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Needlework Sampler Documentation Days

February 15 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Centre County Historical Society (CCHS) is hosting a unique opportunity for owners of pre-1900 American needlework samplers at the Centre Furnace Mansion.

Needlework sampler instruction was critical in a young girl’s education in early America. The instruction served many purposes not least of which was teaching the alphabet, numbers and sewing skills that each girl would need to clothe her future household. Early girlhood needlework samplers provide information and clues about individual and family history, education and connections to geographical locations through their elements and motifs.

The Centre County Historical Society is pleased to host Sampler Documentation Days on February 15-16 in collaboration with the Sampler Archive Project, a “multi-phase digital collections endeavor, leading to the eventual documentation and inclusion of all known American samplers in an online searchable database designed to showcase historic schoolgirl needlework and support scholarly inquiry.”

The Sampler Archive Project American sampler database has been designed to share detailed information and high-resolution images of American girlhood samplers and pictorial embroideries from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. It is a collaborative effort, led by the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and the University of Oregon’s Center for Advanced Technology in Education.

CCHS learned about the Sampler Archive Project from outreach and research for the Historical Society’s award winning 2017 CCHS exhibition “Unraveling the Threads of History, Needlework Samplers from 19th Century Central Pennsylvania.” The local and regional samplers from the 2017 exhibition will be among those featured in the Sampler Archive Project and we are hoping to locate additional Centre County and Central PA samplers to document in this process. Your sampler only needs to be American and pre-1900, however. By documenting and including your sampler, it will help increase access to the study of historic samplers and girlhood embroideries.

To participate and get more information and make an appointment, call CCHS at 814-234-4779. If you have more than two samplers, it may require a second appointment time. Each sampler will take approximately one half hour to document and photograph.

Appointments are free to the public, though donations are appreciated.

The Centre Furnace Mansion is located at 1001 East College Avenue, State College. Event parking is available in the Mansion lot off of Porter Road and also park behind Esber’s Rugs. For general information and weather cancellations, visit www.CentreHistory.org.


February 15
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Centre Furnace Mansion
1001 East College Avenue
State College, PA 16801
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