Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture
Vol. 3, No. 1, 1990
Space * Meaning * Politics
Edited by the Institute for Cultural Policy Studies, Griffith University

Gender Bias: Representations of Work in History Museums

Gaby Porter

This paper was originally published in Museums Professional Group (U.K.), Transactions, proceedings of a conference on Bias in Museums.

In this paper I shall look critically at museum practice, using gender as a tool of analysis. I use the term 'gender' to refer to differences between the sexes which are socially formed, rather than biologically determined. I include women and men, because our attitudes to each are bound up with our understanding and expectations of the other. I look at the representation of work, because this is an area of special concern in women's history, and is covered in all history museums.

I write and speak as a feminist, and also as a daughter, mother, former housewife, and curator. All these inform my practice, and therefore constitute bias in some sense. I have worked in museums of social and local history for many years. I am now employed at a rather different museum, the National Museum of Film, Photography and Television at Bradford, but many of the points I shall raise in the paper apply equally to such an institution.

Women's history has added its own particular concerns to mainstream history, and has shifted emphasis from the objective to the subjective, from the narrative to the first person. It has questioned the generalised boundaries of public and private, respectable and depraved, dependent and independent, which have previously been used to circumscribe and diminish women's role in history, by examining the local and specific characteristics of women's work. Women's history has ostensibly brought history in books, schools, and universities closer to the history in museums by emphasising ordinary and everyday experience, and by establishing oral history and autobiography as legitimate historical sources. Yet when we look at women's history in museums, we find a very patchy and incomplete account.

Museums are lodged in mid-19th-century positivism, 'a philosophy of practical knowledge, of knowing what objects do'.1 Positivism emphasises the physical, tells us that unless we can observe and measure the properties of the things we are talking about, they are figments of our imagination. Curators use objects as pure reflections of the world, re-presenting the past simply and unambiguously. They don't address the gaps and omissions in museum collections, and in the material culture.

Through display the curator relays her or his own experience of the facts, constructs a context - a narrative - of the relations between objects, of things as they were. Displays offer a single view or meaning, they don't allow a range of interpretations.2 This tendency is more marked as displays become more didactic and more ambitious in their scope and claims. They concentrate on flashes frozen in historical time, within an overall generalized chronology or development. They rarely present comparison, contrast, or definition at a single historical period and within a social group. They don't discuss social and historical process.

Feminists are concerned to show that we interpret experience differently according to gender, class, and race. They also expose and underline the ways in which the media construct models of 'reality', which then define people's outlook and expectations: representations do not simply reflect reality, they are instrumental in defining reality. Predominant images identify women with the spheres of domesticity, reproduction, and consumption, and trivialise women as workers, yet 48.7% of all women in Britain are in waged work and women form about 40% of the workforce.3 Men, on the other hand, are at ease in the world of work and of technology. They design and control technologies; women are the passive objects or operators. Feminists believe that these representations act to restrict the expectations and achievements of girls and women. I shall argue that the criticism applies to historical displays as much as to contemporary advertising.

Curators are reluctant to criticise museum practice and to acknowledge partiality or ignorance. As pragmatic, common-sense practitioners they get on with the work of collection, interpretation, display, and demonstration. Commonsense offers obvious and natural ways of working, and renders analysis as peripheral or distinct: at best it's a way of explaining what we already do; at worst it's misleading, interfering with the 'natural' way.4 Pragmatism masks the organisation of material and knowledge in the museum according to strict rules which are embodied in acquisition, display and documentation.

Museums do not represent the full range of the material culture. The SAMDOK programme revealed that museum collections in Sweden were uneven, with many duplicates and with large gaps5; a similar survey in this country would probably produce similar results. Curators select clusters of material which they perceive as rich, diverse, and interesting, both in the field of potential acquisition and within their collections. This material then becomes the main source of, and inspiration for, research, interpretation, and display.

