While doing a Cruise & Use tour of the browsing categories in The Quilt Index this week, I came across one of my favorite quilt collections documented in the Index–the Waldvogel Archival Collection. This is one of the first private collections contributed to The Quilt Index and currently includes 86 records of quilts and quilt-related ephemera. From the collection description page:
Merikay Waldvogel has collected and researched quilts since the mid 1970s. Although she has also written about older quilts, her primary interests are in the 20th century: the 1933 Sears Quilt Contest, Depression Era Quilts, as well as quilt designers, authors and companies that propelled the 20th century quilt styles.
Waldvogel became an outspoken advocate for saving quilt ephemera such as quilt catalogs, newspaper columns, batting wrappers, advertisements, contest fliers, etc. when she wrote Soft Covers for Hard Times: Quiltmaking and the Great Depression and Patchwork Souvenirs of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. The ephemera served as reliable primary sources to authenticate the quilts she was researching.
I found 8 stunning quilts from the Waldvogel Archival Collection, all entries for the Sears Quilt Contest at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, to share with you today. You can find these quilts and more Challenge or Contest Entry quilts by browsing the Index by Purpose/Function.
Tip: you can easily generate a citation for any image documented in The Quilt Index by clicking on the How to Cite This Record link at the bottom of each record’s basic or full display page. Just click this link and copy and paste the citation, as I’ve done with images below.
To start your browsing journey, visit the home page of The Quilt Index, www.QuiltIndex.org, locate the Browse menu at the top and click on Main. You’ll find six different options for browsing:
Week eleven of our Meet the Contributor blog series profiles the Wyoming Quilt Project.
The Wyoming Quilt Project was incorporated in 1994 and documented over 2800 quilts as of December 2009. This was the only quilt documentation group in the state of Wyoming. The project aimed to document 3000 quilts which resided in Wyoming as it continued to educate quilt owners and quilt groups in Wyoming about the rich history inherent in quilts and the respect due quilt makers as artists and craftsmen. We anticipate reaching our 3000 quilt goal in the near future.
The documentation included an in-depth analysis of each quilt to record observations of how it was made, and forms filled out by the owners documenting who made it and why. Oral histories were taken when the quilt maker was available and willing. We also distributed printed information to each quilt owner about proper care of historic quilts. The Project was largely self funded but support was received from the Wyoming State Quilt Guild (wsqg.org), Cheyenne Heritage Quilters and other quilt groups and individuals which helped greatly to cover the cost of the project.
The dates of quilts documented in Wyoming range from 1808 to the present. We tried to limit our search to quilts made before 1940 but we wanted to include any American Bicentennial and Wyoming Centennial (1990) quilts. Quilts were either privately owned or housed in various museums throughout the state. Many of the quilts documented in Wyoming were made in other states and brought here. Part of our goal was to provide documentation for those states so their record can be accessed for future research.
Our photographic documentation included three 35mm color slides of each quilt: one of the entire quilt, one of the entire quilt with a color wheel held to the side of the quilt, and one a close-up of a block or interesting section. We also took two color photographs of the entire quilt: one for the quilt maker and one for the Project’s records. We added a digital camera in 2004.
The Wyoming Quilt Project gratefully acknowledges all documenters, site coordinators and people from the local area who so generously gave of their time throughout the years to work on this project. Our documentation days could not have occurred without the dedication and hospitality of many quilt groups throughout the state.
Week ten of our Meet the Contributor blog series profiles the Kentucky Quilt Project.
Origins of the Kentucky Quilt Project
The Kentucky Quilt Project was formed in 1981 to survey the state’s quilts. Its original directors were Shelly Zegart, Eleanor Bingham Miller, and Eunice Ray. Katy Christopherson organized the volunteers who aided that survey. It collected data for permanent reference on more than 1,000 quilts and exhibited some of the most interesting found in “Kentucky Quilts 1800-1900,” which appeared first at the Louisville Museum of History and Science in 1983 and at 12 other museums thereafter under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Since 1981 groups in 48 states have undertaken quilt surveys informed by the methods and directions of The Kentucky Quilt Project. Other Project activities in the nineteen eighties included securing a Virginia Ivey quilt for Kentucky, bringing “The Artist and the Quilt” exhibition to Louisville, curating an exhibition of Kentucky quilts in Australia, and giving financial assistance to Kentucky quilt groups for special projects. It also acted as consultant for other state quilt surveys. Quilts documented during this phase of KQP are included in the Index.
“Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt”
In 1990 the current Directors of The Kentucky Quilt Project, Shelly Zegart, Eleanor Bingham Miller and Jonathan Holstein, began to discuss an appropriate way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic exhibition, “Abstract Design in American Quilts,” which opened at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 1971. The exhibition, curated by Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof, created a worldwide awareness of American quilts as designed objects. The result was “Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt.” The celebration began in November, 1991, and continued through March, 1992. We decided a group of events which might illustrate and further the extraordinary developments in the field over the past two decades would be most beneficial. A recreation of the Whitney exhibition was a logical starting point, as many quilt researchers and scholars, quilt makers, collectors, and museum personnel now actively involved with quilts, never saw that original show. We planned also five other exhibitions, four conferences and additional associated events.
Exhibitions in Kentucky
Some quilts exhibited during this phase of KQP are included in the Quilt Index, although many of the actual quilts have since been moved or been gifted by the owners to organizations. The exhibitions were:
“Abstract Design in American Quilts” at the Louisville Museum of History and Science
“A Plain Aesthetic: Lancaster Amish Quilts” at the J. B. Speed Art Museum
Quilts from the above two exhibitions and owned by Jonathan Holstein have been donated to the International Quilt Study Center at the University of Nebraska.
“Always There: The African-American Presence in American Quilts” at the Louisville Museum of History and Science
“Quilts Now” at Zephyr Gallery
“Narrations: The Quilts of Yvonne Wells and Carolyn Mazloomi” at the Louisville Visual Art Association (Water Tower)
“Quilt Conceptions: Quilt Designs in Other Media” at the Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery.
The four conferences were designed to further quilt scholarship in specific areas. “The African-American and the American Quilt” looked at African-American quilts both in relation to the African textile tradition and as part of the mainstream of American quiltmaking. “Directions in Quilt Scholarship” surveyed the field past and present, discussed quilts as art historical and social objects, and looked at problems in the field. “Quilts and Collections: Public, Private and Corporate” discussed the ways quilts are seen, collected and used by individual and corporate collectors, and museums. And “Toward an International Quilt Bibliography,” through the individual efforts and interactions of 15 scholars, suggested the form and directions for a potential new quilt bibliography. Other events included lectures by scholars and quilt artists, and opportunities for participants to discuss issues in the field. In addition, data and dialogues developed at the conferences will be published, and audio and visual documentation of significant events were made for permanent record.
The Directors of The Kentucky Quilt Project hoped the Celebration would bring, as did “Abstract Design in American Quilts” and The Kentucky Quilt Project’s survey, new perspectives and directions to quilt scholarship, understanding and appreciation.* Adapted from “The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc, Directors’ Statement – 1991-1992,” Shelly Zegart, Eleanor Bingham Miller, and Jonathan Holstein in Kentucky Quilts 1800-1900 (Louisville, KY: The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc.) 1992.
The Quilt Journal – An International Review
View the journals.
(Insert to The Quilt Journal, Volume 2, Number 1 1993)
This is a shortened version of the Mission Statement which appeared in our first issue. For some readers this second issue will be their introduction to the Journal, and we felt a statement of its basic purpose and goals should be included. First-time readers are advised a full Mission Statement is to be found in Volume 1, Number 1, 1992. – Editors’ Note
Scholars from a number of disciplines gathered in Louisville, Kentucky, in February 1992 for “Louisville Celebrates the American Quilt,” produced under the auspices of The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc. The Celebration’s exhibitions, seminars and other events were planned to illustrate and further the worldwide growth of interest in quilts and quilting which has developed over the past several decades and provide a wider forum for emerging quilt scholarship. During the two years of planning and review, directors Jonathan Holstein, Eleanor Bingham Miller and Shelly Zegart surveyed the vast outpouring of quilt information in all media. The directors were particularly interested in identifying the most significant trends in quilt scholarship, the future needs of quilt scholars, and the future of quilt scholarship. They reached three conclusions:
Infancy of Quilt Scholarship
First, quilt scholarship in all areas, domestic and international, is in its infancy. We are at the beginning of a new quilt era in we will witness worldwide development in all areas of quilt interest and activity. As a consequence, an unprecedented exists for documenting and studying the field as it grows and develops.
