Margrethe Hald: the Life and Work of a Textile Pioneer: new insights and perspectives

With the generous support from Agnes Geijers Fond to Centre for Textile Research (CTR), UCPH, the small archive at the CTR was reviewed and systematized resulting in the digitalization of publications and later slides published on the CTR homepage in 2019: The Margrethe Hald Archive

During this work, it became clear that there is much more to the story, including a large amount of unique material archived at the National Museum of Denmark as well as the National Archives, which has never been researched.

Margrethe Hald

Margrethe Hald
Margrethe Hald at the party for her doctoral defense. Foto: Holt & Madsen fotografer

Margrethe Hald’s research represents a rare virtuosity in its combination of scientific methods ranging from ethnology over archaeology to history as well as craftmanship, which still inspires textile research as an interdisciplinary field.

Margrethe Hald understood that textile research could not be limited to just one particular scientific approach. She produced ground-breaking research by combining e.g. cultural history, art history, ethnology and archaeology. Her study travels to other geographical areas, especially South and Mesoamerica and the Middle East, was of vital importance for the development in her academic knowledge. The digitalisation of the c. 600 slides from the Margrethe Hald’s archive spotlighted that most of the slides miss information on either place or time. However, using the newly discovered archival material from amongst other the National Archive, CTR will attempt to pair letters, passport stamps etc. to individual slides to make it possible to publish these correctly in connection with the other material.  In doing so, it would be possible to understand exactly what Margrethe Hald learned on her travels and how this influenced the results of her research.


As a continuation of the work done in 2019 when CTR’s Margrethe Hald Archive was digitalized, a research group was formed at CTR in the beginning of 2020. Thanks to one more generous grant from Agnes Geijer’s Foundation, a new research project on Margrethe Hald’s pioneering work as a textile researcher and museum curator will commence in September 2020.

The research group will work on a one-year scale to prepare a study of the research made by Margrethe Hald. The project will revisit Hald’s considerable research output, her immense private and professional correspondence in the Danish National Archive and the National Museum, travel logs and photographs in order to revitalize and create new understandings of her groundbreaking research.









The CTR research group consists of

Internal researchers

Name Title Phone E-mail
Anne Drewsen Part-time Lecturer   E-mail
Eva Birgitta Andersson Strand Head of Centre +4535325807 E-mail
Morten Valner S Grymer-Hansen Research Assistant +4524655646 E-mail
Susanne Lervad Guest Researcher +4551301887 E-mail
Ulla Lund Hansen Associate Professor Emeritus   E-mail
Ulrikka Mokdad Research Assistant   E-mail

External researchers

Ulla Mannering Senior researcher The National Museum of Denmark

Funded by

 The project has received funding from Agnes Geijers Fond


Project manager
Eva Andersson Strand
Docent, Director of CTR and assoc. prof. in archaeology
Saxo Institute