Monday, August 3, 2015

New Mexico Portal of Information

For those Living Historians who reside in New Mexico, I have just completed assisting the Chama, NM library in developing a web presence.  As part of their site, there are a number of historic sites and specialized databases that will help your research.  To access the New Mexico El Portal you need to have a NM library card from your local library.
However, you can access the first link of the page, NM history and historical photos without a password.

Collections from the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives
  • The Palace of the Governors Photo Archives contains an estimated 1,000,000 items including historic photographic prints, cased photographs, glass plate negatives, film negatives, stereographs, photo postcards, panoramas, color transparencies, and lantern slides. This important collection includes material of regional and national significance, dating from approximately 1850 to the present, covering subject matter that focuses on the history and people of New Mexico and the expansion of the West; anthropology, archaeology, and ethnology of Hispanic and Native American cultures; and smaller collections documenting Europe, Latin America, the Far East, Oceana, and the Middle East.
Enjoy your research!

Two Interesting Articles -- Industrial Corsetry & Riding Habits and Women's Rights

The Costume Collection of the Maryland Historical Society is a site the serious historian and costumer needs to spend time with.  I just read two articles that gave me information I had wondered about.  Industrial Corsetry  gives insight into the development of the manufacturing of that apparel prior to the development of the ready-made garment industry. There are several good pictures of different types of corset.

Industrial Corsetry --History
In the beginning of the 19th century, if a woman (or a man) wanted a new corset, she would either make it herself from a pattern or, if funds would allow, she would go to a small shop where the local master would custom make each corset from scratch. By the end of the century, however, these small shops found themselves in a market dominated by large manufacturing companies. While the vast majority of women’s wear continued to be produced by small businesses with un-integrated production models, corset makers chose vertically integrated, large volume production practices beginning in the 1870’s and on into the 20th century.

Riding Habits and Women's Rights
This article links the evolution of riding apparel to the push for women's rights and freedom from the restrictions of society's expectations and limitations for women
"Rather than changing to reflect the common fashion trends of the period, women’s riding gear embraced masculine styles as women demanded more liberty and freedom from restrictive societal expectations, marking equestrianism and riding wear as a symbol for women’s reform movements."
This site is a wealth of information.  Read more here:
 Read more here:

Also check out the main site of the Maryland Historical Society at