A second conclusion which grew from our study of current quilt scholarship and our experiences at the Celebration was that the future of quilt study is interdisciplinary. No other decorative art object carries the quantity or quality of significant social and aesthetic information to be found in quilts. Embodied in the objects are data of the greatest interest to art and social historians, feminist scholars, students of industry and economics, folklorists, etc. Increasingly quilt scholarship will draw on other disciplines for insights and information. More scholars from other areas will be studying quilts. Methodologies of quilt study will change.
The final conclusion was that in all areas of quilt activity, there will be increasing international participation. It is one of the Journal’s missions to facilitate the work of those around the world who will be coming to quilt research from other fields other places and with different visions. The need for a source of quilt information directed toward other fields and other countries as well as to the American quilt establishment, toward the future, is clear.
Mission and Objectives
The Journal will filter from the enormous flow of quilt information produced in the United States and abroad, things of interest to other disciplines and to quilt professionals and amateurs in this and other countries. To accomplish the Journal’s mission the editors intend to:
* Search diligently for and publish interesting and provocative articles and reviews related to the field which might not elsewhere be printed;
* Offer a forum to quilt scholars with unusual and interesting ideas;
* Draw attention to exhibitions, articles and ideas which the editors feel are significant but might be overlooked;
* Discuss controversial ideas which generally are not being aired;
* Invite all interested scholars to submit articles and article ideas.
The Quilt Journal will also examine critically where it is appropriate publications, conferences and exhibitions of interest to the field. We wish to welcome all of you to The Quilt Journal: An International Review and look forward to communicating important quilt information to you in coming years.
University of Louisville Archives and Records Center
Founded in 1973, the University Archives and Records Center is one of seven research libraries at the University of Louisville. With collections totaling approximately 13,000 linear feet, the Archives serves the research needs of faculty, staff, and students, as well as scholars from other institutions and the local community. As “The Memory of the University,” the Archives preserves and makes available for research the permanent records of the University (one of the oldest municipal universities in the United States), its predecessor schools, and the schools it has absorbed.
Besides caring for the records of the university, the Archives collects and preserves primary source material of local interest. The Urban History Collection contains records of nineteenth- and twentieth-century local businesses, cultural organizations, social service agencies, and churches, along with the personal papers of important political figures, business leaders, and scholars. The Archives is also home to the Women’s History Collection, currently numbering over sixty collections that document the lives and careers of Louisville women and local women’s organizations.
The Archives holds the records of The Kentucky Quilt Project, one of the first organizations to stimulate the collection of information about and promote interest in the craft of quilting on a local, national, and international basis. As a participant in the Quilt Index project, the Archives will process the documentation of a subset of the approximately 1,300 quilts recorded by the The Kentucky Quilt Project and digitize both the data and images for inclusion in the Index.
Week nine of our Meet the Contributor blog series profiles the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress has been a long time consultant during the development of the Quilt Index. Quilts and images from the Center’s online presentation Quilts and Quiltmaking in America are now indexed on the Quilt Index.
The American Folklife Center is the national center for folklife documentation and research. Created by Congress in 1976 “to preserve and present American Folklife,” the Center incorporates an archive, which was established at the Library of Congress in 1928 as a repository for American folk music. Folklife is an integral part of American life, and thus an essential part of the country’s national library. The story of America is reflected in the cultural productions that are part of the everyday lives of ordinary people, from cooking and eating meals, to the activities of work and play, to religious observances and seasonal celebrations. Folklife includes all of these activities, as well as the songs we sing, the stories we tell, and the crafts we make.
Today, the Center boasts over 4,000 collections, which embody the very heart and soul of our national traditional life, as well as the cultural life of communities from many regions of the world. The collections in the Center’s archive include folk cultural material from all fifty states, as well as United States trusts, territories, and the District of Columbia. In addition, the Center and its collections have grown to encompass many aspects of folklore and folklife from around the world.
