Material Culture Research : Investigating Things
Grove Art Online (contained within Oxford Art Online). Extensive art encyclopedia provides historical context and bibliography. Search, e.g.: Norway, Vernacular Art, stereoscop*, dolls.
- EXAMPLE: Sears catalogs (available on campus).
- EXAMPLE: Towle Mfg. Co., Georgian: a pattern of spoons... (available via Internet Archive)
- French Peddler's Trade Catalog, ca. 1806-13 (Winterthur Museum).
- World's Fair exhibition catalogs (1851, 1867, 1876).
- American Periodicals Series Online (Colonial times to mid-20c)
- ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chicago Tribune (1849-1990).
- ProQuest Historical Newspapers: New York Times (1851-2009).
- Women's Magazine Archive
- Life Photo Archive (hosted by Google). Add source:life to Google search terms.
Possible primary sources: Patterns, instruction books, do-it-yourself guides in popular magazines
Search the Library Catalog.
- Example of 19th century crochet patterns
- Example of 19th century Victorian furniture patterns (reprinted)
- Example from Google Books: Upholstery: with numerous engravings and diagrams (1904)
- Example from HathiTrust: Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine (1850-60's)
- Example from Internet Archive: Practical Sheet Metal Work and Demonstrated Patterns (1910)
Letters and diaries
Images of comparable objects
- AP Images.
- Wisconsin Historical Society, online collections.
- Wisconsin Decorative Arts Database.
- NYPL Digital Collections. Digitized prints, photographs, maps, archival materials, more.
- NY Historical Society Museum Collections
- Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Collection.
- Smithsonian Collections.
- Smithsonian/National Museum of American History Collections.
- Mercer Museum
- Vesterheim: Norwegian-American Museum and Heritage Center. (look for museums focusing on the type of object or cultural heritage you are researching).
- Wisconsin Veterans Museum.
- UW-Madison Library Catalog, advanced search. Use "publication year" to limit to publications contemporary to your object.
- WorldCat (FirstSearch). Search across 70,000 libraries for materials to ILL.
- Art Full Text (1984-present).
- Art Index Retrospective (1929-1984).
- ARTbibliographies Modern.
- ProQuest: Arts Search. Search across a diverse set of arts and humanities databases, dissertations, historical runs of popular magazines, ebooks, more.
- America: History and Life.
- Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982).
- Design and Applied Arts Index.
- ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
- Browse databases by subject/format.
- Browse research guides by subject.