Material enters museum collections for many reasons: obsolescence and rapid technological change - museums reflect what has changed, not what is the same6; a strong sense of pride within a group which feels its own culture is worthy of preservation, and which has the power to influence and enter cultural institutions; permanence and prosperity - the money to buy articles of stronger and more permanent materials and construction, to own spare garments or tools, and the space to store things which are not of immediate use and value. Within each of these reasons, we can see factors which operate differently for men and for women.

1 Obsolescence and Rapid Technological Change

Plant, technology, and expertise have been concentrated in manufacturing industry and in the central production processes. These are defined as the most skilled and economically productive, where workers earn the highest pay on the shopfloor. Rapid technological change is most likely to occur here. Museums are particularly interested in the core production processes and in technological change, rather than in the broader issue of the organisation of industry. Whole museums are organised around the Industrial Revolution, the effects of which had most immediate impact on the primary (extractive) and secondary (productive) sectors of industry. Over the last century, the workforce in these production operations has been predominantly male. Where women formerly worked beside men at skilled manufacturing processes, they have been excluded. Between 1911 and 1971, women's share of skilled (higher-paid) manual work dropped by nearly half, from 24% to 13.5%. Over the same span of years, women's share of unskilled manual jobs more than doubled - from 15.5% to 37.2%.7 Among skilled workers, women are now seen as a threat, associated with new technologies, deskilling, and male unemployment. This has huge implications for our perspective on women's role in the labour force as we look back into history, as well as for our ability to represent both women's and men's work in the future within a conventional museum framework, as all work becomes more deskilled, routinised, and more like women's work.

Women's paid work in the same period has typically been in the tertiary (service and distribution) sector. Today, more than half of all women workers are caterers, cleaners, or hairdressers, or are performing 'other personal services' which include nursing and secretarial work. These are hardly considered in museums.

In production, the majority of women are confined to only four of the nineteen industrial groups: food and drink, clothing and footwear, textiles, and electrical engineering.8 Again, with the exception of textiles, these industries are not significant in museums.

Further, women have performed tasks outside the central production processes: preparing and collecting material; finishing and preparing goods for sale - examining, folding, wrapping, packing; routine production jobs with relatively simply technology.9 In these areas, the work is labour-intensive, the worker relies heavily on manual dexterity, concentration on routine tasks, and physical stamina. The material culture is likely to be sparse and unspecialised - a knife, a trolley, a bench. The tasks are seen by both women and men as repetitive, unchanging, mundane. Such occupations are not well represented in museum collections or displays, and are not offered as working demonstrations.

Similar patterns have been charted in agriculture, where the replacement of the scythe by the sickle, and later mechanisation, drive women into lighter work such as hay-making, weeding corn, hoeing and stone-picking, working in separate fields from the men.10

In the home, technology plays a different function:

factory work is defined in a total sense by its technology; housework is not ... Domestic technology affects particular tasks but not the job of housework as a whole.11

Contemporary studies have shown that where men do housework, then tend to do the more interesting and rewarding non-routine tasks, such as repairs, and cooking special meals at weekends; they dominate the use of 'high-tech' machines.12 Women do the routine cleaning and cooking.13 Museums are particularly interested in the gadgets, but not in the job of housework as a whole, which again is labour-intensive, fragmented, repetitive, and ephemeral.

Obsolescence, therefore, throws up more material pertaining to men's work than to women's. Material culture serves as a ranking device, in a subtle form in which men distinguish themselves and emphasise their masculinity through the machines and technologies they appropriate. Cynthia Cockburn, in her study on technological change in the printing industry, argues that:

'ike the physical strength and skill it replaces, technology is a source of power ... Men have acquired, in the course of their history, a close and inter-active relationship with technology that has tended to exclude women. Technology also confers power on those groups of men that are close to it, relative to those other men who work with their bare hands or as mere slave operators of the machinery.14