The quilts showcased here are drawn from two American Folklife Center archival collections, the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project Collection (1978) and the “All-American Quilt Contest” (1992-1996) sponsored by Coming Home, a division of Lands’ End, and Good Housekeeping. A web-based presentation, Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, produced by the American Folklife Center, presents additional information drawn from these projects as well as interpretive essays. Together these collections provide a glimpse into America’s diverse quilting traditions. The quilt documentation from the Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project, an ethnographic field project conducted by the American Folklife Center in cooperation with the National Park Service, includes 229 photographs and 181 recorded interviews with six quiltmakers in Appalachian North Carolina and Virginia. These materials document quilts and quilting within the context of daily life and reflect a range of backgrounds, motivations, and aesthetic sensibilities. The materials presented from the Lands’ End All-American Quilt Contest collection include images of approximately 180 winning quilts from across the United States. The collection represents a wide range of quiltmaking, from highly traditional to innovative, and the quilts pictured exhibit excellent design and technical skill in a variety of styles and materials.
The American Folklife Center has partnered on other digitization, archival, memory, and oral history projects with the Michigan State University Museum and MATRIX:Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online, and the Alliance for American Quilts. A partnership with the Alliance is preserving the hundreds of Quilters — Save Our Stories (Q.S.O.S.) interviews and transcripts at the Folklife Center, where they are archived and available for research.
Credits and Acknowledgements:
LOC Work Team:
Project manager(s): Thea Austen, Stephanie Hall, Alan Jabbour, Nora Yeh
Fieldworkers: Geraldine N. Johnson, and Terry and Lyntha Eiler
Digitization: Thomas Brammel, Carl Fleischhauer, Andrea Greenwood, Christa Maher, Cynthia Zujko Miller
Data entry: Mary Ambrosio, Laurel Horton, Michelle Forner
Project consultants: Emily Lind Baker, James Hardin, Jurretta Jordan Heckscher, Melissa Smith Levine, Phil Michel, Carol Moran, Danna Bell-Russell
Quilt history consultant and essay author: Laurel Horton
Thanks and Acknowledgments: JJT Inc., Lands’ End Inc., and National Park Service
Funding: Archival images and data on quilts from project documentation in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress were indexed in the Quilt Index through funding from IMLS.
Week eight of our blog series on Quilt Index contributors profiles the Gasperik Collection.
The Mary Gasperik Quilts consist of more than 80 full-sized quilts plus numerous miniatures and studies created in Chicago between 1933 and 1967 by Hungarian immigrant and award winning quiltmaker Mary Gasperik. Nearly all the quilts are dispersed among her descendants, who generously supported this project spearheaded by grand-daughter Susan Salser. This online collection of all her existing quilts is the Quilt Index’s first private collection.
Mary Gasperik fits into a very important historic period of immigration, growth, and American experience. Mariska Mihalovits was born in Hungary in 1888. At the age of 16, she immigrated from rural Transylvania to the United States with her sister. She was recorded at Ellis Island as Mariska, the Hungarian form of the English name Mary. She remained in Chicago and became an American citizen. She married fellow Hungarian Stephen Gasperik in 1906, and raised three children: Stephen, Elsie and Elmer.
At the age of 45, Gasperik encountered quilts for the first time at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition. With help from a local quilt club, she quickly adapted her already well-developed needlework skills to quiltmaking. She then devoted her life to that most American form of needlework – quiltmaking; though her quilts very much reflect her Hungarian roots. Thus, she left an incredible record in material culture at a time when few women left such records for study and research. These quilts and her story are not just important for quilt history, but also for women’s history and for American history.
The Quilts reflect her artistic development–from neophyte quiltmaker to prizewinning quilt designer. She sought out others for lessons and advice, she used commercial patterns for patterns and quilting designs, but she also ventured into making her own original designs. She entered contests and garnered the most praise from the Detroit News Quilt columnist Edith Crumb. She died in 1969, having made about 100 quilts.
The Quilt Documentation began in 1992, when Karen Finn and Susan Salser assisted The Amador Valley Quilt Guild in organizing an exhibition of Mary Gasperik’s quilts at the Ravenswood Historic Site in Livermore, California. Forty-five quilts were on display and information was gathered for the exhibition catalogue. The gathering together of these quilts and 22 others collected but not displayed allowed them to be professionally photographed under uniform conditions. In the ensuing 15 years, Susan Salser located or identified the remaining quilts and worked to identify every single quilt pattern, quilting design, or packaged quilt kit that her grandmother used.
