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Wednesday, 7 November 2012

accessingbytouch

a day at The Textiles research centre - a session with actual objects that I have requested to view - difficult to convey how exciting it is to handle the objects that were earlier an ascension number and short description.
Where to start - after a long conversation with volunteers and archivists about the project, focusing on ways of accessing the collection, and cataloguing which led to ideas around blogging tags, crowd sourcing, turning ICOM into a diagram/family tree and translation from artists language to curator/archivist language I got to have boxes opened by the very wonderful and knowledgeable Lisa.
After spending time with the smocks which were the starting point of the project and obviously they are extraordinary objects. I was pleased that I had chosen 'the best' examples In the collection - the richness of the materials and structure were obvious. Highlights were - NWHCM : 1969.47 - dressmaking or tailoring samples which was in a box (CT1020) which contained examples of sewing and garment construction - much of it in parts, 'apprentice' pieces as part of courses or as examples to aid in the passing exams or to get work.
Sidelines that took over today were issues of wear and tear and ageing on the garments. How the garments had worn away told you much about the people who had worn them and the world they lived in, the very basic fixing that had taken place held many stories.

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