Share your treasures in CKC’s Crowdsourced Collection

By Cheryl Klimaszewski, CKC Secretary

The CKC has launched a beta version of its online Collections Resource. Accessible to the general public, the CKC Collections Resource features knit and crochet treasures from around the globe, making accessible in one place public and private objects and related resources. Developing this resource is important because it will make knit and crochet objects in private local or personal collections accessible alongside those found in larger institutional collections, helping to illuminate those “hidden” objects and collections that are not currently available elsewhere online, or that are difficult to locate and compare. This will create tremendous possibilities for the research and study of knit and crochet as art, craft and heritage.

Become a part of this exciting new resource

We are perhaps most enthusiastic about the Crowdsourced Collection component of our resource featuring items from personal and private collections. This is where you come in: anyone with knit and crochet objects can upload them to the resource and become a part of this developing knowledge-base.

Screen Shot of the crowdsourced collection interface.

A sampling of items currently included in the CKC’s Crowdsourced Collection. Click the image to explore the items individually.

CKC’s Share Your Treasures Initiative

Currently, we are welcoming submissions to our Crowdsourced Collection as part of our Share Your Treasures initiative.  A “treasure” can be an everyday item, a ceremonial item, or a work of art; it can be in pristine condition or in fragments; it can be hundreds of years old, or in some cases, just finished.  Treasures are definitely:

Made by hand using one of the following techniques:

  • Knitting
  • Crochet
  • Related “single element” techniques such as Tunisian crochet, cross-knit looping, and others

Tell a story of interest to our field:

  • Personal, political, cultural, religious
  • Or of tools, materials, techniques, design, invention, manufacture, function, or purpose;
  • Or of communities, and their geography, identity, and traditions, including the migration, influence, or confluence of these

Read more about criteria for what counts as a treasure here.

Sample images of items in the crowdsourced collection.

A Shetland cardigan made by Anna Bell Bray, Shetland UK. Note how the images show the object in its entirety along with relevant details. Click the image to see the item record in the CKC Digital Collections Portal.

How to contribute:

  • Go to the CKC’s Digital Collections Portal Contribution Page at:
  • Upload at least one image that shows your object in its entirety. Detail/alternate views are also welcome.
  • Provide some basic information (metadata) about your treasure, including:
    • A descriptive title
    • Creator and date created (if known)
    • Dimensions
    • A one-to-two paragraph narrative about the item that describes what it is; who made/designed it; notable methods and modes of construction, stitch techniques and materials used; and details about why it was made (e.g. the personal story that makes this object a “treasure”).
  • Add tags to your entry that might be relevant to others.

More detailed instructions can be found here.

Developing this portal concurrently with our work on a nomenclature for knitting and crochet, it quickly became apparent that we needed more information about the kinds of handmade objects that are out there in order to understand how to better describe and catalog them. Uploading examples of your treasures is one way you can participate in this exciting experiment designed to advance historical and scholarly perspectives on knitting and crochet as craft and heritage.

As a complement to  sites like Ravelry that are designed to share current or in-process projects, the CKC’s Crowdsourced Collection will feature examples of historical or one-of-a-kind knit/crochet projects that might otherwise remain hidden. By uploading your treasures to the portal, you grant the CKC and others to use your content under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (otherwise known as the “CC BY 3.0 License”) which allows the CKC and others to freely re-use and adapt the content you have uploaded with proper attribution. Read more about the Terms of Service.

In the “beta” phase of the project, we ask your assistance to create a test set of about 500 submissions to CKC’s Crowdsourced Collection. As part of this effort we are interested in your comments and feedback as you use the system – whether as a browser or contributor – and we can provide support as needed. Before we move CKC’s Digital Collections to the next level, we will use our findings from this phase to plan for the types of treasures that contributors will want to share, and to make sure we have created a resource that is easy and enjoyable to use.

The Crowdsourced Collection is an ideal way for owners of smaller collections (less than a dozen) items to share their treasures with a wider audience. If you have more items to contribute, if you have an institutional collection you’d like to share on the CKC Digital Collections Portal, or if you have any questions about how to use the resource, please contact us at or stay tuned for more information about our Library and Museum Collections initiatives.