Hair album

Hi Marlys,

When my mother passed away, she left me her "hair album" which was passed down to her mother and then to her.  I do not know how many other hands it passed through to reach my grandmother and mother.  It is a collection of intricate hair that was braided, embroidered, or woven and stitched into an album.  Each sample has a tribute, usually in the form of a poem, done in beautiful, but faded calligraphy.  It is dated 1865. It has two samples per page and there are over 80 individuals represented in the book.  Many have the same last names.  The hair of
married couples is usually woven together.  I think that it originated in a certain area in Illinois.  Some of the samples are quite intricate.

I am an elementary teacher in Terre Haute, Indiana.  I would like to write a grant that would fund my research on the art of hairwork, which might include travel to meet people all over the country and to take my book to share with collectors.  I also would use the grant money to do
research to find records of the people who are represented in this book and also to find a way to store my book so it will be preserved safely.

I found your website and see that you are very knowledgeable on this subject.  I was wondering if you could give me the names of some people who I could contact for more information as well as museums that have hairwork.  I need to make some contacts and mention these contacts when writing the grant proposal.  I would love to take the summer to pursue this adventure.  This could take more than a year to accomplish, and then, I might not even get the grant, but I thought it would be worth a try.

I would appreciate any help you could give me.  I have photos of some of the pages in my album if you are interested in seeing them.

Thanks for any help you can give me,
Deborah Walters

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