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Susan Downs Reed

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Professional Background •  Volunteer Experience • Education • Skills Summary

Professional Background:

Flight Safety Foundation, Alexandria, VA: Production Specialist — layout monthly and bi-monthly publications, create technical illustrations, produce seminar proceedings for print and for CD-ROM for three yearly seminars, maintain web site and provide computer technical support. (January 1999–Present; May 1998–December 1998 as a temporary through Boss Temps)

Freelance Graphic Artist: work for assignments through Editorial Experts, Inc., Alexandria, VA; Boss Temps, Arlington, VA; CreativeCore, Washington, DC; and Freelance Pool, Inc., Springfield, VA, as well as for personal commissions — design pamphlets, brochures, T-shirt art, and newsletters; produce mechanicals; and proficient in several computer graphics and desktop publishing packages. Currently webmaster for R • K Architects. (1988–Present)

Freelance Historical Costumer: create a variety of historical clothing reproductions for men and women ranging in time period from the 12th century to the 1830s. Clothing is created to the degree of authenticity specified by the client. Also researches and writes for publication on the history of clothing and textiles. (1984–Present)

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Office of Historic Alexandria, Alexandria, VA: Museum Aide — responsible for overall security of the museum, greet visitors and collect admission, give tours of the museum and give information about Alexandria, and manage the museum shop. (1993–1996)

University of Maryland/U.S. Department of Agriculture, College Park, MD/Hyattsville, MD: Research Assistant — assisted permanent staff with processing the results of the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey, compiled a research bibliography, and wrote a beginner’s guide to UNIX for non-technical staff. (1990–1991)

Barton-Aschman Associates, Inc., Washington, DC: Graphics Coordinator — designed and executed brochure and cover designs; created comprehensive graphics for engineering reports; produced slide presentations; operated the following computer graphics packages: Freelance Plus, Graphwriter II, and Ventura Publisher; hired and supervised freelance graphic artists; and administered the graphics department. Received President’s Award in 1984 for developing new work. (1983–1988)

Cohen, Dippell, and Everist, P.C., Washington, DC: Drafter — prepared charts, graphs, and other graphics for engineering reports and researched aspects of cellular telephone operations. (1980–1983)

Volunteer Experience:

Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., a non-profit educational corporation that researches and recreates life of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (1979-Present). Relevant positions and responsibilities held:

  • Held the position of “Chronicler” or newsletter editor for the local newsletter for 3 years. Edited, designed, and produced a monthly newsletter for about 50 subscribers (1981-1983).
  • Researched and published in the organizational newsletters and magazines articles on 14th-16th-century domestic life, clothing, social hierarchy, and material culture. (1985-Present)

Costume Society of America, Earleville, MD: — designed brochures and publication covers for the Special Projects Committee. Was webmaster for the Region VI website (1985-1999)

National Building Museum, Washington, DC: Volunteer Researcher — researched the development of highway systems, textiles, and home furnishings from the late 1930s to the 1950s, and war-worker demographics for the exhibit, “World War II and the American Dream.” (1992-1993)

Fairfax County Park Authority, Division of Historic Preservation, Fairfax, VA: Administrative Volunteer — produced volunteer newsletter using PageMaker desktop publishing software. (1992-1995)

Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Office of Historical Alexandria, Alexandria, VA: Special Projects Volunteer — design and create a World Wide Web page teaching historical methodology to secondary school and older students and transfer card catalog data to computer database using Microsoft Works. (1996)


M. S., Textiles (Historic Textiles and Costume), with minor in museum studies and history, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 1992. GPA: 3.91/4.00.

Honors include:

  • University of Maryland Graduate School Fellowship for the academic year 1989-1990.

B.A., Art (Drawing and Graphics), St. Mary’s College of Maryland, St. Mary’s City, MD, 1979. GPA: 3.76/4.00.

Summary of Skills:

Research and Writing

Research and writing projects include:

  • Working Women in Washington, D.C., 1840-1860
  • Maryland State Government Agencies, 1900-1904
  • Men’s Western European Headdress, 1400-1520
  • A Brief History and Bibliography of Childbirth in Europe and America, 1500-1900
  • Documentation of Arts and Sciences Projects in the SCA
  • War Worker Demographics During World War II
  • Textile Innovations During World War II
  • Fabric Yardages Consumed in Late 16th Century Women’s Clothing. This was published as “How Much Is Enough?: Yardages Used in Late 16th C Women’s Clothing” in Costume and Dressmaker, Special Issue (January 1997) 10-14.
  • Medieval Manners and Courtesy
  • The History of the Family During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

Computer Skills

18 years experience with computer graphics and desktop publishing. 25 years experience operating Macintosh computers. One year experience with basic UNIX including the writing of a user’s manual for beginning, not-computer-literate users. Five+ years experience designing and coding Web sites. Proficient in Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Word, Mystat, Microsoft Excel, DeltaGraph Pro, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Fireworks and can learn new programs very quickly. Beginning ability in JavaScript.

Graphics Skills

More than 12 years experience with producing mechanicals by hand, newsletter, cover, and brochure design, typography, and pen and ink illustration and watercolor. 13 years experience with desktop publishing using Ventura Publisher and PageMaker software. 12 years experience using paint and drawing programs such as Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Photoshop, DeltaGraph Pro, SuperPaint, and GraphicConverter.

Technical Skills

Over 20 years experience in producing graphics for engineering reports, translating technical information and numerical data into visual form. Experience with basic statistical analyses and evaluating statistical research methodology.

Managerial Skills

Four years experience with hiring and supervising freelance artists, Four years experience coordinating arts activities for the SCA.


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