Victorianists! I need your help. I’m on the hunt for information about how people in the Victorian era thought about, managed, catalogued, and got rid of their stuff. And by stuff I mean household possessions: clothes, books, cookware, toys, papers and whatnot–the bric-a-brac and etceteras of daily life. I’m looking for accounts of the trade in unwanted items–are there good histories of the rag-and-bone-trade?–ash heaps, and what have you.
When I say “accounts,” I mean primary and secondary sources as well as fictional descriptions. Bonus points (okay, won’t be any bonus points, just gratitude from yours truly) for tips about archives or museum collections that might be good to dive into.
How I’m defining Victorian: broadly. I’m interested in the culture of stuff in 19th-century Britain and America but also in attitudes and practices in other traditions and in other parts of the world.
Bring on the rag-and-bone men!