, 1993, 2002-2008, undated - photographs, "The future is in your hands" training manual, contact lists, notes, and letters (3 folders)
Financial records
Box 3 Bank statements, Guaranty Bank & Trust Co. 1972-1975 (2 folders)
Box 4 Bank statements, Shawmut Worcester County Bank 1981-1983
Box 4 Checks 1972-1977 - also includes handwritten notes
Box 4 Contributions and pledges 1982-1985, 1993-1994 - checks, annual pledge reports, communications, and pledge postcards
Box 4 Construction and design 1984-1985 - communications with contractors and invoices
Box 4 Expense reports 1985
Box 4 Expense reports, John Keville 1988
Box 4 Financial statements 1996
Box 4 Ledgers and notes 1983-1985
Box 4 Paid invoices 1982-1983 (2 folders)
Box 5 Raffle records 1983
Box 5 SPE budgets 1975-1978
Box 5 Miscellaneous 1939, 1982-1985 - insurance contract, invoices, land appraisal, and various notes
Box 5 Brochures undated - includes brochures from Plastics Institute of America, Somoltec, and the National Plastics Center & Museum
Box 5 Invitations 1969, 1984, 2001-2002 - invitations to events hosted by the National Plastics Center & Museum and the Solar Chemical Corporation
Box 5 Newsletters 1979-1980, 1995-2000, 2003-2008
Box 5 Newspapers and magazines 1929, 1942, 1956, 1966, 1976-1977, 1979, undated
Box 5 Newspapers and magazines 1982-1989, undated (2 folders)
Box 6 Newspapers and magazines 1991-2005, undated (2 folders)
Box 6 Promotional video, "Wow them now!" 2003 - includes letter to board members announcing the new video; printed on the CD is a color photo of the National Plastics Center and Museum building in Leominster (1 CD-ROM) (ID#: npc_001)
Box 6 Publicity and membership packets undated

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