Thursday, October 3, 2019

AQSG & the Quilt Research Center

Our first AQSG meeting was in 1980....Not so long ago as the doctored photo.

Only about 40 years ago

I recognize Lucy Hilty, Cuesta Benberry, Flavin Glover, Bets Ramsey, me

The American Quilt Study Group's annual seminar is meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska this month. We'll be making good use of the University of Nebraska's offerings to quilt enthusiasts, the International Quilt Museum and the Nebraska Libraries Quilt Research Collection.

Quilt House/International Quilt Museum

Merikay Waldvogel is giving a tour of the Quilt Research Collections on Friday afternoon, October 11. Librarian Mary Ellen Ducey and I will be assisting. Archives and Special Collections in the University Libraries has established a Quilt Research Collection located in the Library Depository Retrieval Facility, a new building at the edge of the UNL East Campus.

Someday it will look like this with collections stored on stacks of shelves
and access from a fork lift picker and digital finders.

There is a reading room for researchers and a fabulous storage facility that can house 900,000 volumes.

Here's a description of the tour:
"Take an opportunity to see the materials and patterns related to Merikay Waldvogel’s research and study center. A tour at the reading room of the UNL Library Depository and Retrieval Facility (LDRF) will include Alice Brooks, Mildred Dickerson, and Laura Wheeler quilt patterns. The tour includes a peek inside the high-density storage locations and showcases additional items from the Quilt Research Collections."
The collection is processing many donations.
Merikay has sent tons of paper (I probably only exaggerate a little.)

Quilt collector Pat L. Nickols is going through boxes and has sent several full of her correspondence with fellow quilt historians Sally Garoutte, Mary Katherine Jarrell, Cuesta Benberry and others "as well as lots of old quilt paper." She writes, "So nice not to be just throwing all of this paper away."

From the Pat L. Nickols collection, Mingei Museum

Pat's quilt collection is in the Mingei Museum in Los Angeles  San Diego. Do a search for Nickols here to see them:

State birds and flowers signed M Lieb

Donna DiNatale is processing a collection of Omaha World Herald clippings, a treasure given to her by someone who attended one of her talks on Nebraska quilts and collections.She's been busy photographing every pattern and also will be conducting a study center session on the topic: Omaha World-Herald Contests & Exhibits from 2 to 4 on Friday, October 11.

Another recent gift:  Susan McKendry drove to Lincoln to deliver her grandmother Eloise Viall Brittingham's (1904-1990) pattern collections.

Mary Ellen tells us that with the help of colleagues and students, she's gone through many of the recent donation boxes and completed basic re-housing into folders. We are raising funds for a staff member to complete that work.

And me: I am going through the paper files I did for my books on Civil War quilts. The despair pictured above is because I cannot resist looking up every old lead on the internet and I get bogged down. But I am determined to have at least one file box full of quilt paper to take with me to Lincoln.

See more about the Quilt Research Collection at this post:


  1. Just one small detail -- the Mingei Museum is in San Diego (not Los Angeles). It is a fabulous museum that is currently undergoing renovation.

    Patt Seitas
    San Diego, CA

  2. I believe that Bobbi Finley may be in that photo of early AQSG as well.

  3. SO MUCH PAPERWORK! Wow, lots to keep any number of people busy for decades! (where do we send the stuff to donate more?

  4. Donate? See this post

    Or email me MaterialCult@gmail.com