2 Pride and Power

Another feature of women's paid and unpaid work, linked to the above, is that women saw the work they did as of low status and low value. Through the structures of craft organisation and inheritance, through the mastery and maintenance of tools and skills, boys and men were encouraged to take pride in their paid work and to cultivate a distinct culture of work which was reinforced through the institutions of union, pub, and club. Women in industrial occupations were rarely apprenticed, were not admitted to most craft organisation, and were excluded from many better-paid, more productive and more mobile jobs. Their skills were seen as natural, intuitive, or as an extension of domestic skills. They didn't receive special or formal training. At Christy's hat factory in Stockport, for example, boys served a seven-year apprenticeship and worked at different jobs in the making shop during this period. However, a government survey in 1864, found that:

For women, the divisions between paid and unpaid, home and work, were blurred. While men might be required to do long hours of overtime at work, women were expected to take work home. Again at Christy's in Stockport, a felt-hat trimmer at the turn of the century found she was:

working hard all day, bringing work home and working until eight or nine o'clock at nights for 13/- or 15/- per week.17

Much of women's work was casual or seasonal. Married women did not necessarily go out to work at all, but often took in washing or became outworkers, using domestic tools or hiring equipment if necessary, working on the kitchen table between meals and at night, combining paid work with other household duties. Women moved in and out of paid work to care for siblings, to 'help' at home, to bear children, to care for older relatives, in a pattern which had often been set much earlier, at school. The shape of women's paid and unpaid work has persisted, as Coote and Campbell observes:

their position as low-paid, part-time, intermittent, secondary wage-earners has determined their role in the home ... Correspondingly, their role in the home has determined their position in the labour market.18

What was true for women in industrial occupations was even stronger in service and domestic work. By far the largest group of wage-earning women was employed in domestic work, in the homes of others as servants. In the decade 1901 to 1911, one out of every three single women was a domestic servant, and service accounted for 40% of all occupied (i.e. wage-earning) females. Of these, the majority (about two-thirds) worked as general servants in households which could barely afford to employ them. There was little or no separate provision for the servant - she was expected to sleep in the kitchen or boxroom, to feed on the left-overs from table, to meet the employer's demands even if they interrupted her other work. Domestic service was generally a short-term occupation which lay between unpaid housework in the home as a daughter and as a wife: the average length of service was three years. Paid or unpaid, domestic work was characteristically fragmented, confined, and isolated, and did not produce a strong sense of satisfaction or pride among those involved in the work.

Most women have not been fully represented in the existing unions; nor have they formed other permanent bodies to strengthen their identity, interests and heritages as workers. Thus it is far less likely for women to deposit material in a museum or other public collection - either individually or collectively - than it is for men.

3 Permanence and Prosperity

The objects which reach our collections are generally those which have survived through abundance, or superiority and permanence of materials and construction, and because people had the space and resources to store them. They are the legacy of more prosperous individuals and groups, exemplified in the Victorian parlour. The Bradford Industrial Museum, for example, chooses to display the house and parlour of the mill manager, although the mill workers were far more significant numerically. The conspicuous leisure of the middle-class woman is emphasized, but not its corollary, the labouring women in the mill on the one hand, and the domestic staff on the other.

The Victorian parlour and household was maintained for the most part by general servants, as we have seen. Yet virtually no material evidence of this survives in museum collections. The coarse brown woollen apron, striped with 'red and yellow', that Hannah Cullwick, a general servant, wore for her dirty morning work in the 1860s 19 would have been used as a cleaning cloth when it no longer served as an apron; while the cotton print dress which she wore beneath the apron would be indistinguishable from other clothing, if it had survived. Most of Hannah's dresses were cut down and sewn into patchwork quilts. The only, and exceptional, records of these are in the photographs taken of Hannah 'in her dirt' for Arthur Munby20 and in the diaries which Hannah kept.21 The servants' clothes which have survived in museum collections are from the more formal uniformed staff of larger households, where servants (and employers) had established positions, with defined and specialised duties, clothes, and tools.22

Women's earnings if in paid work were lower than men's and they often had no independent income. they had little purchasing power, and generally satisfied the needs of others before their won.

