André Fashion Studios in the 1930s and early 1940s

The Fashion Institute of Technology and the New York Public Library recently launched a collaborative project uniting drawings from both of their collections: André Studios 1930-1941. They hosted an all-day event at the NYPL last week, presenting the history of the project and the collections as well as how they created the web interface and search tools.

From the “About This Project” section of the website: “This digitized collection of thousands of fashion drawings and sketches produced by André Fashion Studios between 1930 and 1941 is the result of a partnership between the Picture Collection of The New York Public Library and the Special Collections & FIT Archives of the Fashion Institute of Technology Library. The partners aimed to virtually unite a collection of spectacular quality and historical significance that is physically divided among the two institutions and, as an equally important goal, to leverage open-source technologies to create a prototype of a fashion information and image portal that would provide access to costume and fashion-related resources held by various New York City educational and cultural heritage institutions.”

The high-resolution images of these drawings are great, of course, but I was particularly impressed with the user interface design and the underlying digital infrastructure that delivers them on the open web, as well as the idea that this is a prototype for access and archiving that can be adapted to other collections of digital images.

Lindsay King
Haas Arts Library, Yale University

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