This website showcases object biographies tied to everyday life in early modern Europe (1492-1789). Object biographies, or cultural biographies of objects, mean to illustrate relationships between humans, things, and history. For this project, and grounded in a variety of foundational readings, sixteen Bridgewater College students worked on individual object biographies throughout fall 2016 as part of a history course (HIST 311: Europe, 1492-1789), and in collaboration with the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA. They were required to broadly follow the model of Neil MacGregor (Director of the British Museum), whose volume A History of the World in 100 Objects beautifully underlines the values of this approach – although students here needed to rely on objects utilized in everyday life, and thus by the majority of people in early modern Europe.
This website was a work in progress, continually updated throughout fall 2016; now it hosts the final products. All materials featured on this website are based on student work completed as part of this class. Students were required to reference their information concisely and consistently; they also needed to add bibliographic information at the bottom of their individual page. Images and photographs are either those of students or they received explicit and written permission to share the photos on their page from the copyright owner (in cases of uncertainty images were removed even though as an educational website no one connected to this project makes any profit).
This website will remain available until fall 2018 when another course will work on a similar project. Thank you.