The final result is not only the most complete photographic record of one woman’s quilts, but also an invaluable resource of period photographs, newspaper accounts, and quiltmaking ephemera.
— Merikay Waldvogel, July 2008
Financial support for this project was provided by the Salser Family Foundation. Merikay Waldvogel served as the major consultant, supported by Quilt Index staff member, Justine Richardson.
Many thanks to the Gasperik quilt owners: the daughters of Elsie Gasperik Krueger, the children of Elmer Gasperik, the daughters of Stephen Gasperik, and Attila Hajdu, the owner of the Gasperik quilt which Mary Gasperik sent to Hungary. Special thanks to The Los Angeles County Museum of Art for permission to use their photographs of Wedding Quilt, made for niece Mary Bruland.
Week seven of our blog series on Quilt Index contributors profiles the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project.
The Hawaiian Quilt Research Project (HQRP) documented pre-statehood (pre-1959) Hawaiian quilts and patterns from both private and public collections. Over 1,200 quilts and 1,500 patterns were registered and photographed on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu between 1990 and 2003.
As HQRP data and images reveal, Hawaiian quilters evolved a unique quilt style combining Polynesian cultural sensibilities with western design ideas. Best known are the vibrantly colored, boldly graphic designs of Hawaiian applique and flag quilts that have come to define what is a Hawaiian quilt. Other styles, such as crazy quilts and Redwork (outline embroidered designs worked in red cotton thread), were relatively short-lived while patchwork quilts continued to be made.
Origins of the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project
Elizabeth A. Akana and Elaine Zinn founded the Hawaiian Quilt Research Project in 1990 under the auspices of the Kalihi-Palama Culture and Arts Society, a non-profit organization in Honolulu, Hawaii. HQRP achieved independent non-profit status in 1995. HQRP was among the first quilt projects across the nation to begin computerizing collected data. Complete text and graphics database records are maintained for all registered quilts and patterns. Registration forms, slides, negatives, patterns, and related ephemera have been housed in archival materials in preparation to donating the collection to a publically accessible archive. Data collection on the history of quilting in Hawaii continues.
Credits and Acknowledgements
Volunteers spent countless hours helping with the registration process during publicly advertised Quilt Days, including members of:
Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club
Pearl Harbor Hawaiian Civic Club
Hawaii Quilt Guild
Hawaii Stitchery and Fibre Arts Guild
Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea (Waimea Hawaiian Quilting Club)
Special recognition is given to professional photographer, Albert H. Y. Chang (1928-2008) who volunteered his time and expertise in photo documenting both quilts and patterns, and never missed a Quilt Day. He also donated his copyrights for the photographs to HQRP.
HQRP registered quilts and quiltmakers have been the focus of a number of Hawaiian quilt exhibitions at the Mission Houses Museum in Honolulu. Topics ranged from the history of Hawaiian outline-embroidered (Redwork) quilts to the richly diverse interpretations of breadfruit (ulu) designs. Other exhibitions showcased the work of particular quilters such as the Houghtailing sisters (early twentieth century) and contemporary quilter, Margo Armitage Morgan.
Publications with HQRP Findings
Brandon, Reiko M., and Loretta G.H. Woodard. Hawaiian Quilts: Tradition and Transition. Honolulu: Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2004.
Hackler, Rhoda E.A., and Loretta G.H. Woodard. The Queen’s Quilt. Honolulu: Iolani Palace, 2004.
Woodard, Loretta G.H. “Communities of Quilters: Hawaiian Pattern Collecting, 1900-1959.” In Uncoverings, ed. Joanna E. Evans. Lincoln, NE: American Quilt Study Group, 2006.
______. “Quilts.” In Finding Paradise: Island Art in Private Collections, eds. Don Severson and Mike Horikawa. Honolulu: Honolulu Academy of Arts and University of Hawai`i Press, 2003.
______. “The Houghtailing Family and Their Hawaiian Quilts,” Blanket Statements (Spring 2000), American Quilt Study Group, 1, 3-4.
This is the sixth installment of our Meet the Contributor blog series.
