Vermont Statewide Sampler Initiative

In collaboration with the Sampler Archive Project

Announcing a statewide effort to locate, photograph, and document all American samplers and related girlhood embroideries held in the public and private collections of Vermont.



You Can Help!

Nancy B. Whitcomb, 1823
Stockbridge, Vermont
Photo courtesy M. Finkel & Daughter


Vermont has a rich history of providing diverse educational options for its girls and young women. Relatively little is known, however, about the schoolgirl samplers and needlework pictures produced by students in Vermont's early schools, public and private. The Vermont Statewide Sampler Initiative is working to change that! A national survey conducted in collaboration with the Sampler Consortium uncovered more than 300 Vermont samplers in collections across the nation, representing all 14 Vermont counties. In addition, a Vermont-based team is working with the state's museums, historical societies, historic homes, and private collectors. The goal is to photograph and document all American samplers in their collections for inclusion in the Sampler Archive, an online searchable database of American schoolgirl needlework. Although the focus of this statewide initiative is on Vermont samplers, all American samplers residing in Vermont collections will be documented. Ultimately, members of the Vermont Statewide Sampler Initiative hope to host an exhibition and publish a book on Vermont samplers and related girlhood embroideries.


Memorial to Eliza H. Brown, c. 1815
Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT

To support this initiative, you can


All donations are used to offset the costs of professional photography and image management.


Is there a sampler collector in your life? Have you inherited an ancestor’s sampler? Let us know.


We need volunteers to document samplers, either in-person or online. Training & support provided.






For more information or to volunteer, please contact one of the following:

Lynne Anderson, Ph.D.
Director, Sampler Archive Project

Ellen Thompson
Coordinator, Northern Vermont

Michele Pagan
Coordinator, Southern Vermont