Fashion Archive

The Fashion Archive was established in the early 2000s by Suzanne Elder, and in 2008-2009 won a College of Arts and Architecture Incentives and Innovations Grant. With approximately 3,000 items, the Archive features an array of clothing and other ephemera of fashion including fashion magazines, pattern books, personal memorabilia in the form of photos and correspondences, and advertisements acquired primarily through donations and a small holding at the Palmer Museum of Art from as early as the 1850s to the present. This hands-on collection is used by students, faculty, and staff to study the historical significance, cultural heritage, and technical specifications for designing and producing historically accurate costumes. It is utilized as a resource in the School of Theatre, which includes History of Fashion, Costume Construction, Pattern Drafting, and Costume Design courses. A project to inventory and photograph the collection began in 2022 in collaboration with the Center for Virtual/Material Studies

The Archive is open by appointment only, contact Charlene Gross. 

Work in Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 was supported by a 2023-2024 College of Arts & Architecture Rusinko Kakos Possibilities Grant.

Work in Fall 2023 was supported by a VRA Project Grant read the Penn State News Story.

Acknowledgments: Lauren Greenfield, Christina Huang, Marie Huard, Emma Houston, Caroline Koch, Megan Neely, Hails Reilly, Emily Tse.