The National Quilt Museum (The Museum of the American Quilter’s Society) (NQM) is a non-profit charitable institution established to educate the local, national, and international public about the art, history, and heritage of quilt making, including the diversity of quilts and their makers. This mission is accomplished through quality professional exhibits of new and antique quilts and related archival materials; through workshops, conferences, and publications; through educational activities; and through the development and exhibit of the museum’s own collection.
The NQM Founders Collection has become an ever-developing documentation of the quiltmaking revival that has flourished in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and continues as the new century unfolds. The core of the collection includes quilts donated by the Schroeders (founders of the museum) and American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show & Contest purchase award winners donated by AQS. Also included are a number of other donations and purchases and the Oh, Wow! Collection of miniature quilts. The collection currently includes over 300 quilts, representing the work of over 192 quilt makers. The works in the collection were made from 1980 on.
Our fifth installment in the Meet the Contributor series look at the Minnesota Quilt Project.
The Minnesota Quilt Project (MQP) was created in 1987 as an independent organization. In 1998, it was designated as a permanent subcommittee of Minnesota Quilters, Inc., a state-wide quilt guild. MQP held “Quilt Discovery Days” throughout the state of Minnesota during the 1990’s and documented over 4,000 quilts made before 1976. Extensive oral interviews with select quilt makers were also conducted and recorded. As a result of the documentation, photos, and research, the Minnesota Quilt Project wrote Minnesota Quilts: Creating Connections to our Past published in 2005 by Viking Press. MQP continues to document quilts in museums, private collections, at community “documentation days” and at the Minnesota Quilters, Inc. Annual Quilt Show & Conference. Today, the organization has expanded its documentation efforts to include quilts made after 1976 and is encouraging today’s quilt makers to participate in documenting their quilts for future generations.
Pictured below is “Victory,” c. 1940s.
Our fourth installment of our Meet the Contributor series profiles The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey at Rutgers University Libraries/Special Collections and University Archives.
The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey (HQPNJ) was organized in 1987 to record quilts made in or brought to New Jersey prior to 1951. Over 2,500 quilts were documented, primarily through a series of 32 Quilt Discovery Days conducted throughout the state from 1988 to 1991. Information on additional quilts was obtained through mail submissions, surveys made at selected historical societies and museums, and the donation of records from the Hunterdon County QuiltSearch Project completed in 1999. The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey’s documentation and research resulted in:
* a book, New Jersey Quilts 1777 to 1950: Contributions to an American Tradition, by Rachel Cochran, Rita Erickson, Natalie Hart, and Barbara Schaffer (Paducah, KY: American Quilter’s Society, 1992)
* a traveling exhibit at four museums in New Jersey from December 1992 to November 1993 and at the Museum of the American Quilter’s Society (now known as the National Quilt Museum) in Paducah, Kentucky, from January to April 1994
* a research paper, “Characteristics of Signed New Jersey Quilts 1837-1867,” by Rita Erickson and Barbara Schaffer, published in On the Cutting Edge: Textile Collectors, Collections, and Traditions (Lewisburg, PA: Oral Traditions Project of the Union County Historical Society, County Courthouse, 1994)
* a presentation and panel discussion, “Characteristics of New Jersey Quilts, 1777-1867,” by Rita Erickson and Barbara Schaffer at the “What’s American about American Quilts Symposium” at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in 1995, later published in the Symposium’s Proceedings, What’s American about American Quilts: A Research Forum on Regional Characteristics
* a book, Herstory: Quilts of Hunterdon County, New Jersey 1820 to 1950, by Veronica Mitchell (Xlibris Corporation, 2005)
The photographs, data sheets, and administrative records of The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey were donated to Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, in 2004.
Rutgers University Libraries/Special Collections and University Archives collects, preserves, and makes available primary sources of a rare, unique or specialized nature to support study and research in the humanities, social sciences, history of science, New Jersey state and local history and culture, and the history of Rutgers University. Among the library unit’s diverse holdings are official University records, original letters and documents by prominent Americans and foreigners, other original manuscripts (including many diaries), selected New Jersey town records, books printed before 1501, seventeenth-century tracts promoting settlement in New Jersey, first and signed editions of noted literary works, additional rare books, and historical collections of almanacs, newspapers, maps, broadsides, prints, and photographs.
