Clothing the Workers: Researching Victorian Clothing

 Hi Guys! My research is currently on hold for a variety of reasons (always a pain when life gets in the way of the fun stuff!) but be sure to follow me on facebook to find out wehat I'm currently upto! ♥


Hi guys!

So after finally being successful in obtaining enough funding to start my research project I decided to start this page to keep you up-to-date with the project currently entitled "Clothing the Workers: Researching Victorian Clothing."

Unfortunately my website provider will only allow me one blog on my website so if I'm doing blog updates I'll probably link to there.

Here I'll keep a note of the resources and materials I'm using for my research and (hopefully) an eventual link to downloading the research!

So my first attempt with kickstarter was unsuccessful! But since then I've been making progress with my research so decided to take another shot at crowdfunding!

I've set up a section of my etsy shop full of kickstarter rewards and I'll be adding more during the project's funding period. A sneak peek of the kinds of things on offer are shown below. The rewards increase depending on your pledge amount

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Research Visits update one:

 On  Thursday 19th I made my way to New Lanark Heritage site to begin my research. I was surprised to find out that access to their search rooms is free and open to all, all I needed to do was make an appointment. My lovely mum came with me (well she was my transport to and from New Lanark so she decided to come into the search rooms with me) and we spent about 2 hours going through photographs and research folders from the 1840s all the way to the 1960s (we didn't spend too long on the 20th century pieces) we found a few wonderful pieces in the family geneology section, including photographs of one woman right from when she was around 17 until she was in her 80s having lived in New Lanark most of her life. It was wonderful to see the family progression. 

The photographs were really good for a nice grounding in the era I'm looking at and I found some titles of more books I want to study!

I've also reached out to the curatorial staff at both the National Museum of Scotland and Blists Hill Victorian Farm so let's hope I hear back soon!  

Research Visits update two

On  Wednesday 16th July, I was invited to view the Scottish Life Archive at the National Museum of Scotland. It was incredible! I worked from 10am straight until 5pm. I forgot to stop and have lunch because I was having such a good time looking through everything. None of it is digitised (apart from having copies of some of the photos digitised online), so first I took the archive index book and made a list of the sections I wanted to look through then it was a case of taking one folder at a time and going through each image/item individually. It was so much fun and I'm already planning my second (and third) visit to see all the stuff I didn't have time for in visit one. The curator who helped me was lovely, and invited me back whenever I need to.

The next day I was off to the Collections Centre of the National Museum. This is bit was awesome too! I got to handle and photogrpah exant Victorian garments from Scotland (and a few from further afield) including a couple of amazing fishwoman outfits/costumes from Newhaven, an area in Edinburgh famous for it's fishing industry which has it's own extraordinary culture and history all of it's own.

 I got loads of photos for reference, although right now I can't put any online for copyright reasons, hopefully when I get round to writing up my research and maybe publishing it I can get permission to use the images :)

 I've recently made contact with the curators in Blists Hill, who are happy for me to visit when I can; also Dalgarven Mill, a museum of rural life and costume based in Kilwinning. I'm heading there with my trusty notepad and research assistant (mum) on Thursday! Again they have a lot of pictorial and written archives and only a few garments left but I'm looking forward to it none-the-less.

Books/Other Research

Having been in edinburgh for about a month now I've managed to sign up for both the Edinburgh City Library and the National Library of Scotland so I'll be able to get access to out of print and certain periodicals, when I get round to visiting the reading rooms :)

At  home, I've been reading Ruth Goodman's "How to be a Victorian" which has been really interesting and pointed me in the direction of some interesting research avenues, such as the the extensive second-hand clothing market that was active during the victorian period for many working class and poor people. 

 I've also been reading a couple of period books published during the Victorian period. One is a book I've had for months and have even used for patterns for clothing in my etsy shop it is "The workwoman's guide, containing instructions in cutting out and completing articles of wearing apparel by A Lady" (I absolutely love that it's just by "A Lady") and I've started reading some of the work by Henry Mayhew who was a journalist during the Victorian period who was one of the first journalists to go out an talk to the working classes and poor people of London, his work brings a whole new layer to the other pieces I've been reading from modern historians. 

Funding Update

So whilst, my kickstarter was unsuccessfull second time round I decided to put that on hold for a while and look for other avenues of funding. Last year I applied for a funding Scheme from Creative Scotland called the Artist Bursary, Although I managed to get through to the second stage of review I didn't get the grant but instead of wallowing I revamped and updated my application and filled it out a bit more, using the little bits of research I've done so far to point me in new directions and submitted it for review this year. I should hopefully hear at some point in November, so keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

 I'll be updating again soon

Until then

See you in the future! ♥