BIFMO is the Furniture History Society's free database and research resource for British and Irish furniture makers from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the onset of the Great War. It provides details of furniture manufacturers and suppliers: their organising structures, their clientele, the material they produced and the services and furniture they provided. The biographies provide the latest information on individual makers, while the sophisticated search engine enables researchers to explore the databases' content in a multitude of different ways.
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The BIFMO search facility makes it possible to carry out both simple and analytical queries. At the most basic level it acts as a searchable directory of furniture makers and associated trades, providing access to names, occupations, dates, the locations of artisans and tradespeople, the products they supplied and the clients and patrons they served. However, BIFMO also has the ability to carry out statistical and quantitative queries to inform social and economic analysis, such as identifying where particular trades were situated at a specific date, or over a period of time, making it possible to analyse the growth of the trade and the increase or reduction in a specific type and/or style of furniture, thus indicating a change in fashion and consumer demand or how furniture making networks operated, including subcontracting specific aspects of the manufacturing process for efficiency and cost effectiveness.