Over the past few months I have been building an online resource on my website that means I can 'easily' look up the history of individual designs and identify the sources they appear in. I did this primarily for my own interest ... but if you are also interested in paperfolding history you may find it useful as well.
The resource can be found at www.origamiheaven.com/historyindex.htm There is also a timeline at http://www.origamiheaven.com/timeline.htm It is reasonably complete (ie the sources and the design pages are in synch) up to 1920. I will work on bringing it more up to date when I have time. Most of the information is from the Western European / American traditions. Definitive information from the Japanese and other oriental traditions has been hard to come by. There will be errors! If you find one please let me know. There will also be omissions. I would particularly like to hear from you if you know of any major sources I have overlooked or if you have documentary evidence that any of the designs are older than my notes suggest. (Yes, I know they will be older ... but I am looking for the evidence that proves this is the case.) Enjoy ... David Mitchell