Resources

DSC_0187-001Web destinations of interest for material culture studies

These websites offer information of interest to teachers and students in material culture studies. Check back regularly for new additions—and if you’d like to add a favorite site to this list, send the URL and a brief annotation to dandrews@english.udel.edu

University of Delaware Subject Guides: Material Culture, and the Material Culture Studies Research Seminar

The “Picturing America” initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities introduces K-12 students and teachers to forty iconic American images as a way to teach the culture of objects and images in a variety of classrooms including history, politics, social studies, English, science, and art history.

Visual Information Access (VIA) is a growing online union catalogue at Harvard documenting the arts, material culture, and social history.

American Memory (Library of Congress): the starting place for electronically accessing the many incredible things at the Library of Congress beyond books.

Commonplace is a quarterly online journal featuring essays on the stuff of early American culture.

Encyclopedia of American Studies, published by Johns Hopkins University Press for the American Studies Association.

The Peabody Essex Museum offers an amazing collection of things emphasizing the global connectedness of early America

Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing:
A rich resource for all things related to the history of the book and print
culture

The Daguerreian Society site dedicated to “the art, history, and science” of the first form of photography

A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections
Full Report of the Heritage Health Index (HHI), the first comprehensive survey ever conducted of the conditions and preservation needs of our nation’s collections. Conducted by Heritage Preservation in partnership with IMLS, HHI found that immediate action is needed to prevent the loss of millions of irreplaceable artifacts.

Connecting to Collections: A Guide to On Line Resources
The Guide to Online Resources is a companion to the IMLS Connecting to Collections Bookshelf, a core set of books, DVDs, online resources, and an annotated bibliography that is being distributed free to 2,000 collecting institutions. The Guide contains links to the most trusted collections care resources on the Web. Use it to find answers to common conservation and collections management questions. The Guide to Online Resources is divided into six sections:

  • Manage a Collection
  • Manage the Collections Environment
  • Care for Collections
  • Prepare for and Respond to Emergencies
  • Increase Support for Collections Care
  • Learn More About Collections Care

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Work–AIC is a national membership organization dedicated to the preservation of cultural material.

Heritage Preservation – HP is the National Institute for Conservation dedicated to preserving our material culture in museums, libraries and private collections.

Institute of Museum and Library Services–IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

Society for the History of Technology (SHOT)
ECHO (Exploring and Collecting History Online) is a directory to 5,000+ websites concerning the history of science, technology, and industry.

H-Sci-Tech-Med discussion list for the history of science, technology, and medicine.

Wisconsin Digital Library for Decorative Arts and Material Culture
Center for the Quilt Online

George Washington: A National Treasure – NPG (good example of an interactive website in material culture)

Metropolitan Museum of Art: Timeline of Art History. MMA exhibition
Blog.Mode

The American Image: The Photographs of John Collier Jr.
Maxwell Museum of Anthropology – the Active Looking (Flickr) and the Propaganda Film maker

Bernie Herman’s Blog: Meditations on the Worlds of Things

National History Clearinghouse (example of a portal site for resources in a discipline)

Objects of History. George Mason’s Center for History and New Media and National Museum of American History

The Lost Museum: Exploring Antebellum Life and Culture
website 3-D re-creation and archive of P. T. Barnum’s American Museum

V&A Day of Record – events to document contemporary fashion and design

Definitions of Material Culture