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BIFMO is comprised of six sources to inform scholars, academics, students, connoisseurs and the commercial market


Dictionary of British and Irish Furniture Makers, 1500-1914

The Dictionary of the British and Irish Furniture Makers (DBIFM) is a compilation of information about furniture craftspeople and artisans across Britain and Ireland over 400 years. At its core is a digitised version of Geoffrey Beard's and Christopher Gilbert's 1986 publication of the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840. Over the past five years the Dictionary has been partially revised, updated and expanded by incorporating information published in scholarly journals, books and contemporary sources, to sit alongside the details of people who worked in the British and Irish furniture trades from the early 16th century to the onset of the Great War. Click here to see a digitised copy of the original 1986 Dictionary.

Bernard and Geraldine Cotton Archive, 1700-1900

The Cotton archive includes the details of nearly 7,500 English regional chair makers and associated tradespeople compiled by Bill and Gerry Cotton. With support from the Regional Furniture Society.

A Dictionary of Edinburgh Wrights and Furniture Makers, 1660-1840

The Dictionary of Edinburgh Wrights and Furniture Makers was compiled by the late Francis Bamford and originally published in the annual journal of the Furniture History Society (1983). Click here to read the introduction.

A Dictionary of Norfolk Furniture Makers, 1700-1840

Dr John Stabler published 'A Dictionary of Norfolk Furniture Makers' in Regional Furniture (2006) and revised the digital version for BIFMO in January 2021.

London Joiners’ Company Records, 1640-1821

London Joiners’ Company records include apprenticeship bindings (1640-1821) and freedom admissions (1651-1720). The archives are kept at the Guildhall Library, London.

London Upholders’ Company Records, 1704-1772

The records of Upholders’ Company apprenticeship bindings and freedom admissions were abstracted and indexed by Cliff Webb for the London Apprentices Series, published by the Society of Genealogists and generously contributed to the BIFMO project.


Home page image: "Messrs. Morgan & Sanders, Catherine Street, 101 Strand, London" (1809), plate 10, volume 29, number 8 of Ackermann's Repository of Arts. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art open access policy.