Findings The Material Culture of Needlework and Sewing Mary C. Beaudry

Publication date:
31 Jan 2007
Yale University Press
256 pages: 235 x 156 x 19mm
46 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


Mary C. Beaudry mines archaeological findings of sewing and needlework to discover what these small traces of female experience reveal about the societies and cultures in which they were used. Beaudry’s geographical and chronological scope is broad: she examines sites in the United States and Great Britain, as well as Australia and Canada, and she ranges from the Middle Ages through the Industrial Revolution.
The author describes the social and cultural significance of “findings”: pins, needles, thimbles, scissors, and other sewing accessories and tools. Through the fascinating stories that grow out of these findings, Beaudry shows the extent to which such “small things” were deeply entrenched in the construction of gender, personal identity, and social class.

Mary C. Beaudry is professor of archaeology and anthropology, Boston University.

"In Findings, Beaudry offers for the first time a scholarly, theoretically enriched and historically situated guide to the needlework and sewing tools of the British isles and North America. She employs these ‘small finds’ to write 'large histories.'"—Lu Ann De Cunzo, Professor of Anthropology and Early American Culture, University of Delaware

"Comprehensive in its time and geographic scale in a way that is rarely attempted in our field. The work is extraordinarily sound and original scholarship."—Laurie Wilkie, Department of Anthropology, University of California at Berkeley