Christy Gordon Baty

Needlework Historian


Christy Gordon Baty is working on her Masters degree in History at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her current focus is on the needlework of English women in the early modern era, particularly exploring embroidered books bindings through experimental history and re-creation. She was first drawn into this era as a middle schooler when she read Carolly Erickson’s series of books on Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, and Elizabeth I.

In addition to her academic work, Christy is a co-founder and partner in Relics in Situ where she researches early modern needlework to learn about the lives of women and how they contributed to their world. Through hands-on workshops, lectures, and writing, we share this information with other historical professionals, needlework enthusiasts, and anyone else interested in culture and craft of the early modern period.

Christy can be contacted at

Curriculum Vitae


  • MA History, University of Nebraska at Kearney, expected completion date May 2023

  • Thesis “Embroidered Book Bindings in Early Modern England” (Advisor Dr. William Stoutamire)

  • BA, English Literature, University of California, Berkeley, 1993

Additional Courses

  • The History of the Book in the Early Modern Period: 1450 to 1800, Trinity College Dublin, 2022

  • A History of Royal Fashion, University of Glasgow, 2018

  • England in the Time of Richard III, University of Leicester, 2018

  • Behind the Scenes at the 21st Century Museum, University of Leicester, 2016

Award and Grants

  • UNK Research Services Council grant awarded May, 2022 to conduct research on embroidered book bindings which adorned religious and devotional books at the Huntingdon Library in California, USA

  • Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, grant awarded July, 2022 for research at the British Library on the topic of early modern religious texts, Protestant women’s education, and embroidered book bindings

  • Agnes Strickland Prize for best talk delivered by a junior scholar for “Elizabethan Embroidery: Gloriana’s Gifts and the Power of the Needle.” Presented at the South-Central Renaissance Conference, March 2021.

Conference Presentations

  • “An Embroidered Menagerie: Animals represented in print and needlework” presented at the University of Kent’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Festival, June, 2022

  • “Apropos Embellishment: Needlework Details on Different Socio-Economic Classes in 16th and 17th century England” Master Class at Costume On 4 Conference, May 2022

  • "She is Mine Own: Women’s Embroidered Devotional Books in Early Modern England" LSC Globe Conference, King's College London, February 2022

  • "From Pattern to Pate: An Examination of Early Modern Embroidered English Head-Coverings and their Sources" presented at the 135th Annual Meeting of the AHA, January 2022

  • "Prayer Books of Girls and Gallants: An examination of 16th and 17th century Embroidered Book Bindings" presented at the Sixteenth Century Society Conference, October 2021.

  • “Animals Finely Wrought: An Exploration of Embroidered Beasts,” presented at the Medieval Dress and Textile Annual Conference, May 2021

  • “Elizabethan Embroidery: Gloriana’s Gifts and the Power of the Needle,” presented at the South-Central Renaissance Conference, March 2021

  • “Women’s Work Seen and Unseen: the Economic Influence of Needlework,” presented at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure's, University of Cambridge, January 2021

  • “Modern Convenience vs. Historically Accurate Couture: The Dilemma of Period Textiles at Heritage Sites” presented at the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, November 2020

  • “A Woman’s Communion: Embroidered Devotionals in Early Modern England,” Lecture at Winter Conference for Ecclesiastical History Society, 2020

  • “Presence of the Needle” Lecture at the “Slice of Everyday Life” Conference at University of Cambridge, 2019

Lectures and Workshops

  • “Elizabethan Gardens: Queen Elizabeth’s Flowers.” November, 2021

  • “Caps & Coifs: Exploring Embroidered Headwear in the Elizabethan and Jacobean Periods,” March 2021

  • “In the Jacobean Home: English Embroidered Textiles and Furnishings,” November 2020

  • “Elizabethan Gardens: Carnations and Cornflowers.” April, 2020

  • “The Necessity of the Needle: Historical Embroidery in England,” July, 2020

  • “In the Archives of Colonial Williamsburg,” Colonial Dames of America, 2019

  • “Accessing Collections,” Bay Area Sampler Guild, 2018

  • “Behind the Scenes at the MFA Boston,” EGA, 2018

  • “Elizabethan Gardens,” Workshop for Santa Cruz EGA, 2017

  • “In the Archives at Colonial Willamsburg,” Bay Area Sampler Guild, 2017

  • “Stitching the Trevelyon,” National EGA Seminar, 2016

  • “Putting Together a Museum Kit,” EGA National Seminar November, 2016

  • “In the Archives at Colonial Williamsburg,” Valley Quail EGA, March 2016


“America’s Mothers: How the Mobilized Women of Berkeley Harnessed the Power of Women to Support the Great War and Challenge the Government” HIST 803

“The Raffaelesca Motif in Italian Ceramics,” Tournaments Illuminated, Fourth Quarter 2010

“The Benefits of Wear,” NeedleArts, March 2016

“A Book by Its Cover: Embroidery Fit for a Prince,” Harvard Magazine, October 2017


  • Victoria & Albert Museum

  • Fine Arts Museum, San Francisco

  • British Library

  • Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

  • Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

  • St. John’s College Library, University of Cambridge

  • Embroiderers’ Guild UK

  • Hardwick Hall, England

  • Benton and Johnson Gold and Metal thread manufacturing

  • Houghton Library, Harvard

  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts

  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

  • Folger Shakespeare Library

  • Daughters of the American Revolution Headquarters, Washington D.C.

  • Bancroft Library, University of California at Berkeley

  • Kloster Lune altarcloth in the Opus Teutonicum technique, working with the museum staff at the Klosterkammer Hannover, Textilrestaurierung, Luneburg.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Historical Association

  • Society for Study of Early Modern Women & Gender Studies

  • Sixteenth Century Society

  • Medieval Dress and Textile Society

  • Phi Alpha Theta

  • Phi Kappa Phi