My Experience at Special Collections- Part II

This three part post documents the experiences of three students in their first internship at Special Collections and FIT archives.  The mission statement of the Special Collections is to acquire, preserve and provide access to wide range of primary materials in their original formats, including archives, scrapbooks, oral histories, fashion sketches, illustrations, books, journals and other items.

Solving Fashion Mysteries

By Cassidy Zachary

What does Godey’s Ladies Book, La Belle Assemblée, Der Bazar, and L’Illustrateur des Dames all have in common? Besides all being 19th century women’s fashion magazines, they also make up part of the vast and amazing collection that is the Special Collections department at F.I.T.  Currently, I have the pleasure of organizing a “miscellaneous” collection for the department, seeking to bring an identity to the unidentified costume and fashion plates.  So far, I have identified rare hand-painted plates by Emilie Callois, costume plates from the 19th century publication of Braun and Shneider’s Zur Geschichte der Kostume or The History of Costume, and some beautiful hand-painted fashion plates from the magazine Les Nouvelles Idees, published in the 1920s.  The collection is incredible and my experience as an intern is a continuous delight.  Everyday, I delve into the past and learn something new about the inspirations and cultivations of fashion, my passion. Under the tutelage of Karen Cannell, this internship is exposing me to the research possibilities in my field as well as to the availability of primary source material.  I look forward to another semester here!
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