SPARC Digital – FIT’s Special Collections and College Archives Digital Platform

SPARC Digital is a platform created by FIT’s Special Collections and College Archives (SPARC) to showcase their rare and unique materials in digital form.

Fashion plate from Les Idées Nouvelles, 1927
Screen shot of SPARC Digital Record for Fashion plate from Les Idées Nouvelles, 1927

Featuring images from dozens of collections comprised of original fashion sketches, photographs, illustrations, and historic fashion plates, it includes examples of women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear, millinery, footwear, jewelry, and costume created between the 18th and 20th centuries. Significant collections include the Bergdorf Goodman archives, Frances Neady Collection of Original Fashion Illustrations, Halston Hats sketches, Jerry Miller Shoe designs, Joseph Love Children’s Wear sketches, Helena Rubinstein Foundation photographs, and many more.

One of the more exciting features of SPARC Digital is the ability to search and browse the collection by color. Faceted searching is also available, allowing users to drill down into their search, narrowing the results by medium, subject, format, creator, and collection

With the goal of making the collections more accessible online, SPARC is continually adding content and will be prioritizing material that is in the public domain to encourage our users to creatively re-use our collections. Where possible, SPARC has reviewed material and has included a rights statement in the metadata associated with each item. This rights statement indicates whether a researcher may or may not reuse an item and the permission needed to do so.

Cornell University Library Acquires the Recently Closed American Textile History Museum Collection

“A massive collection documenting the U.S. textile industry is set to become one of Cornell University Library’s largest acquisitions ever. The collection, from the Osborne Library at the recently closed American Textile History Museum (ATHM), is expected to fill eight or nine tractor-trailers when it arrives in Ithaca this spring. It comprises around 90,000 books, periodicals, manuscript collections, photographs, textile sample books, tintypes, glass plate negatives and trade catalogs that tell the story of the textile industry in New England and across the country.”

Read more about this here.

Link to Cornell University Library website here.

Symposium: Dressing New York: Identity and Experience 5/13, 12-6pm NYC

Students in the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fashion and Textile Studies Master of Arts program have organized a daylong symposium that takes place on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from noon-6 p.m. Details below, hope to see you there!

FIT FTS 2017 Symposium jpg



The Annual Research Symposium of the Fashion and Textiles: History, Theory, Museum Practice Program at FIT’s School of Graduate Studies

A commercial and cultural capital, New York is the center of the American fashion industry, home of fashion innovators in design, production, and retail. Creators of both luxurious custom clothing and ready-to-wear sportswear have found a place in New York, as have the retailers who marketed and sold these items and the journalists who authored the fashion news for the American public. Yet the New York dress experience goes beyond the industry, encompassing a diversity of expressions of individuals and subcultures, all drawn to the energy of this place of extremes.

In this symposium, students in FIT’s MA program in Fashion and Textile Studies will present papers on a range of topics, investigating New York dress in the 19th and 20th centuries. From issues of gender and dress reform to design milestones and triumphs of the mainstream fashion system, New Yorkers reimagine and reinvent themselves through dress.

The Fashion Institute of Technology hosts Second Annual Int’l Women’s Day Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

women_and_tech_011317The Gladys Marcus Library is proud to be hosting FIT’s Second Annual International Women’s Day Wikipedia Edit-a-thon as a MOMA Art+Feminism satellite event. Unlike last year’s event, which was limited to the FIT Community by dictates of an internal grant, this event is open to all. There are two ways to participate:

  • Come to Gladys Marcus Library between 11 and 5 on March 8th, 2017 (guest list entry required for non-FIT folks)
  • Contribute remotely and log your updates/creations on our Wikipedia Meetup page

Either way, we ask you to RSVP via our Facebook Event page. If you are a seasoned Wikipedian, you can also sign in under the Attendees section of the Wikipedia Meetup page.

Here are some good reasons to participate:

  • Wikipedia needs more diversity of editors for a better balance of article topics, including in the areas of fashion, textiles, the apparel industry, communication design, and women of note in general.
  • Fashion, costume and textile coverage in Wikipedia is is highly uneven and needs more input from professionals and scholars in the field.

For examples of articles that need updating and creating, please see the Suggested Pages to Edit section of our Wikipedia Meetup page. And if you have suggestion of pages that need work, please post them here.

If you have any question please feel free to e-mail me, Helen Lane, at

ICYMI: DH Project “Introducing American Fashion”

“Several librarians at UCLA and at least one from Yale University helped UCLA Prof. Miriam Posners’ undergraduate Digital Humanities students with research related to their projects this quarter. The projects are now live and gathered together at: Take a look: many are arts related and each project is so impressive!”*

Below is a link to a fashion project:

Introducing American Fashion: Examining the Development and Commodification of Style in America


*(Posted by Janine J. Henri, Architecture, Design, and Digital Services Librarian at the UCLA Arts Library to the ARLIS listserv)