Browse Exhibits (7 total)

Andrew and Theophilus Wylie: Leadership at Indiana University, 1820-1890


This exhibit highlights the leadership of Andrew WylieTheophilus A. Wylie, and, by extension, Indiana University Bloomington between 1829 (Andrew Wylie’s first year as president of Indiana University) and 1895 (Theophilus Wylie’s death). It explores primary materials related to nineteenth-century publication, education, presidential addresses, public science, scholarly libraries, science and religion, student experiences, and the Civil War.

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Elizabeth Breckenridge, 1843-1910

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What was life like for Elizabeth “Lizzie” Breckenridge (1843-1910), an African-American woman who spent most of her life living with and working as a domestic servant for the Theophilus Wylie family? Pulling from a variety of primary sources, this exhibit pieces together her life experience in the second half of the 19th century in Bloomington, Indiana.

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Heritage Archaeology: Agriculture to Floriculture

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Theophilus and Rebecca Wylie moved into the Wylie House in the mid-nineteenth century, when households were transitioning from large-scale agriculture to small-scale leisure gardening, or floriculture. This exhibit showcases the June 2018 field school run by a team of Indiana University students and Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology staff to learn more about the Wylies’ garden “pits,” subterranean cold-frame greenhouses that insulated their flowers from harsh weather.

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Horticulture Hysteria: The Wylie Family's participation in the 19th Century Gardening Craze


As Theophilus and Rebecca Wylie moved their family into Wylie House in 1859, a movement wasovertaking American society. An interest in horticulture, or appreciating plants apart from theirnutritional value, was no longer only for the elite, but became popular throughout all levels and locations of American society. Americans of the Victorian era believed that getting back to nature was the cure for industrialization and the ills of modernization. 

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Maggie Wylie Martin in the Middle Kingdom, 1850-1858

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Andrew Wylie’s daughter Maggie married Samuel Martin on May 17, 1849. Six months later, on November 22, the Martins boarded a ship to China in answer to the Presbyterian Mission Board’s call for missionaries in the city of Ningpo. The couple were surprised by the premature birth of their first son, William Boone Martin, on a steamer north of Hong Kong on April 29, but they arrived safe and healthy in Ningpo one month later. Although the Martins had to leave China in 1858, their eight years in Ningpo deeply impacted the rest of their lives.


Three Wylie Women: A Generation of Late Nineteenth-Century Mothers

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The Wylie Women reflect contradictions between the maternal ideal, represented in women’s advice literature, and the complex realities of Midwestern, middle-class childrearing in the late nineteenth-century. This generational study of Elizabeth Louisa Wylie Boisen, Margaret Wylie Mellette, and Sarah Seabrook Mitchell Wylie examines the effect of social and economic factors on mothering experiences, revealing a shared struggle to uphold the expectations of nineteenth-century women. 

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Wylie House Quilt Collection


Quilts are valuable examples of practical folk art. The Wylie House quilt collection contains examples of 19th and 20th century quilts, as well as a robust collection of modern reproductions of period quilts by a volunteer group of quilters. Explore our collection and learn more about the role that they played in the lives of the Wylie family and others throughout history.

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