Archives and resources
The LCF Archives are available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only.
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The Archives at London College of Fashion offer inspirational research resources. The archives cover subjects from making shoes to make-up; from garments to paper patterns. The EMap Archive of clothing trade journals; the Cordwainers Historic Shoe Collection; the Woolmark Photographic Archive; suits by Tommy Nutter and dresses by London couturiers, are a few of the collections that make up the archives.
- C&A Ltd. Archive
- Cordwainers College Archive and Historic Shoe Collection
- EMAP Archive of Clothing Trade Journals
- Gala of London Portfolio of Advertising
- Hayes Textile Ltd. Collection
- History of the London College of Fashion
- Louis Bund
- Mary Quant Cosmetics
- Menswear Collections
- Paper Patterns
- Tailoring and Garment Production Collections
- Victor Stiebel Sketchbooks
- Women’s Home Industries Archive (WHI)
- Womenswear Collections
- Woolmark Photographic Archive
Donated by the company when it closed its UK shops in 2001, the collection contains materials relating to C&A Ltd, clothing retailers and manufacturers. It contains visual material related to advertising and store display, 1922-2001, including adverts for women’s fashion and the portfolio of Magrit Seck who worked for the company in 1950s. There are also a few examples of C&A Ltd. clothing from the latter part of the 20th century. (NB: the London College of Communication has another part of the archive.)
C&A Archive work by Margrit Seck
As well as photographs, teaching books, cuttings, prospectuses, programmes, minutes, administrative documents and student work for the Cordwainers College, one of the London College of Fashion predecessor bodies, 1915-2000, there is a collection of 650 pairs of shoes from 18th to 20th centuries charting the history of shoes and shoe making in England. Images of some of the shoes have been digitised and catalogued and are available to see on the on VADs online resource for visual arts.
Button bar shoes late 1920s - white leather
The EMap Archive consists of approximately 700 volumes of journals published from c.1860 to present day including Drapers Record, Menswear, and Shoe and Leather News. Some of the articles from the journals have been indexed and can be found by searching the UAL Library Catalogue and limiting your search to ‘EMAP archive’.
Cover of Menswear, 17 April 1975
A series of scrapbooks containing newspaper and magazine cuttings, publicity and promotional photographs for Crystal Products, Miner's Cosmetics and Gala Cosmetics. Also photographs of products, promotional shots, point of sale shots, factory shots and promotional events. Photographs from this collection are digitised and catalogued and are available to see on the VADs online resource for visual arts.
The collection contains photographs, prospectuses, minute books, and meeting books; scrap books, cuttings, memorabilia, and samples of students’ work charting the history of London College of Fashion from its trade school origins at Barrett Street, Shoreditch and Clapham. Some items are featured in the book by Helen Reynolds (1997) ‘Couture or Trade: an early pictorial record of the London College of Fashion’. Chichester: Phillimore. Also included is the Ethel E Cox Collection. Cox was the Head Mistress at Barrett Street Trade School from 1915-1950. Please note this is an extensive collection.
About 1000 photographs of the early college history are digitised and catalogued and are available to see on the VADs online resource for visual arts.
Barrett Street Trade School fashion show 1924
This is a collection of about 800 commercially produced paper patterns for home dressmaking dating from 1920s to 1980s. Most have been used and not all are complete. The covers have been digitised and catalogued and are available to see on the VADs online resource for visual arts.
1950s paper pattern
- Business Archives Council Collection: The collection contains documents relating to the garment trade in London, 1840-1899, including items on patents, and an apprenticeship indenture.
- Cooling Lawrence & Wells Collection: The collection contains the London Time Log, 1891-1937 for the company. There is also a Livery Book, 1904-1970, with material samples and details of customers' orders.
- London Alliance of West End Cutters Collection: The collection contains materials relating to lectures and dinners hosted by the Alliance, a professional society for cutters in the tailoring trade,1967-1987.
- Tailor and Cutter Academy Archive: The collection contains records of the Federation of Clothing Designers and Executives, comprising volumes of pattern cutting layouts for male and female garments that were possibly used for tailoring exercises at the Academy and papers relating to a correspondence course run by the Academy. There are also drawings and notes.
- Basic Tailors and Outfitters Assistants' General Friendly Society Collection: The collection contains material relating to the Societies benevolent fund, 1893-1993.
The Library at London College of Fashion has a collection of books and periodicals on the practical application of tailoring methods from the 1800s-1900s and is particularly strong in men's tailoring. Titles are listed on the Library Catalogue.
London College of Fashion tailoring student c. 1960s
3 volumes of sketchbooks from the London based couturier working in the 1940s to 1960s. The sketchbooks have been digitised and catalogued and are available to see on VADs online resource for visual arts.
Victor Stiebel sketchbook
WHI was a company was established by Baroness Swanborough (Lady Reading) in 1947. The collection contains knitting patterns created for and by WHI (also known as Beatrice Bellini Hand Knits), from 1947-2005. These were made-up by some 4000 home knitters for export (primarily to the USA and Canada). The collection also contains press cuttings, minute books, a visitor's book, press cutting books, garments and stitch sample books.
Stitch books from Women’s Home Industries Archive
The Archives have several collections of clothing donated from the wardrobes of several women covering the period from 1920s to 1990s. The key collections were given by the Korner Family, the Ann Barr Estate, Miss Hester Borron, and Jenifer Rosenberg , as well as other individuals. The collections include couture day and evening wear, mass produced clothing, homemade items, hats, underwear and accessories, as well as printed ephemera.
Hartnell evening dress from Korner Collection
This collection containing about 3000 high quality photographs was donated by the International Wool Secretariat to the college during the 1980s. The photographs are of women's wear and some menswear (couture and prêt a porter) and related promotional materials covering the period 1940-1970s. Most of the photographs have been digitised and catalogued and are available to see on the VADs online resource for visual arts.
Woolmark: Christian Dior 1947 womenswear, suit, jacket, skirt, hat
Lists of other archives and special collections within the University of the Arts London can be found at http://www.arts.ac.uk/library/collections/ and other archives and library collections outside UAL can be found at http://www.arts.ac.uk/library/guides/other-libraries/