The tour consists of lists of object records created from searches of a master database. The searches represent different ways to access the sampler collection – by date, place of manufacture, and type. For those who would like to just browse the collection, there is an "All Samplers" section.
Touring by Date (Decade):
This section organizes the samplers into decades. Exceptions occur for the 18th century and the late 19th century (1870-1900), each of which is treated as one group.
The same sampler can appear in more than one era if it is associated with a date range that straddles these eras. For example, if an object was made sometime between 1850 and 1870, inclusive, then it will appear in the lists for decades 1850-1859, 1860-1869, and 1870-1900. Circa dates frequently result in the placement of an object in more than one era.
When you click on the brief description of an object in a list, you will be able to see the various dates associated with it.
Touring by Place of Manufacture:
In this section the samplers have been organized by country of origin. Those made in the United States have been divided further by state. Two European countries (England and Germany) and eleven states are represented in the collection.
Touring by Type:
This section groups together samplers that share unique characteristics relating to design or sewing technique.
- Darning and drawn-thread samplers – Samplers that primarily showcase these two sewing techniques rather than embroidery
- Genealogy samplers – Samplers that list the maker’s family members, sometimes with genealogical information
- Map samplers – Samplers that depict maps and rarely, if ever, include alphabets and numbers
- Samplers with buildings depicted
- Samplers with people depicted
- Spot motif samplers – Samplers that include small design elements such as hearts, crowns, crosses, and flowers randomly placed, usually in the lower half