General Resources

      The following books and websites, listed in no particular order, offer a wide range of useful information for 18th century reenacting and are well worth exploring.  And don’t forget Pinterest if you’re looking for period examples of things, both extant objects and period paintings.


Useful Websites

Colonial Williamsburg’s Educational Site — now separate from the more commercial “see Colonial Williamsburg” website, is full of information.

Eighteenth Century Notebook — linked elsewhere on specific pages, this site has extensive links to extant items.

Eighteenth Century Material Culture Resource Center on Scribd — has an extensive collection of articles which can be printed or downloaded, covering a wide range of subjects and interests – shoes; shaving, wigs, and hygiene; money; romance and sex; British camp life; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

Metropolitan Museum Online Publications — The Metropolitan Museum of Art has put a number of their publications online – e.g., fencing books, musical instruments, paintings, and many different books on fashion.  These also can be downloaded for future reference.

The Andromeda Project by Jack Lynch at Rutgers — described by the author as all the “significant and reliable Internet resources I’ve been able to discover that focus on the (very long) eighteenth century . . . .information on literature, history, art, music, religion, economics, philosophy, and so on, from around the world, as well as the home pages of societies and people who work on eighteenth-century topics.”

The Bodleian Digital Collection – explore the digital archives of this famous library through its new online portal.



 There is a wealth of really interesting blogs out there, many dealing with fashion but other subjects as well.  We can’t hope to do them all justice, but here (in no particular order) are a few we’ve enjoyed. Some of them are multi-period but they’re all historical.

American Dutchess

 Two Nerdy History Girls

 Passion for the Past

 The Historical Sewing Blog

 Reconstructing History (by a clothing pattern-maker)

 Sifting the Past  — Another useful creation of Jas Townsend, this blog offers period artwork helpfully tagged for items of material culture


Albion’s Seed, David Hackett Fischer — a cultural history of four different sets of British immigrants to Colonial America. 

Journal and Letters, Philip Vickers Fithian, edited by John Rogers Williams — the journal of a divinity student from Princeton who worked as a tutor for Robert Carter III from 1773-1774 at Nomini Hall in Virginia.  (L:ink is to digital version at Library of Congress, also available from booksellers.)

Eighteenth Century English as a Second Language, by Cathy Heller – derived from Colonial Williamsburg training materials, it includes detailed information on grammar and usage and even CDs!

Google Books — Google has digitized myriad books on all sorts of subjects.  For us, this is often a first stop in online research for textual material.  Many 18th and 19th century books are available in full, since they’re out of copyright.  For the contemporary ones, you’re likely to get only a sample, but it’s text-searchable so you can get an idea of whether the book is worth finding.More to come – check back often!