Catering to Clients in an 18th Century Philadelphia Shop

I spent July at a Research Fellowship at Winterthur Museum, Library, and Garden. This mainly meant identifying manuscripts and object collections that might have something to tell me about my research topic: working women’s dress, as illuminated through the study … Continue reading

A Squeal of Delight at the Indianapolis Museum of Art: Miniature Dresses

I attended the American Institute for Conservation’s Annual Meeting in Indianapolis at the end of May. The opening reception was on a steamy night at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA). While the reception was welcoming, it was difficult for … Continue reading

Working with the Dixon Ledgers, Port Royal, Virginia

My personal research focuses on the dress of indentured and enslaved servant women from 1750-1790. While I was in DC for work recently, I was able to slip over to the Library of Congress for a couple of hours and … Continue reading

Connecting the Dots: Convict Servants in Maryland

Eddie Izzard puns on the Church of England: “Cake or Death?” For people found guilty of committing small crimes in England, transportation to the American colonies for seven to fourteen years of bound servitude was the cake option. Overcrowding in England’s … Continue reading

Snapshot: Fabric Shopping in NYC

Tuesday, 2/12/2013, was, amazingly, a holiday at my place of employ. I took advantage of everyone else having a normal work day and went off to NYC’s Garment District. I have two motives when I visit that west side community, … Continue reading

Halloween Comes to Downton Abbey

I predicted in this post from April that people would be hot to trot for Downton Abbey influenced costumes this Halloween. True to form, a lot of readers have been finding my blog by searching on “downton abbey halloween costumes.” I’m … Continue reading

Happy Labor Day

Lewis Hine’s photographs will always remind us of the successes of the Labor Movement. The title of this image is Addie Card, 12 years. Spinner in North Pownal Cotton Mill. Girls in mill say she is ten years. She admitted … Continue reading

Museum Monday: Why Museums Don’t Have Pictures of Everything on Their Websites

I hear the occasional grumble. Why is that photo of that object so bad? Why isn’t there an online database? Why are only selected objects online? Why can’t museums get their acts together? I worked on a grant project for … Continue reading

The Act of Research – London Metropolitan Archives Edition

The National Archives, the DAR Library in Washington, the Maryland State Archives, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the London Metropolitan Archives, Library of Congress, and so forth. I love the click of the microfilm drawer, the smell of old paper, the … Continue reading

Downton Abbey is Hot – Now for some real servants.

I fully expect Masterpiece Classic’s Downton Abbey to inspire the costume choices of many next Halloween (see my post on Downton Halloween costumes). Dr. V and I clung to the compelling story lines from above and below stairs every Sunday evening. … Continue reading