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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Medina State of Northern Ohio
    Posts
    6,169

    Question Research 105: Artifacts and Relics

    Hallo Kameraden!

    I was going to post a thread on using surviving CW artifacts and relics in museums, public and private collections, reference books, etc., etc., for historical and cultural inferences about life in the CW Past and what that can mean for our collective knowledge "hinge point," clothing, gear, and activities...

    But, I am looking for input, suggestions, ideas first- as to condense things down can be hard.
    Particulary when it comes to varied needs and applications such as, but not limited to:

    1. Vendors and makers wanting to correctly reproduce goods based upon proper raw materials, patterns, forms, and period manufacturing technology.
    2. Reenactors/Living Historians wanting to use historically accurate and pperiod--corect clothing and gear in histoircally accurate activities.
    3. Researchers and historians wanting to make discoveries about specific units at specific times and places during the War, for both knowledge or publication.
    4. Combinations of the above.

    Etc., etc, etc.

    What would YOU like to see (in a 100 words or less... ;-) )

    Any requests, ideas, wants, help, or direction- would be appreciated.

    Danke, Kameraden!

    Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant
    -Often incorrect, technically, historically, factually.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    North Charleston, SC
    Posts
    562

    Re: Research 105: Artifacts and Relics

    Curt,

    Maybe a primer on how we use the few remaining articles, cross referenced with period newspaper articles, diaries, reports, photos etc? The same said article being used at authentic events. I would like to see more articles on the "imported" rifles, French, Belgian and Austrian, eventhough no one is going to make a run of these weapons. So much out there that we don't know, kind of like looking at the Milky Way Galaxy through a straw.
    Greg Deese
    Carolina Rifles-Living History Association

    http://www.carolinrifles.com
    "How can you call yourself a campaigner if you've never campaigned?"-Charles Heath, R. I. P.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Emmitsburg, MD
    Posts
    343

    Re: Research 105: Artifacts and Relics

    I think it would be very important to point out that in researching, and in applying research to historical interpretations, that it is only necessary to prove that something had existed, was constructed, and was used in a certain way. We are not required (nor can we) prove that something did not exist.

    I can relate this to my recent study of civilian overshirts. I can prove by my survey of newspapers, ledgers, photographs, and first hand accounts that overshirts were manufactured of wool flannel and linsey-woolsey and that overshirts in the early to mid 1850s tended to have inset pockets in the breast area (if they had pockets at all) and as the decade progressed, patch pockets are seen more frequently. Now if I was at an event and someone approached me with a overshirt made of, say, jeancloth, the burden of proof is placed upon that individual to substantiate the use of jeancloth in overshirt manufacture. That individual cannot expect me to prove to him that jeancloth was not used, he just has to prove that it was used. My research has not uncovered anything that connects jeancloth and overshirts, therefore, until further scholarship is able to connect the two, I am prevented from manufacturing or wearing a jeancloth overshirt. I know this is a conservative method of researching, but I think it might be worth mentioning.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Jefferson Guards; 03-15-2004 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Found a spelling mistake
    Brian Koenig
    SGLHA
    Hedgesville Blues

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    405

    Re: Research 105: Artifacts and Relics

    I'd like to see included in that discussion some awareness of the daily pressures that museum and library staff face. "Why would they want to go with a less authentic group?" I hear over and over again,"aren't they supposed to be encouraging people to learn about history? Why not go with a more authentic group?" or "I emailed this person six times and never got an answer, I guess they are trying to block me from access."

    Does the less authentic group volunteer on a regular basis, week in, week out, year in, year out? Does the staff have ANY discretionary funds to pay an honorarium? Do they have time to sit with you for four hours while you study their collection's frock coat? Do they still have the time if yours is the 18th request they got this week, the staff has been cut because times are bad, and they now need to spend 3 hours a day at the admissions desk ringing up admissions? Do they even know how to check their email messages? Do they have the time to do it more than once a month? Has the staffer who checks the general emails that come in through the website gone on maternity leave for the next 3 months?

    Have you given the museum a donation in your thank you note for the three hours they did spend with you? Did you write a letter of appreciation to the curator's boss to let them know how much you appreciate the ways the curator went over and above? Did you share some of the research you had already done on this item (aka xerox articles other study notes and leave a copy for their files?). Did you send a copy of the pictures you took with the measurements of their item? Lots of collections can't spare the time to examine the items in their collections at the level that many of us are doing. Your measurements are, in themselves, documentation of the condition and size of the garment or artifact. If there is a flood, a moth attack, a fire, your notes might be the only detailed record left of this item.

    Over 100 words,
    Karin Timour
    "The Stories in the Socks" Women in the Civil War Conference, Richmond, VA June 2004
    Period Knitting -- Socks, Hats, Balaclavas
    Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
    Email: Ktimour@aol.com

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