Collection inventory

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National Plastics Center & Museum Records

An inventory of its records at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DF
Date: 2014

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.

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.

Arrangement of the Collection

Arranged into series by topic.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Table of Contents

Administrative records

Financial records