Saturday, July 29, 2023

Introduction: #TeamFlax

Greetings, and welcome to our 
University of New Hampshire History Department 
Flax Project 

A few introductions...

Hello - I am Professor Kimberly Alexander, Director of Museum Studies & Senior Lecturer in the History Department at UNH.  My research and teaching examines material culture with a focus on historic textiles, and so I am excited about directing the Flax to Linen Project. This experimental undertaking explores the year-long cycle from planting to harvesting of flax, through its production and processing as linen. Linen was a common textile used in early America.  Funding from the UNH Center for Humanities, James Hayes Fellowship, allows me to introduce my graduate and undergraduate students into every phase of this New England experience as told via material culture and primary sources - account books, journals, diaries, newspapers, and probate inventories from the 17th through the early19th century. 


If you would like to know more about my publications, teaching. and public engagement, you can find me here:


Invaluable assistance for this project is provided by COLSA Professor Rebecca Sideman, Department Chair, Agriculture, Nutrition, and Food Systems, and Evan Ford, Manager of the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm and the Kingman Research Farm. Financial support comes from a James Hayes Fellowship from the UNH Center for the Humanities and the History Department Harris Fund.

Research Assistants

Hello, my name is Sophie MacDonald and I am a Museum Studies student at the University of New Hampshire. I love being able to experience history in person and am passionate about giving others the same opportunity to learn. Recreating historical processes allows researchers to truly grasp the skill and labor required to thrive in the past. This flax project is incredibly exciting because it allows me to deeply understand the process and work that went into the creation of a single scrap of fabric. Turning a simple plant into cloth is an impressive example of the continuation of knowledge over generations.

Hello! My name is Sydney Rue, and I am a Museum Studies Masters student at the University of New Hampshire. I have always been fascinated with experimental archeology and history. By recreating historical agricultural practices, you can uncover what has been forgotten or left unsaid. When Professor Alexander asked me to be a research assistant for the Flax Project, I was ecstatic. Fabric binds us to the past, and having the chance to grow and be a part of this endeavor is a dream for me.

Hello! My name is Erica Linderman and I am a PhD Candidate at the University of New Hampshire. I am thrilled to be a part of Team Flax and can't wait to see how this project unfolds. For me, history is storytelling; learning about the day-to-day lives of people deepens our understanding of the past and offers a way to make history more accessible. My work focuses on citizenship in New England during the Early Republic and how people navigated their communities in a world where the rules of citizenry were ill-defined. Flax played an integral role in the inner workings of New England communities, so to be able to part of this project and glean more information on the importance of flax was an opportunity I wasn't going to pass up.


Greetings! I am Beth Gallucci, currently a graduate student in the Museum Studies program at the University of New Hampshire. My journey into the captivating world of history and culture has led me to Dr. Alexander's and UNH's Flax Project, which has been a remarkable experience. Originally hailing from Minnesota, I was drawn to Dr. Alexander's innovative approach that melds history and museum studies in the classroom, igniting my curiosity to delve deeper into New Hampshire's rich history and engage in this unique project at the intersection of history, agriculture, textiles, and sustainability research. My ultimate goal is to preserve and spotlight the fascinating history of New Hampshire through this educational research project.

Hi! My name is Zoe Sizemore. I am a Museum Studies Master's student at the University of New Hampshire. I have always really enjoyed history and creating projects that are accessible to the general public. I am very excited to be working on this project because of the digital component that will allow people from all over to explore our project virtually. I think it is very important to be as inclusive as possible when creating a history project and that was one of the reasons why I was so excited to be able to work on the Flax Project for my internship with Professor Alexander. 

Hello, I am Katherine Morgan, a community member who became involved in the Flax Project after auditing Professor Alexander’s class which focused on the global history of textiles Spring semester, 2023.  Though I was a high school English teacher, history has been an avocation and I have researched, edited and published the correspondence of my great grandmother to and from her mother (1868 - 1882) in a book entitled My Ever Dear Daughter, My Own Dear Mother. My interest in the flax project is primarily to help establish the local historical context for flax growing and its transformation into linen for household use and as a commodity in early New England.

Not pictured: Alison Hertweck, Alex Runyon and Ryan Cutting

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