Much of women's labour, paid and unpaid, was in making articles for immediate consumption. At work, they might be preparing materials to be consumed in the main production process, or folding items and putting them into packing which would soon be pulled apart and discarded. At home, they might bake a pie to be eaten, or iron a shirt to be worn; while the purpose of most cleaning is to make itself invisible. Women constantly altered and recycled foodstuffs, furnishings and garments in their 'spare time', in a cycle of work which was constantly self-effacing. Thus the servant's dress became a patchwork quilt, the man's jacket became a child's coat.

What happens to this material culture when it is organised in the museum context?

Our museums are divided into industrial (large, factory or extractive unit), folk life (small workshops and domestic), costume, arts. The divisions are expressed in the scale of buildings and collections, and in the way that space is organised within the museum. The type of museum determines the way in which objects are chosen and classified, and in the themes and interpretative materials chosen for display. Specialist groups reinforce the separate curatorial skills and approaches.

In history museums, the most fundamental divide is between domestic (private) and work (public). British museums cut vertically into work activities, according to the special characteristics of their main operations. The hierarchical system fragments peripheral and supporting activities and hinders comparison between common activities in different industries. Women's work (and many aspects of men's work) would benefit from such compariosn.

The attitude of industrial museums is crudely summarised as follows: they wish to show a simple story, in an atmospheric setting, to bring the history of the Industrial Revolution alive to young people; while, if working museums, they wish to earn the respect of older people who may have worked at the process themselves, and to preserve dying skills. Their crucial concern is the central process of productive or extractive industry; thus, if they include the human element at all, they show the male preserve. They are particularly concerned with displaying machines, demonstrating the way in which they operated, and showing the chain of manufacturing process on the one hand, and of technological development on the other. They may include a general socio-historical introduction, and may also include small section on wages and working conditions, but they do not see these as their main concerns.23

The approach is being softened to some extent. Kelham Island Industrial Museum at Sheffield, for example, has an old person's dwelling in the section entitled 'A Working Life', although the worker is clearly male. Leeds Industrial Museum covers the whole range of textile production from raw wool to finished clothing, with a section on outwork and the slop trades. But still social history is added on as an afterthought; both Sheffield and the greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry have recently appointed social historians after the main working displays have been constructed, with the inevitable consequence that social history cannot be truly integrated in the main body of the museum, and may be allocated fewer resources for a separate display.

Women within the displays of industrial museums usually appear as exceptions, even amusing curiosities. Thus Ironbridge Gorge Museum has a section headed Petticoat Management; Sheffield Museum captions an illustration from a 14th-century manuscript with 'Equal Opportunities in medieval times, a female smith at work'. Below the picture on the same panel, inseparable from the image itself, we read the words 'What lifted Sheffield from such obscurity?' At once, in the museum's introduction to Sheffield industry, women are ridiculed and marginalised in relation to the 'main' story of industrial and human achievement, which is, of course, a story about men.

Elsewhere, women are represented as the dexteous and long-suffering assistants to skilled husbands and others: in Sheffield, 'when it came to cutting small fine files, the nimble fingers of the women were hardly ever excelled', while in Leeds, visitors are told that women worked as 'perchers', checking and mending cloth, 'because nimble fingers are more of an asset in this job than a strong back.'

Words emphasise the disparity between women and men at work. The labels for the pattern-making and lay-up table at Leeds refer to 'a cutter' and 'a girl'; a label in stitching section comments on the arrangements of tables so that 'the women could chat' (similar arrangements in male or mixed working areas pass without comment). Women who work autonomously are threatening: thus the Sheffield buffer girls, who wore enveloping brown paper aprons for their work, 'had a reputation for giving as good as they got, regardless of whom the offender might be'.

