Special Collections: Margaret Swain Papers

Margaret Helen Swain (1909-2002) was a historian of embroidery and textiles. The author of several books and numerous articles, she also lectured widely, and her papers reflect these activities. She corresponded with many museum curators and collectors and her advice was widely sought.

The files, which contain notes, photographs and correspondence, are arranged in general subject groups, though from 1993 onwards there is also a series of files of general correspondence. The papers include material on styles of needlework, tapestries and furnishings, the work of Mary, Queen of Scots and other needlewomen, and the sources of designs used in historical needlework. Her book, Figures on Fabric (1980) was the first study of this subject. The papers also include notebooks, bibliographical notes, copies of articles and slides used in lectures.

Margaret Swain Papers Listing

Margaret Swain at Boystown Museum examining an embroidery erroneously attributed to Mary Queen of Scots