Thursday, 3 October 2013

Stories behind the Stitches: Schoolgirl Samplers of the 18th and 19th Centuries * A Fitzwilliam Museum On-Line Exhibition

Leena A Rana, Connecting with Collections Intern, at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (seen in the centre of the picture belong) has created an on-line sampler exhibition featuring the work of 8 girls of modest means. She started researching the samplers in January 2013, and was eager to discover information about the makers, the schools they attended and the function of needlework in these institutions.
Leena says: But these classroom items only reveal some clues, and in order to piece the stories together I needed to visit several places and to consult numerous sources. Local record offices and libraries keep relevant archival materials, such as minute books and registers related to a particular school. Online genealogical sites helped me to trace the whereabouts of most of the girls after they had left education. Local history societies shared their knowledge of contemporary schooling in a certain area. I was also fortunate enough to visit one current school site and see other samplers that had been made there. Her project was part of the admirable Connecting with Collections. To visit the on-line exhibition, click here. To visit the Facebook page of Connecting With Collections, click here.

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