Skip to main content

Records of Crate & Barrel

 Collection
Identifier: 55/54

Scope and Contents

The records of Crate & Barrel fill 235 boxes and date between 1961 and 2015. Included are corporate records and artifacts of Crate & Barrel, CB2, Land of Nod, and Marimekko. Boxes 1 through 193 hold mainly records of Crate & Barrel, Boxes 194 through 199 records of CB2, Box 200 records of Land of Nod, and Boxes 201 through 208 records of Marimekko. Oversized materials included in Boxes 209 through 232 contain records of all four companies. Crate & Barrel The Gordon and Carol Segal records (Box 1 through 8) include photographs, calendars, correspondence, readings files and newspaper and magazine clippings relating to Gordon and Carole Segal's professional careers, dating back to the opening the first Crate & Barrel store. Folders and items within each folder are arranged in chronological order. Box 9 contains mainly materials relating to the professional transition of Barbara Turf, who succeeded Gordon Segal as CEO in 2008 before retiring from Crate & Barrel in 2012. Folders and items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Board of Directors files (Boxes 10 and 11) consist mainly of meeting minutes, which are arranged in chronological order. Boxes 12 through 42 contain newspaper and magazine advertisements, tear sheets and "adbooks." Folders and items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Records of anniversaries include mainly photographs, congratulatory cards, party planning materials and posters celebrating Crate & Barrel's 25th year in business in 1987, the 30th in 1992, the 35th in 1997, the 40th in 2002 and the 50th in 2012. Contents of Boxes 43 through 47 are arranged by the year of the anniversary, items within the folders are arranged chronologically. Architectural and construction materials, such as floor and architectural plans, photographs, and correspondence with banks, architects and contractors provide an overview of expansions, renovations and remodeling of some of the Crate & Barrel warehouses and stores. The folders are arranged alphabetically by the location/city of the stores, items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Materials from contractors and financial records give a general insight on the equipment and financing of the stores and warehouses. Folders are arranged alphabetically by title/topic, items within each folder are arranged in chronological order. Boxes 54 through 61 contain national and international articles on Crate & Barrel as they appeared in newspapers and magazines in the United States and worldwide. The folders are arranged in chronological order, according to the date of publication. Boxes 62 and 63 contain a variety of awards won by Gordon Segal and Crate & Barrel, including the National Design Award of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Furniture Hall of Fame. Awards are arranged chronologically by the year they were presented to Segal and Crate & Barrel. Catalogs range from possibly the first issue in 1964 until 2014. Folders holding catalogs are arranged in chronological order. Box 77 contains strategic reviews on merchandising results. Catalog drafts and "back-ups" (Box 78) are arranged in chronological order. Philanthropic records (Boxes 79 through 84) consist of requests from organizations, companies and hospitals for collaborations with Crate & Barrel in sponsorship of charitable events. Contained here are invitations, brochures, photographs, party planning, correspondence and other materials on various events, such as AIDS walks, galas, dinners and cancer awareness programs sponsored by Crate & Barrel. Folders and items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Boxes 85 through 96 contain financial records, including materials on sales and marketing. Financial records consist of annual reports, warehouse inventories, advertising costs, sales plans, marketing analyses and several folders filled with information on catalog distributions in stores and insertion orders for shopping guides. Folders as well as items within each folder are arranged in chronological order. International expansion records (Boxes 97 through 102) relate mainly to the expansion of Crate & Barrel in Canada, Dubai, and other countries. Also included are correspondence and promotional materials of companies. Folders are arranged alphabetically by location/city of the stores, items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Newsletters in boxes 103 through 104 include issues of the company's newsletter Crate & Barrel News, which was first published in October, 1989, and was renamed Inside Crate & Barrel in June, 1996. Store openings records fill boxes 105 through 126 and contain photographs, clippings, newspaper and magazine articles, correspondence, store opening celebration documents as well as t-shirts, hats and shopping bags relating to new store openings and events nationwide. Folders and artifacts are arranged alphabetically by location/city, items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Boxes 127 through 141 are filled with records pertaining to general aspects of Crate & Barrel. Photographs, notes, and correspondence document the purchase of the furniture store Upper Story in Boston. Also included are files on the beginning and development of the Crate & Barrel bridal registry, the company website and the acquisition of Crate & Barrel by the Otto Group. Additional files include correspondence with vendors and advertising agencies as well as documents on holiday and staff parties. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject headings, items within the folders are arranged chronologically. Photographic records include photographs, compacts discs, transparencies, negatives and slides. The bulk of these records were produced or used for advertising purposes, for both Crate & Barrel catalogs and for advertisements. They were created by Tom Shortlidge, Dangel and other photographers and photographic agencies. Photographic prints and negatives often depict Gordon and Carole Segal, staff and staff parties, and store openings. So-called "early buying trips" are documented by prints, negatives and slides of factories and manufacturers that Crate & Barrel staff visited. All photographic records (Boxes 142 through 186) are arranged in chronological order, with the non-dated materials at the end of each subseries. Boxes 187 through 193 contain audiovisual records, such as audiocassettes, a DAT cassette, one audiotape, two hard drives and VHS cassettes. The content of the audiovisual records include mainly commercial advertising, bridal registry studies, recordings of radio and television interviews, and store anniversary videos. These records are arranged in chronological order. CB2 Box 194 contains CB2 catalogs. Folders and items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Store openings records fill boxes 195 through 197 and contain photographs, news clippings, correspondence along with celebratory and charitable records associated with store openings nationwide. Folders are arranged alphabetically by location/city and items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Boxes 198 and 199 are filled with records on general aspects of CB2. Photographs, advertisements, correspondence, budgets, public relations, media plans, and sales summaries document the development and growth of the chain. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject headings, items within the folders are arranged chronologically. Land of Nod A small collection (box 200) of records includes materials on store openings, baby and gift registry development, catalogs, and information on the strategic partnership of Land of Nod with Crate & Barrel. Folders and items within each folder are arranged chronologically. Marimekko Boxes 201 through 204 contain catalogs featuring design fabrics, apparel, bags, bathroom products, and related items marketed to both adults and children. Folders and items within each folder are arranged chronologically. General records such as articles, design and product information, annual reports, exhibitions and party planning records fill Boxes 205 through 208. Box 206, folders 1 through 3, include clippings, advertisements, brochures and product descriptions from the years 1961 through 2001. Folders are arranged alphabetically, items within each folder chronologically. Oversized materials contain records and artifacts in oversized shapes. Boxes 209 through 235 are filled with tear sheets, advertisements, newspapers, magazines, photographs, calendars, a Marimekko kimono and fabric sample, promotional gifts, mugs, paper shopping bags, etc. Items in dropfront boxes are arranged by size and shape of the records and artifacts.

