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Finding Extra Resources for Research

by Bridget Long

I have the luxury of using a university library that enables access to many online publications and theses. Sadly many of these are off-limits for independent researchers who are trying to work from home, but I am pleased to say that more sources are becoming accessible. There are other relevant texts available in addition to those books listed in Brigid Ockelton’s excellent series on quilt study and related publications and I have listed some below. Perhaps there could continue to be a slot in Culcita where we could all share our favourite online sources.

For example, the Digital Commons system of putting more university academic work in the public domain is of great value. MA and PhD theses and dissertations originating from the Department of Clothing and Textiles at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln are accessible via this route and include work carried out by scholars taking the Quilt Studies courses. Christine Humphrey’s Quilt Documentation Projects 1980–1989: Exploring the Roots of a National Phenomenon and Carolyn Ducey’s Chintz Appliqué Albums: Memory and Meaning in Nineteenth Century Quilts of the Delaware River Valley were published in 2010. This year Madeleine Roberg completed Tucked In: American Quilts and the Beds They Cover 1790–1939 where she explored the changing sizes of quilts and bed dimensions over the period.

Some universities in the UK also make recent dissertations available, such as Polly Hamilton’s dissertation Haberdashery for Use in Dress 1500–1800 from the University of Wolverhampton.

Polly Hamilton’s research was part of The Dictionary Project. Dr Nancy Cox and Dr Karen Dannehl are building The Dictionary of Traded Goods and Commodities 1550–1800 although it is currently a work in progress; the entry for Patchwork is being worked on at the moment. If you come across a strange commodity in your research this would be the place to go. The Dictionary can be found on the British History On-line website along with many other interesting nuggets.

CHORD (The Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution) is also based at Wolverhampton and may be a good resource for conferences and workshops for any period up to the present day.

I have mentioned the fascinating website that lists cases at the Old Bailey from 1673 to 1913 that can be searched by keyword and recommend it again. I use this website a great deal in my work. The earlier Old Bailey records also form part of a much larger website London Lives 1690 to 1800: Crime Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis. It contains parish archives, criminal, coroners’, hospital and Guild records from London.

© Bridget Long, 2011