Sampler ID Day To Be Held at New Castle Historical Society

The Delaware Sampler Discovery Group will host a Delaware Sampler Identification Day at The New Castle Historical Society at 30 Market Street in New Castle, Delaware, on Saturday, October 1, 2016, from 10:00 am-4:00 pm.

Please bring your eighteenth and/or nineteenth century samplers and any supporting family information to be photographed and documented by the Delaware Sampler Discovery Group. If you have more than two samplers, please make an appointment by contacting Cynthia Steinhoff at 410-647-6451 or cksteinhoff@gmail.com.

About Delaware Needlework Samplers

Mary Roe (1821-1904) Probably taught by Eliza McKay at the Frederica Academy, Kent County, Delaware, 1835 Image courtesy of M. Finkel & Daughter Collection of the DAR Museum
Mary Roe (1821-1904)
Probably taught by Eliza McKay at the Frederica Academy,
Kent County, Delaware, 1835
Image courtesy of M. Finkel & Daughter
Collection of the DAR Museum

A needlework sampler is a piece of embroidery produced as a demonstration or test of skill in needlework and was usually stitched by girls while attending school. Samplers and related schoolgirl embroideries frequently include alphabets, figures, motifs, verses, pictorial scenes, and decorative borders. In addition, they often include the name of the girl who stitched the sampler, the date when it was created, as well as names of family members and perhaps even a teacher. Most importantly, samplers provide an extremely rare window into the lives of girls and young women of early America.

Background

The New Castle Historical Society is partnering with the Delaware Sampler Discovery Group, which has been active for more than ten years, on a statewide initiative to locate, document, and photograph schoolgirl samplers in Delaware’s public and private collections. In collaboration with other organizations, the group held two ID Days in 2015, two in 2014, and five in 2013, with funds provided by the Delaware Humanities Forum and private donors leading to the discovery of many unpublished Delaware samplers.

Another partner, the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE, hosted an ID Day in June 2015 and several of the earlier identification events. In March 2014 the Biggs Museum was the site of an exhibition and three–day symposium on Delaware genealogical samplers entitled Wrought with Careful Hand: Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalog with the same title.

Dr. Gloria Seaman Allen will research Delaware sampler discoveries for a comprehensive study of Delaware girlhood embroideries with a publication date of fall 2017.

For more information or to make an appointment to bring your sampler to the New Castle ID Day, contact Cynthia Steinhoff at 410-647-7451 or cksteinhoff@gmail.com.