Clio Logo

Located on the campus of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the International Quilt Study Center & Museum is home to the largest collection of quilts—numbering over 5,000 from 50 countries—in the world. The museum was founded in 1997 thanks to the donation of almost 1,000 quilts from the personal collection of Ardis and Robert James, who began collecting them in 1979. The age of the quilts in the collection date as far back as the late 1700s to today. The collection is particularly strong in the antique quilts from the late 1700s, and Amish and Mennonite quilts from the late 19th century. The museum also offers workshops, symposiums, fellowships, and graduate school programs.


  • The museum was founded in 1997 when Ardis and Robert James donated their collection 1000 quilts and created an endowment that allowed UNL to assemble the largest quilt collection in the world.
  • Newspaper clipping describing the James' quilt donation to the university.

The museum's collection was first located in the Home Economics building on the campus. It was moved to the current building in 2008. The building was designed to represent a quilt, with the glass windows serving as the front of a quilt and the galleries the back, and the reception hall is shaped like the eye of a needle.

"History." International Quilt Study Center & Museum. Accessed February 27, 2018.  http://www.quiltstudy.org/about/history.