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Grant number: PG-252893-17

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Old Sturbridge Village (Sturbridge, MA 01566-1138)
Caitlin M. Emery (Project Director: May 2016 to present)

Textile Conservation Assessment

A consultation with a textile conservator and her intern to assess the condition of 450 items of historic clothing housed in hanging storage, as well as the purchase of some rehousing supplies.  The textiles, in addition to the sizeable material culture collection held by the living history museum, document the daily lives of rural, inland New Englanders from 1790 to 1840.  While current exhibits focus on the 1830s, the museum collection and library holdings encompass artifacts that further the understanding and interpretation of early 19th-century life more broadly, reaching an estimated 250,000 students, families, tourists, and scholars every year.

Old Sturbridge Village's nationally known Museum Collection encompasses approximately 60,000 objects made or used in New England between 1790 and 1840. The 6,500 object collection of textiles and clothing is the second largest subset. Objects housed in hanging storage include men's and women's outerwear and dressing gowns; women's gowns, dresses, and petticoats; and men's shirts, vests, tailcoats and jackets, and militia coats. This project will enlist the expertise of an outside consultant to perform a conservation assessment of approximately 450 historic garments and the museum's current storage inadequacies and develop a plan for targeting immediate and long-term storage rectification within the collection of hanging textiles. Recommendations for future targeted conservation efforts will be outlined and focus on garments to be displayed as part of a comprehensive exhibition on fashion and textiles scheduled to open in 2018.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018