M is for Milkmaid

This woodcut from 1898 by William Newzam Prior Nicholson belongs to the Capital Collection, The Image Library of Edinburgh City Libraries and Museums and Galleries, which you may access here. One way the  collections are organized is by topic, A-Z. While scholars might wish to pinpoint more specific topics (like “servants,” which was not a search category), the organization of this browse function led to new ideas and areas to search. Topics include everything from Almshouses to Trousers to the Forth Rail Bridge to Merchants’ Exchanges.

Woodcut, 1898, from a series by William Newzam Prior Nicholson. Look how 18th-century informed this image is, with her elbow length sleeves, flounces, handkerchief, full skirts, and flattish hat. From the Capital Collection of Edinburgh City Libraries and Museums and Galleries, No. 23658.

About Becky Fifield

Becky Fifield is a cultural heritage professional with 25 years experience in institutions large and small. She is currently Head of Collection Management for the Special Collections of the New York Public Library. An advocate for preventive conservation, Ms. Fifield is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation, Chair of the AIC Collection Care Network, and former Chair of Alliance for Response NYC. She is also a scholar of 18th century female unfree labor and dress. There's a bit of pun in the title The Still Room, delineating a quiet space brimming with the ingredients of memory, where consideration, analysis, and wordcraft can take place. Ms. Fifield’s interests include museum practice, dress history, historic preservation, transit, social and women’s history, food, current events, geneaology, roadtrips, and considerations on general sense of place. Becky and her husband, Dr. V, live in the Hudson Valley.