Dates

  • 1961-2015

Creator

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at specialcollections@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

Access to born-digital content in the collection, such as materials from compact discs and external hard drives, is temporarily unavailable pending digital reformatting.

Extent

235 Boxes

Overview

Crate & Barrel is an American home furnishings retailer with store chains throughout the United States, Canada, Dubai and Asia. It was founded in 1962 by Northwestern University alumni Gordon and Carole Segal. Crate and Barrel's corporate name is Euromarket Designs, Inc. and is based in Northbrook, Illinois. It has two sister brands, CB2 and Land of Nod/Crate & Kids. The company is privately held and since 2008 owned by the Otto Group of Hamburg, Germany.

Arrangement

The records of Crate & Barrel are organized into: Gordon and Carol Segal professional records; Barbara Turf professional records; Board of Directors; general Create & Barrel materials, arranged alphabetically by topic; photographic records (arranged by format); audiovisual records (arranged by format); CB2; Land of Nod; Marimekko; oversized materials.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This series was donated to the Northwestern University Archives by Gordon and Carole Segal and Bette Kahn on August 1, August 22, and December 20, 2012; March 22 and August 22, 2013 and February 21, 2014 (Accession numbers 12-230, 12-232, 12-267, 13-73, 13-141, 13-177, 14-33).

Separated Materials

Three record cartons of duplicate materials were discarded.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Records of Crate & Barrel 55/54
Author
Yvonne Spura
Date
March 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3635