For those who watch this website and in particular the blog you may have noticed that below the waterline quite a lot has been happening. I have been steadily trying starting to update some parts of the website and to improve the ease of reading. A new timeline for gloves has been introduced and will be further populated before too long.
What the observant may have noticed is that the number of links in the blog to subjects like Education and the University of Northampton have jumped up dramatically. This is because I have spent the last two weeks transferring copies of all my Northampton blogs onto this sites, putting them in their original dates slots. So that the Blogs now give us a record back to the start of January 2007. These blogs had been placed in a new blog section on the Northampton University site and for a while now I have been trying to persuade the University to stop the endless spam coming through to my personal email. At the end of there day it seems easier to locate them all here and get the Northampton Blog, which has been dormant for the last three years, deleted altogether.
You might find one or two entries duplicated where I chose to put the same entry in both locations, and some of the categories and tags are incomplete. Let me know if you see major errors areas I should correct. If you are looking on a tablet make sure to use the landscape view to see the categories on the right hand side. The same to find the glove timeline in the glove section.
The timing is good as the UK leather industry has agreed to a suggestion from George Donath, supported by last years Master Leatherseller, Jonathan Muirhead OBE, to get a history written of the Uk leather industry. A historian by the name of Ian Stone has been contracted to write it over the next free years. Jon has asked me to join the small editorial group with Ian Michel, Paul Pearson and himself.
At the same time I am now going to offer a bit more time to The Leather Conservation Centre in their wider programme of research and training, both of which are being gradually enlarged. They are currently digitising that part of Betty Haines microscope slide collection when was not thrown away after changes at the BLC towards the end of last century, and in a couple of months their courses on conservation for Museum staff will restart after the pandemic, all being well. I cover leather history and technology and am currently involved in an update of their excellent materials.
Given this it would seem foolish not to take the time to expand and improve the material on this site so that it can be more useful to the students, academics and others who frequent this site. This should also allow me to add in more material to the Booth side of things, particularly using some of the pictures I have or have been sent. I have had a lot of contact with members of the various families who are involved in research.
Readers will note that in the last couple of years more of my blogs have moved towards the gloving side of things and I would like to encourage more sales of the Gloves and Glovemaking book I was asked to write a year or two ago: all the royalties go to the Glove Livery Charities. In addition since the time when Sheriff Alison Gowman was Master (a post held for one year) of the Worshipful Company of Glovers the Livery has taken much more interest in the history and current status of the glove industry. We travelled together to Ethiopia to see the raw material, the tanning and the glove making with the kind help of Pittards, long recognised as the world leader in glove leathers. The Glovers have united their important glove collection and placed it all with the Fashion Museum in Bath. They are now promoting their outstanding on line and digital catalogue of the question via an active social media presence. As we see more of the celebration of the Her Majesty the Queen having reigned for 70 years gloves will be prominent.
Talking about social media I have also introduced both @Glovebook on Twitter and more recently @glovesandglovemaking on Instagram With this in mind I plan over the next few months to make a few changes on the site to make navigation easier and simplify things. At the moment I am thinking of merging the Marketing sector into the Leather section since most of the material is related to the leather industry in one or the other. I will give more emphasis to the blog as well as starting to integrate more material from it into the main text and timelines. There are one or two more personal items I want to write about and I have tentatively started a (free) blog on Substack for these.
I will also do a major upgrade of the references and supporting texts. With the moving around of the site many of the references are u clear and the glove and leather sections are muddled. Also many of the older books are now free on line and this needs somehow making sense of. I seem to have some as PDFs, some to read on Kindle and others in other formats; but nowhere do I have a proper listing on line or in any of my files. This needs sorting for us all.
So this feels like a plan for the rest of the year and beyond.
Stay in touch.
6th February 2022