last revised 9/15/2013
Social media is an amazing tool, but must be used carefully. Different formats serve different purposes. For example, the LaceNews blog emphasizes fast breaking new in a more streaming format without too much concern for persistance of referenced external information. The LaceNews YouTube channel concentrates on videos which are too numerous and too difficult to show in the streaming blog format. The LaceNews Twitter account is meant for fast, informal short messages, and the firstname.lastname@example.org account is the main contact site. And now there is a Facebook page for a discussion format. The new Pinterest account serves as my collection of links. I’m also thinking that the LinkedIn capability might be useful, as I’m getting an increasing number of requests for contact on that site.
But for major, more permanent activities, an extensive web site (over 2,400 pages so far) has been under development since 2009. Publication is expected, well, I’m now estimating sometime in 2013. I am starting to work with a professional web designer to get this online. The main page will also be a steering site to all the LaceNews resources mentioned above. In addition, the following new features will be added:
1) Documentation of my entire collection, including:
- About 450 piece of lace, and I’m experimenting with a “catalog raisonné” format including comparables.
- Over 350 items of lacemaking equipment from around the world.
- Over 500 examples of lace-related stamps and first-day covers.
- Over 500 lace-related postcards, arranged and researched by country, and publisher.
- Approximately 150 lacemaking figures sorted according to country of origin.
- As many examples of numismatic material that I can find, including coins, medals, paper money, etc., with a lace theme.
- Lace-related collectibles, some of which border on kitsch.
- A comprehensive resource for information on historical exhibitions (e.g., World’s Fairs), manufacturers, schools, retailers, and famous collectors. Primarily illustrated by surviving ephemera, catalogs and books.
2) The care of lace and associated items for the collector. This includes suggestions for cleaning, restoration, conservation, storage, mounting and display.
3) Lace photography, including technical notes and history, including reproduction of most of the early 20th century large format portfolios of lace photographs.
4) A searchable lace bibliography. The bibliography includes books, articles in publications, music, and CDs and videos (not YouTube), . I now have about 6,500 references cataloged, and it’s just a matter of finding appropriate web-compatible software. I was working with Ralph Griswold of the Arizona database on this for a while, and he suggested FileMaker Pro, which can easily handle non-english alphabets. I’m investigating this now. Up to now the cost of all the LaceNews activities has been fairly minimal, but getting the database item up and running is a rather big ticket item.
I’m also working hard to add cross-referenced author biographies tied to each of the entries.
5) Organization of all the past Ebay Alerts from the LaceNews Blog into a historical price index for appraisers and collectors.
- This is now a database that is about twice as large than the items that actually get written up for the Ebay Alerts, and as of August 2013 contains just over 4,800 items in close to 100 categories of different types of lace. It is an invaluable database, and I’ve also done some statistical analysis on how prices for various lace types and forms change over time. After working with Filemaker Pro on the bibliography, I think that has possibilities to organize this activity also.
- I’m considering adding results of other auctions to the database, and thinking hard how that can be done properly and legally.
- This is also where I can write up in very succinct form the identifying characteristics of each type of lace. Forming a kind of standard for lace identification.
- Another thing I want to add to this section is a discussion of various forms that lace can take (collars, borders, veils., etc.) and how this has changed over time. This is another clue to dating laces.
- I plan on having this section password protected.
6) Items related to lace research, including:
- Information on professional and amateur educational opportunities in the textile arts with lace as a specialty. This includes suggestions for thesis topics.
- Documentation of research papers, theses, etc., which overlaps a bit with some LaceNews blog items.
- Lace Grand Challenges: Identification of , and progress on the major, unsolved questions in the field of lace study. For example: Duplicate the very fine handspun, bleached linen lace thread which first appeared in the late 17th-early 18th centuries.
- If we can really get this going, probably a connection to the very little known as as yet largely unused ‘Lace and Science’ discussion group.
7) Currently I don’t sell anything, but if I ever do, it will be on this website.
I will probably also duplicate the LaceNews Calendar page from the blog, although individual event descriptions will continue on the blog proper.
I am looking for beta testers for the site, if you are interested write a note to email@example.com. Thanks!