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Footwear, and Fashion on firstBASE

The summer holidays are drawing to a close, so many families are doing a 'back to school' shop.  In honour of that annual trek into town to buy new uniform and sensible school shoes, here are some of the resources on firstBASE that explore the social history of, and how to identify and document objects relating to, footwear.

This week, Samantha van de Geer, of Oxfordshire Museums Service has uploaded a new, incredibly useful resource – a factsheet to help date costume and textile collections by the wash codes on their labels.  The designs of the codes used for ‘care of’ labels have changed a few times since they were introduced in 1966, so if you can identify the design, you can narrow down the date of its manufacture.  See the ‘New on firstBASE’ section on the home page.

Remember, if you know of any more resources that are useful in the interpretation or identification of social history collections, please add them to firstBASE!

Victoria Rogers 

firstBASE Editor



White kid leather, black patent leather and scarlet Morocco lace boot. It is said to have been made for the Great Exhibition in 1851, although this is thought to be unlikely.

The Shoe Collection, Northampton Museums & Art Gallery. © John Roan