Historic Dress
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Notebook Series from the Rexford Costume Research Archive

The Notebook Series forms a significant part of the personal research archive of Costume Historian Nancy Rexford. 

We have begun by digitizing two binders:

The Wrapper Series (fully digitized) includes images and text representing wrappers, women's dresses worn indoors and in private. It is divided into 14 different sections, sorted mainly by decade but also including sections for sacques and maternity. 

The Border Design Series (partially digitized) includes images and text representing border designs, including patterns for needlework.

In over 30 years of consulting work, Ms. Rexford has collected materials that serve as an impressive finding aid both to women's fashion periodicals from the late 18th to early 20th century and to original objects that are in small collections all across the country.

Ms. Rexford's notebooks are organized by item type, with xeroxes of fashion illustrations, text, and advertisements from a multitude of different fashion periodicals. Each item is placed in chronological order and annotated with abbreviations for the source title and date. Looking through the notebooks page by page, one can more easily see subtle variations in fashion over time. There are currently 83 binders, with an estimated 29,000 pages and 60,000 illustrations.