It is almost impossible to introduce a continuum into smaller museums such as Scunthorpe, which has bravely attempted a display on its major industry, steelworking, within a domestic type of building, or York's Castle Museum. We find that these museums are almost entirely concerned with small craft workshops, small retail units, and domestic settings. Crafts are defined as those things done by men, usually outside the home: the standard source book for museums is Traditional Country Craftsmen Today.24 The museum display strips craft production down to the workshop as a stage where one or two actors work with the most diverse and interesting tools and skills. Historically, women in small trades and crafts have played an important part in preparing materials, dealing with business records, marketing, and carrying on the business in their partner's absence, or as widows. Indeed, women ran such businesses in their own right until comparatively recently. Yet they are not included in most displays.

Women in smaller museums are almost entirely confined to domestic and shop settings, as consumers, assistants, and housewives. Domestic displays rarely suggest the range of activities typical in the living room of most households, and few (if any) make reference with objects or words to productive work in the home. The domestic setting presents itself apart from, in opposition to, productive work outside the home.

The same approach pertains behind the public face on the museum, in research and collecting, classification and documentation.

Active collecting is often done as a rescue operation, in response to the imminent loss of material understood by the owner, or contact, and the curator to be important. The material may be within the brief of an existing collecting policy for the museum, or according to the curator's own priorities and interests. Rescue work is usually done under pressure of time, and the museum imposes additional constraints of space and resources.

The whole emphasis in such fieldwork is to observe, photograph, document, and collect material and practices particular to the activity concerned; the rest is familiar. The curatory and the contact define what is interesting, according status to skill, craft, and specialisation, focused on the core activity. Canteens, offices, delivery bays, preparation and packing rooms are omitted. The visit is likely to take place during the working day when part-time and twilight shift workers are absent. Homeworkers are at any time invisible, technically self-employed and therefore outside the corporate structure and profile. Fieldwork rarely combines factory recording with home visits to workers to give the whole spectrum of work-related activity, including patterns of eating, sleeping, leisure, and involvement of other household members in washing work-clothes, preparing food, etc.

Even when the curator records and collects associated and peripheral material, her or his effort in storage, documentation, and conservation may concentrate on the key items. If the provenance is lost, then a knife will be stored with cutlery, a thumb stall with medical accessories, and a type-writer with office equipment. Thus the whole culture of that workplace is dispersed and fragmented within the museum, or among the departments and buildings of a larger museums service. Only the tools, equipment, and products which can be clearly identified remain with the museum's collection for that industry. As so much of women's work lies outside the core activity, is labour rather than capital-intensive, and relies on relatively undifferentiated tools, the museum is much more likely to 'lose' material pertaining to women's work than to men's.

Domestic collecting lacks the same careful attention to definition and detail, which characterise craft and industrial recording. Housework is never seen as historically finite or threatened; and curators seem particularly squeamish about crossing the domestic threshold to perform the necessary curatorial work. Thus, virtually all the relevant studies of household organisation have been done by sociologists and social historians outside museums, with limited impact and usefulness as a result.

Museum staffs usually acquire objects first and later do recording or research to put the objects into their context. Retrospective research or recording are always less complete, more frustrating and more time-consuming, than initial fieldwork. The museum will also have more difficulty in tracing women from a former workplace than men, because women have more interrupted working lives than men; because they change their names; because they're much less likely to continue as members of unions of work-related social clubs when they leave work than men.

Where local research and fieldwork are not undertaken at all, the museum relies on the materials generally available to it in printed form, such as product leaflets, advertising literature, and published materials, plus the know-how and academic expertise of its own staff. Curators may present the partial records which they have used, or their personal experience, as the basis for a general historical statement.

