The McCarl Coverlet Gallery collects coverlets and other weaving examples that exemplify weaving traditions in the colonial to post-antebellum Northeastern United States. If an artifact is particularly unique, the gallery will consider accepting weavings that fall outside of the noted geographic range. In addition, The McCarl Coverlet Gallery collects items dealing with the history, genealogy, and trade practices of weavers associated with the collections. Weaving equipment and other material dealing with folk life from the 1830s to the 1860s Northeastern United States may also be accepted at the discretion of the curator. The McCarl Coverlet Gallery will accept these items through the gift, donation, or bequest from the donor.
Available for Research
The Clarita Anderson and Catherine (Kay) Hawthorne Papers
In 1986, Kay Hawthorne joined textile historian Clarita Anderson in an endeavor to document Jacquard-woven coverlets. Over the years, the two women amassed a database of over 14,000 textiles. Originally housed at the University of Maryland, the database came to Saint Vincent College in 2009. This past year, the database now known as the Anderson/Hawthorne Textile Database was converted from it old format (on floppy disks!!) into a searchable online interface. The McCarl Gallery is currently in the process of identifying and adding images into the database records, however, the database is open for public usage.
In addition to the database, Anderson and Hawthorne both gave their research collections in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The papers of these two women contain unpublished manuscript, a massive collection of research on weavers (over 9,000 weavers!!!), and their own personal correspondence and research files. Search the Anderson/Hawthorne Textile Database Click here!
Images forthcoming. If you would like to request an image associated with a record number, please email curator Lauren Churilla at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a coverlet or weaver that you would like added into the database, please contact us as well.
New Collections Available for Research! THE RITA J. ADROSKO PAPERS: 1965-1993.
Rita J. Adrosko is the Curator Emerita of the Textile Collection at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C.
Her interest in the Jacquard mechanism began in the late 1960s while planning a new textile exhibit for the National Museum of History and Technology, as the National Museum of American History was then called. She was responsible for refurbishing the Museum’s 19th century French Jacquard-equipped loom for exhibit and for demonstrating weaving on the loom after the exhibit opened. Knowing little about the history or operation of the Jacquard loom and finding little fully-documented work about Jacquard’s life or his invention, she began to do extensive research on both the inventor and the mechanism. Her research led her to spend six weeks in Lyon and Paris in 1971 and 1972, visiting libraries, archives, and museums. She researched 19th century weaving and 18th and 19th century weaving industries in Lyon, Paris and other French weaving centers, as well as in London. She also visited places such as Jacquard’s burial place and sought photographs and documents showing examples of Jacquard weaving.
What Can I Find?
The collection contains Adrosko’s research files on Joseph-Marie Jacquard and the Jacquard loom. Significant items include copies of material gathered by Adrosko in the course of visits to the library of the Musée Historique de Tissus, the Archives Nationales Françaises, the Bibliothèque Nationale, the museum of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, and other libraries and archives in Paris, Lyon and London.
The collection includes numerous notes and information written by Adrosko herself in the course of her work. It contains sections on drawlooms and other pre-Jacquard devices; Jacquard’s life and work; the Jacquard mechanism in France, Britain, Germany, and America; applications and products; and the silk industry in general in France and Britain. It also contains copies of British patents, 1818-1868, for Jacquard and related looms, as well as copies of numerous articles about the silk industry in general and Jacquard in particular. Many files contain photographs