Week 16: Final Thoughts

As we come to the end of the semester, I have mixed feelings about the project. This was the hardest semester I’ve ever had, for a multitude of reasons. I would have preferred to linger longer, to rally more drafts back and forth with Professor Turdean, and spend more time learning about material culture than I was ultimately able to. I think not having yet taken the HISP department’s material culture course was a setback, and I really struggled with the theoretical aspects of interpreting this piece. Even so, as Professor Turdean reminded me early on, there will always be more work to do. I am just happy to turn in a finished, if imperfect product.

I am also hopeful that this work is helpful to the museum. Ultimately, I did not discover much new information. The 1997 accessions record is quite apt. I have only moved its date of creation from the first quarter of the 19th century to the second. Even so, I think it is a good exercise to understand what is in a museum’s collections so that it can be better cared for and interpreted. Professor Turdean warned me at the beginning of the semester that sometimes there simply isn’t a way forward with research. Textiles especially, I have come to find, are a difficult genre. I think I did a fair job of making something of the project and contributing new information.

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