c/o Prof. Lou Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
School of Humanities, University of Brighton
10/11 Pavilion Prade, Brighton BN 21RA
Tel: 01273 643089
This collection has been put together over the last 20 years for hands-on teaching and research purposes with donations from staff, supporters and students. It now contains hundreds of items- from an 1830s waistcoat, some fashionable garments from 1880-1990s, through to dress maker patterns from the 1930s and a collection of original cotton print designs made in Manchester by Fielden Royal in the 20s and 30s. This collection is in constant use in lecture and seminar sessions, and for student research projects from BA to PhD level. Students are freely allowed to handle the items. We explain carefully that this is not how dress and textiles are either stored or handled professionally in museums. Our intent is specifically to enable researchers to touch fabrics, learning their differences through 'feel' and close assessment of the differing making up quality of garments. This is the raison d’etre of this collection. Items relate directly to teaching programmes and thus we have an eclectic group of ready to wear dress and textiles from the 1950s -80s synthetics- featuring rayon, nylon, crimplene, Dacron, polyester etc.a few Marks and Spencer items, a hat collection from the 1930s to 60s and a Utility corset. Our small world textiles group contains some examples of peasant textiles from Hungary and Poland, garments from North India and a group of African export prints and garments used in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Kenya. Finally we teach about the impact of Tourism and Fair Trade and thus have a small group of textiles and dress related to those themes – made in Thailand, South America etc.
There is an ongoing process of cataloguing. Up until now it has only been available to staff and students on University of Brighton courses but by arrangement is now open to others.