Credits and Acknowledgments
Rutgers University Libraries/Special Collections and University Archives Work Team:
Project Oversight: Ronald L. Becker and Albert C. King
Digitization and Project Coordination: Valerie Addonizio
Data Entry: Jill Reid
Project Consultants and Data Verification: Barbara Schaffer and Rachel Cochran
Thanks and Acknowledgments: Bonita Craft Grant
Funding: Rutgers University Libraries/Special Collections and University Archives was added to the Quilt Index through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in-kind contributions from The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey.
Week three of our blog series on QI contributing institutions.
The History of the North Carolina Quilt Project
Inspiration for the North Carolina Quilt Project began with the 1978 exhibition North Carolina Country Quilts: Regional Variations at the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. This exhibition resulted from field study by then UNC students Joyce Joines Newman and Mary Ann Emmons and research by Laurel Horton. As far as we can determine, their research, focusing on quiltmaking in three distinct regions of North Carolina, was the first serious documentation of quilts in the United States.
In 1983 the Forsyth Piecers and Quilters Guild in Winston-Salem supported an exploration of the feasibility of a statewide quilt documentation project. The original steering committee consisted of five quiltmakers from different parts of the state: Kay Clemens, of Greenville; Kathlyn Sullivan, of Raleigh; Ruth Roberson, of Durham; Karen Pervier, of Winston-Salem; and Sue McCarter, of Charlotte. They were later joined by Martha Battle, Annie Teich, Laverne Domach, and Beverly Smalls to form the board of directors, along with folklorist Joyce Joines Newman as consultant, and Shirley Willis as documentation day coordinator.
Established as a nonprofit organization in 1985, the project’s goal was to make a permanent record of quiltmaking in North Carolina through 1975. The 1975 date was chosen to be late enough to permit interviews with current quiltmakers and older women who had made quilts in earlier decades. The limiting date also encouraged the documentation of as many early quilts as possible. The North Carolina Quilt Symposium Inc. and the North Carolina Museum of History agreed to be cosponsors. Since North Carolina stretches five hundred miles from east to west and more than one hundred miles from north to south, the state was divided into seven regions, each with a regional coordinator. An official documenter and a paid photographer were present at each documentation day. More than 10,000 quilts were documented in a series of 76 documentation days in 1985-1986.
The project aimed to achieve some sense of the variety of quilts made in the state and to learn about the lives of the quiltmakers. Data was gathered on two forms; one form collected information about the quilt’s owner, the quiltmaker, and their relationship. The second form recorded data collected during an examination by a quilt historian.
Color slides were taken of the quilts as well as black-and-white photographs. More than 3,500 owners brought quilts to be documented. Owners also brought dozens of pieces of ephemera along with their quilts-photos, newspaper clippings, biographies, and notes. These documentation forms, the photographs and slides, and ephemera are part of the archives of the project.
In 1988 UNC Press published North Carolina Quilts. NCQP director Ruth Roberson acted as editor, with chapters written by Ellen Eanes, Erma Kirkpatrick, Sue McCarter, Joyce Joines Newman, and Kathlyn Sullivan. In conjunction with the book’s publication, the North Carolina Museum of History mounted an exhibition of representative quilts from the project.
The assets of the project were legally transferred to the North Carolina Museum of History in 1994. Inclusion in the Quilt Index fulfills one of the central goals of the project-to ensure that the records are made available to the public for educational and research purposes.
The North Carolina Museum of History
The North Carolina Museum of History is part of the Division of State History Museums, under the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The Division of State History Museums collects and preserves artifacts and other historical materials relating to the history and heritage of North Carolina in a local, regional, national, and international context to assist people in understanding how the past influences the present. The Division interprets the state’s history through exhibitions, educational programs, and publications available to the visitor on-site or through distance-learning technologies.
Contributor’s Work Team:
North Carolina Museum of History’s project manager(s), Data entry, Project consultants
Janine LeBlanc, project manager and data entry
Louise Benner, John Campbell, consultants
Janine LeBlanc, Maria Shevzov, Jeanine Henderson
The North Carolina Quilt Project documentation was added to the Quilt Index through funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and in-kind contributions from the North Carolina Museum of History, Department of Cultural Resources.