* indicates that the book is available in paperback.
Sources for Young People:
*Avi. Beyond the Western Sea – Lord Kirkle’s Money. Orchard Books, 1996.
An historical epic aimed at middle school readers, the novel relates the story of children who flee the famine in Ireland for work in the Lowell mills, arriving in 1851 during a period of rising anti-immigrant sentiment.
*Denenberg, Barry. So Far from Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, an Irish Mill Girl. Scholastic, Inc., 1997.
A children’s novel detailing the story of a young Irish girl who left Ireland during the Potato Famine of 1847 and came to work in Lowell.
*Larcom, Lucy. A New England Girlhood: Outlined from Memory. Northeastern University Press, 1986.
Memoir written by a well known author who worked in the Lowell mills as a young girl, while her widowed mother ran a boardinghouse.
*Paterson, Katherine. Lyddie. Lodestar, 1990.
Historical novel for middle-school readers which tells the story of poor farm girls who come to Lowell to make a living; entertaining and accurate.
*Robinson, Harriet Hanson. Loom & Spindle or Life Among the Early Mill Girls. Press Pacifica, 1976.
Memoir of an extraordinary woman who spent her childhood in Lowell. First published in 1898, it recalls events of the 1830s.
Sources for Parents and Teachers:
*Dublin, Thomas. Farm to Factory: Women's Letters 1830-1860. Columbia University Press, 1981. A series of letters written by and to several Lowell "mill girls." Excellent primary source for life in early Lowell.
*Dublin, Thomas. Women at Work: The Transformation of Work and Community. Columbia University Press, 1979. The classic study of Lowell's early work force. Excellent coverage of all aspects of daily life, accounts of early strikes and political protests.
*Dublin, Thomas. The Story of an Industrial City. Washington DC: National Park Service, 1993. This is the Lowell National Historical Park Handbook. It is the best single source on Lowell history. Many excellent color illustrations.
Available at the Boott Museum Store in Lowell. (978) 970-5015 or at www.eparks.com.
Cobblestone Magazine, March 2001 -- "Mill Girls" issue
This issue of Cobblestone, the history magazine for students, is an entertaining and informative look at the life and work of Lowell's early workforce. "Mill Girls" includes background pieces on early Lowell, several short works of historical fiction, primary sources such as maps, mill girl letters and images of factory and city life, various activity pages, and an industrial history resource list. ($4.95)
Curriculum Packet -- Cotton, Cloth, and Conflict: The Meaning of Slavery in a Northern Textile City
Using this collection of primary source materials and related activities, students investigate the relationships between the industrial North and plantation South before the Civil War. Designed for grades 8 - 12. ($9.95).
Curriculum Packet -- Mill Girls
In response to the many requests for basic information about Lowell's famous "mill girls," we have developed a new resource. The "Mill Girls" packet uses four historic documents and photographs to tell the story of the young Yankee women who left their farms to work in Lowell's textile mills. ($4.95)
Poster -- A New England Cotton Mill.
With this unique, award-winning poster, students can trace the steps of cloth production in a water-powered mill. ($4.95).
Copyright ©2003 Tsongas Industrial History Center, 400 Foot of John St., Lowell, MA 01852. E-Contact: Ellen_Anstey@uml.edu.