The practice is particularly common for domestic items, where advertising material and product leaflets are comparatively abundant. These tell us about the construction and intended operation of individual items or groups of itmes, as well as the maker's expectations. They do not tell us about the organisation of the household or workplace where the objects were used, their effects on patterns of work and on other prevalent objects, their evaluation by users, or how long they remained in use. We lose historical information about local and specific patterns of use, which are crucial to an understanding of the material culture of contemporary society, in which mass-produced items are consumed unevenly according to age, class, gender, race, and region.

When material is being classified in the museum, history museums generally use one of the standard classifications - MERL or SHIC - with local variants. Here, housework is again treated differently from 'real work', and women's work is concealed and subsumed under other categories.

The Museum of English Rural Life classification 'was initially determined by the nature content of the Museum's Object collections'.25 The categories relating to work are numerous and highly differentiated for agriculture, crafts, trades and professions,etc. Within the domestic category, four out of six headings relate to food and drink (cooking, preparing, serving, storing), one to cleaning, and one to furnishing. These reflect the elaborate culture of the kitchen and of food, compared to other less object-rich, but equally significant, household activities like cleaning, shopping, and childcare (which has no place at all as part of domestic work). There seem to be no distinctions between paid and unpaid work carried on at home, nor between housework done at home and paid work for other people in homes or business premises.

In the MERL system, 'the appropriate classification for an object is generally determined by its sphere of use'. Yet work done outside the home, where such work is done by women, for example, laundry, childcare, board and lodgings, are assumed to be domestic, while activities which are not exclusively associated with women, such as baker, knife-grinder, or tailor, are classified as trades and professions. By its own terms, the classification should include commercial laundrywork, midwifery, and nursing among the trades and professions, alongside men's work.

The Social History and Industrial Classification26 is a hierarchical system, based on spheres of activity in which higher levels are mainly abstract and conceptual, and lower levels are object-based. There are four primary headings, 'covering all aspects of man's activity as a social animal'.27 These are Community Life, Domestic and Family Life, Personal Life, Working Life. Again, language and concepts separate the domestic sphere from the sphere of work and by implication, domestic work becomes not-work.

The SHIC classification is more sophisticated than MERL. Everything is potentially an article of production and also an article of use. Within the Working Life and Community Life sections of the classification, the curator may subdivide broad groups of material relating to a particular working activity by the use of Activity Subheadings. These act as a useful reminder of the things that a museum might acquire, as well as a system for classifying existing material which extends beyond the core activity to supporting activities.

However, we find the SHIC is also inconsistent in its treatment of men and women. Where articles or activities in the domestic sphere are associated with men, they are generally cross-referenced to Working Life. Thus Domestic Life: Maintenance (2.58) also refers the user to commercial repair at 4.6 Working Life. Under Domestic Life: food, drink and tobacco: storage, we are reminded that 'for containers used by workmen(sic) to take food or drink to work see Activity Subheading .723 within the appropriate heading in Working Life.'

Where work is done by women, it is usually ascribed to Domestic Life, with cross-references only to other activities within that sphere. (For example, an apron is Domestic: cleaning and maintenance: general; for protective clothing specific to cooking we are referred to Domestic: Food, drink and tobacco: cooking: other cooking accessories). Equivalent references would point to laundry, cooking, and cleaning in Working Life, e.g. laundries, launderettes, and hire firms at 4.9711, works canteens as Activity Subheading .76, Welfare. Specialist cleaning companies are classed as 4.9429, and domestic servants as 4.978, but I find no category in Activity Subheadings for works cleaners (unless at .68, general maintenance), although virtually every other aspect of work-related activity is included.

Paid productive work at home appears to have no place in SHIC. Unpaid productive work is conflated with hobbies, crafts, and pastimes. SHIC recommends, and many of its operators insist, that each object should have only one classification; the probability is that clothes, furnishings, and decorations made by women in the home will become articles of use, rather than articles of production.

