Rachel Hogue, a GSSM student, is participating in a historical research as a summer intern at the Charleston Museum. Rachel, who makes historical period clothing, presented her research proposal to the museum's textile historian, Teresa Teixeira. Teresa agreed to let Rachel pursue her research proposal. Rachel has been working on fiber analysis of antebellum and Civil War clothing to determine the materials used in construction. She has combined these findings with primary document research on the original owners of the garment, as well as data on imported materials and clothing makers. Rachel's work demonstrates the changes in southern resources from the antebellum era through the war years. She has also used scientific articles from the nineteenth-century that focus on clothing production. Rachel is cataloging her work for viewing on the Charleston Museum's online guide to the collection. Rachels research is the first time that the museum has had its clothing collection studied in such exquisite detail. Another critical aspect of Rachel's work is her focus on everyday clothing, not just the most spectacular examples that museums often exhibit. Her work has presented captivating snapshots of regular citizens.
Congratulations to Rachel for connecting history and STEM into a research project that helps historical researchers and the public understand more about the nineteenth-century history of the American South.
Pictured above: Rachel wokring on fiber analysis of historic clothing.