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Straker Historical Trade Fellowship

  • 26 Apr 2020 3:10 PM
    Message # 8929416

    Focus Area:

    Historic Trades

    (*While these areas are all possible areas of focus, there are only four positions available.)

    • 1)      Coopering
    • ·         Splitting out stave stock for containers from the log.
    • ·         Working with our coopers to construct wooden containers using only period methods.
    • ·         Assisting the agriculture and household programs with maintenance of coopered containers.
    • 2)      Textile Production
    • ·         Picking and scouring wool from the museum’s sheep.
    • ·         Hand carding scoured wool.
    • ·         Spinning and plying woolen yarn on a great wheel.
    • ·         Dyeing yarn with natural dyes using recipes from the early 19th century.
    • ·         Knitting a garment with the dyed yarn.  
    • 3)      Historic Domestic Skills
    • ·         Cooking and baking with a traditional cooking hearth and bake oven.
    • ·         Milking and dairy production.
    • ·         Butchering
    • ·         Planning a full meal using early 19th century recipes and advice literature.
    • 4)      Blacksmithing
    • ·         Crafting iron tools and hardware (not including cutlery) for museum program use and sale in the museum gift shop using early 19th century tools and methods.
    • ·         Patterning reproduction ironwork based on original pieces in the museum’s collection.
    • 5)      Shoemaking
    • ·         Constructing reproduction early 19th century shoes for museum staff using only period methods.
    • 6)      Tinsmithing
    • ·         Making tinware for museum program use and sale in the museum gift shop using early 19th century tools and methods.
    • ·         Patterning reproduction tinware based on original pieces in the museum’s collection.


    At Old Sturbridge Village, a Historical Interpreter engages and educates our audience. They use historic clothing, structures, plants, animals and landscape as well as the tools and techniques of early trades, agriculture, horticulture and domestic crafts to make meaningful connections with the present. Fellows will be provided costumes by the OSV Costume Department.

    The Straker Historic Trade Fellowship will focus on the two main elements of interpretation: educating/engaging our visitor and working towards mastery of one or more hand skills. Working alongside museum professionals, this fellowship will allow for hands-on learning and mentorship in one or two of the following areas: Coopering, Textile Production, Historic Domestic Skills, Blacksmithing, Shoemaking, and Tinsmithing. Historical Interpretation is a physically demanding job which  requires the fellow to be able to stand for extended periods of time as well as being able to lift up to 50 pounds.    

    All fellows will be provided general training in the museum's time period and in the area(s) to which they'll be assigned as well as in visitor engagement and customer service. These fellows will also be provided mentors to help progress their skills and assess their development. This fellowship will be overseen by experienced practitioners of these historic skills on the Old Sturbridge Village staff.

    Hours, Stipend & Application:
    This one-year fellowship begins early September 2020. The work day is from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and the museum is open Wednesday – Sunday; winter hours may differ. The fellow will receive a stipend of $14,000. Stipends are based on a 40 hour work week and will be prorated if shorter hours or season are agreed upon. The position includes housing available at no cost, PTO & Sick time prorated to hours work, no health or medical benefits are included.

    Please submit a letter of interest indicating a desired focus area, resume, two letters of reference, and (if possible) one image of an item that you have made that typifies your work to dheidemann@osv.org.  Please put “Straker Historical Trade Fellowship” and your last name into the subject line. The deadline for applications is June 13, 2020.

ALHFAM • P.O. Box 16, Rochdale, MA 01542 - info@alhfam.org

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