Add housekeeping to the list of archival chores I’d rather perform in the past. Not only do the tasks look simpler (limited activity, fixed locations), they seem to require a heightened, more thoughtful level of dress and grooming. Of course, I’d advocate for an individualized chore uniform. Aprons or multi-pocketed work jackets add a traditional, protective layer. But I’d extend my outfit to include sturdy lace-up shoes, a nice wool waistcoat and a more archival (washable, reusable) version of the 19th century printers’ oversleeve in cotton poplin.
For a practical manual on housekeeping in the past and present, see: Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Housekeeping by Cheryl Mendelson.
Photographs from the Nationaal Archief flickr photo set: Huishouden/Housekeeping.
1 thought on “Archival Housekeeping”
I’ve come across many of those old trouser press devices – many seem to have been fire hazards waiting to happen.