Without context, we read domestic and passive messages about women from the images and representations in history, although detailed historical work can show us that the realities may be very different. Women's history has attempted to break down the boundaries between work and home, public and private, to show that women have played an important historical role across the full spectrum of activity. Large manufacturing units, small workshops, services, retailing, and the household are interdependent; the household provides and supports both the labour force and the market. The institutional distinctions and associated practices of museums are unhelpful to historical understanding, in truncating and cutting across meaningful relationships between activities and people. They are positively obstructive in relation to women.


1 D. Slater, 'The Object of Photography', Camerwork, 26 April, 1983,pp.4-5.

2 L. Fleming, 'Gender, Difference and Meaning: British Women Encounter Mythical Woman'. Unpublished paper to symposium on Making Exhibitions of Ourselves: The Limits of Objectivity in Representations of Other cultures. British Museum, London, February 1986.

3 Department of Employment 1985, p.176; L. Fleming, ibid, p.1.

4 C. Belsey, Critical Practice, London, 1980, p.2.

5 SAMDOK, SAMDOK Bulletin no.22, Stockholm 1983,p.2.

6 G. Kavanagh, 'Melodrama, Pantomime or Portrayal?'. Unpublished paper to symposium on Making Exhibitions of Ourselves: The Limits of Objectivity in Representations of Other Cultures. British Museum, London, February 1986.

7 A. Coote and B. Campbell, Sweet Freedom: the Struggle for Women's Liberation. London, 1982, p.48.

8 Ibid., 1982, p.51; C. Hakim, 'Occupational Segregation', Department of Employment Research Paper no.9, 1979.

9 B.L. Hutchins, Women in Modern Industry. Wakefield, 1978, pp.66-67. (First published in 1915).

10 A.V. John (ed.), Unequal Opportunities: Women's Employment in England 1800-1918. Oxford, 1986, p.4.

11 A. Oakley, The Sociology of Housework. Oxford, 1985, p.98.

12 J.I. Gershuny, 'Household Tasks and the Use of Time'. In S. Wallman and associates, Living in South London: Perspectives on Battersea 1871-1981. Aldershot, 1982,pp.152-154.

13 C. Cockburn, Machinery of Dominance: Women, Men and Technical Know-how, London, 1985, pp.216-221. P. Bereano, C. Bose and E. Arnold, 'Kitchen Technology and the Liberation of Women from House work'. In W. Faulkner and E. Arnold (eds), Smothered by Invention: Technology in Women's Lives.. London, 1985, p.177.

14 C. Cockburn, Brothers, London, 1983, p. 138.

15 Royal Commission on Children's Employment, Parliamentary Papers, 1864, Part II, p.162.

16 Ibid., Part 1, p.85.

17 Mrs Scott, 'A Felt Hat Worker'. In M. Llewellyn Davies (ed.), Life as We Have Known It. London, 1977,p.88. (First published 1931).

18 Coote and Campbell, op. cit., 1982, p.49.

19 D. Hudson, Munby: Man of Two Worlds, London, 1974, p.336.

20 M. Hiley, Victorian Working Women: Portraits from Life, London, 1979, p.67.

21 E. Stanley (ed.), The Diaries of Hannah Cullwick: Victorian Maidservant, London, 1985.

22 L. Davidoff, 'The Rationalisation of Housework'. In D.L. Barker and S. Allen (eds), Dependence and Exploitation in Work and Marriage. London, 1976, pp.134-7.

23 S. Kirby, 'Wham! Yorkshire: Women in the Textile Trades'. Women, Heritage and Museums Newsletter, Spring, 1985.

24 G. Jenkins, Traditional Country Craftsmen Today. London, 1975.

25 MERL Museum Procedure: Classification. Institute of Agricultural History and Museum of English rural Life, University of Reading, 1978, p.1.

26 SHIC, Social History and Industrial Classification: A Subject Classification for Museum Collections. Centre for English Cultural Tradition and Language, University of Sheffield, 1983.

27 Ibid.,

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