Grant to Aid Pattern Archive
Curator Commercial Pattern Archive
The Commercial Pattern Archive, a project of the Costume Design & Technology Commission and Save America's Treasures, recently was awarded a grant by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities to support essential archival storage for patterns in the Archive.
The collection contains vintage dressmaker patterns, fashion periodicals, tailoring journals, and other pattern-related artifacts dating from the 1860s. The grant will be used primarily to house 150 large pattern sheets published from 1868 to 1903 in Harpers Bazar Weekly (sic) as well as for storage units for other patterns and pattern-related artifacts dating from the 1860s.
The Commercial Pattern Archive database, CoPA©, is an electronic catalog. The database contains records of dressmaker patterns with images of the garments and the pattern grid from the back of the envelope. Patterns from 1868 to 1968 are available in a three CD set, CoPA© Vintage Patterns. The CDs offer a unique research tool to investigate everyday fashions, changing silhouettes, and the cut of garments. The garment design and the pattern layouts can be printed and enlarged to full scale or used as a guide for draping a garment.
The Commercial Pattern Archive is located at the University of Rhode Island. All the materials are available to researchers by appointment Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. The Commercial Pattern Archive is located in the main library in special collections at the URI campus in Kingston. For more information or to order the CDs, contact Joy Emery at jemery.uri.edu, or 401-874-2713 or visit the web site at: http://www.uri.edu/library/special_collections/COPA.
The Commercial Pattern Archive has received additional support for essential archival storage for patterns in the Archive, including this tennis dress from 1895.