Category Archives: Textiles

Save the Date! Quilt Documentation Day

Dresdent Plate signature quilt

Detail, signature quilt in the Dresden Plate pattern, part of the Charlemont Historical Society Collection

The Charlemont Historical Society will host a Quilt Documentation Day on Saturday, September 10, 2016 in Charlemont (location t.b.a.). Volunteers from the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project will spend the day documenting pre-1950 quilts brought in by local residents. The volunteers also will document the quilts in the Charlemont Historical Society collection.

Each person who brings in a quilt for documentation will receive a report that includes information about the quilt’s design, age, and proper care. Details about the documented quilts will go into the national Quilt Index database.

According to the Massachusetts Quilt Documentation Project website, this organization was founded in 1994. Since then it

“has documented over 7,000 pre-1950 quilts originating or currently owned in this state. Dozens of historical societies and hundreds of private owners have been served.
MassQuilts encourages the study and preservation of quilts and demonstrates that these textiles convey important insights about the lives of Massachusetts women from the colonial period to the present. “

This event is part of the Charlemont Historical Society’s year-long focus on the theme of textiles.

More details about this event will be posted here soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions about this event, please be in touch.

Putting our collection online

Omeka1

One of our big projects this year involves putting items from the Charlemont Historical Society collection online. In keeping with our “Textiles” theme of this year, the first items we have digitized are quilts, coverlets, and flags.

We are using a tool called Omeka to  share these materials online. Developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, Omeka makes it possible for small historical societies and museums like ours to make exhibits and collections available to everyone, anywhere.

You can see what we have already digitized by clicking on the “online collection” button on the menu bar of this website. Another way to get to the online collection is to visit:

http://charlemonthistoricalsociety.omeka.net/

The total number of items currently online is small. We will be adding more materials on a rolling basis from now on, however, and hope that you will check back regularly to see what new materials have been digitized. Recently-added items are displayed on the right-hand side of the online collection website, as shown in the screenshot above.

This digitization project allows us to share materials that are rarely seen by the public and that may be of interest to researchers, regardless of where they live. If you are a genealogist with ancestors from the Charlemont area, you may find items of interest in this online collection.

For instance, two of the textiles currently in the online collection are signature quilts that show the names of women who lived in Charlemont in the past. One of these quilts dates back to the late 1860s and includes women’s names, the towns where they lived (in Charlemont and surrounding communities), dates, and, in one case, age and birthday details.

If you are interested in helping us with this digitization effort, please be in touch! We welcome volunteers for this and other projects.

Betsy Ross and the Making of America

FlagStar

Join us on Flag Day – Tuesday, June 14 – for “Betsy Ross and the Making of America,” a talk by Marla Miller based on her book of the same title. Marla’s talk will focus on how the Philadelphia upholsterer and flagmaker Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole become the iconic “Betsy Ross” of American popular culture.

Marla’s book on Betsy Ross was a finalist for the Cundill Prize in History (“the world’s largest non-fiction historical literature prize”) and was included on The Washington Post’s “Best of 2010” list.

Marla is a history professor at UMass-Amherst, where she also directs the Public History program. Her research focuses on the work lives of women before industrialization. She received the Organization of American Historians’ Lerner- Scott Prize for best dissertation in Women’s History and the 1998 Walter Muir Whitehill Prize in Colonial History.

The event will also include a mini-exhibit of flags from the Charlemont Historical Society collection.

Event details:

Betsy Ross and the Making of America, a talk by Marla Miller
Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 7:00pm
Hawlemont Elementary School
10 School Street
Charlemont, MA 01339

Valley Gives update

Thank-you

Thank you to everyone who supported the Charlemont Historical Society yesterday through Valley Gives!

This year marked our first time participating in the online day of philanthropy, and we were very pleased with the results. We raised a total of $710 through the event, including $210 in individual donations and another $500 “golden ticket” gift through Valley Gives.

We were raising funds to help with the following:

  • proper care for and display of the textiles in the Society’s collection;
  • hosting a public talk on a textile-related theme;
  • digitizing our textile collection, so that it is available online for anyone, anywhere;
  • organizing a community quilting bee to create a new quilt for the Historical Society’s collection.

More information about how we are using the Valley Gives funds to support these projects will be coming along in the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you would like to volunteer to help with any of these activities, please be in touch. We would love to hear from you.

On Tuesday, May 3 support textile projects through Valley Gives

ValleyGives

As we mentioned in a recent post, the Charlemont Historical Society is focusing on the theme of textiles this year. The activities we are pursuing related to this theme are:

  • proper care for and display of the textiles in the Society’s collection;
  • hosting a public talk on a textile-related theme;
  • digitizing our textile collection, so that it is available online for anyone, anywhere;
  • organizing a community quilting bee to create a new quilt for the Historical Society’s collection.

We are raising funds for these efforts through Valley Gives, a one-day festival of philanthropy that benefits nonprofits in the Pioneer Valley region of western Massachusetts. Valley Gives is coming up on Tuesday, May 3 — and we would appreciate your support!

For more information about our current projects and to make a gift to support them, please go to:

https://valleygives.razoo.com/us/story/Charlemont-Historical-Society

Thank you in advance for your support!

Focus on textiles

Quilt3

Detail from a quilting bee quilt in the Charlemont Historical Society collection. Some of the quilt blocks have handwritten information about the women who made the quilt, including their names, the towns where they lived, and dates.

 

The Charlemont Historical Society currently is focusing on the theme of textiles. To that end, we are working on:

  • proper care for and display of the textiles in our collection;
  • hosting a public talk by Marla Miller, author of Betsy Ross and the Making of America on Flag Day, Tuesday, June 14
  • making information about, and photographs of, our textile collection available online;
  • organizing a community quilting bee to create a new quilt for the Historical Society’s collection.

We are participating in Valley Gives Day Tuesday, May 3 – to help raise funds for these projects. Please consider making a gift to the Charlemont Historical Society for Valley Gives on Tuesday, May 3. Thank you!