Archival collections are put to use in a variety of intellectual and creative ways, and we’re on a mission to share them with you! Last Friday, a few of us Special Collections and Archives mavens made the trek across the fifth floor patio to the Caroline A. Laudati Conference Room to hear UCI Professor Emerita of History Lynn Mally give a talk on American fashion. The event was part of the Library Workshop Series hosted by the UCI Libraries, which features a number of events throughout the year. Professor Mally is a perennial visitor in our reading room and donor of several fun and flirty fashion cards that were recently added to our Fashion Frocks, Inc. holdings. This talk focused on the unique contributions of American designers to the world of couture (read: jeans and t-shirts are awesome!) and highlighted some of the rich, fashion-related archival materials we have in our collections. The star of the presentation was the Irene Saltern Salinger papers (MS-P059), which document the 40-year career of Hollywood-turned-commercial designer Irene Saltern Salinger. Though a native of Germany, Salinger helped create a distinctive Southern California style during her prolific career with innovative sportswear designs.
The Salinger papers include pencil and watercolor costume sketches for Hollywood film productions and her commercial work, photographs, fashion plates, scrapbooks, personal and professional correspondence, fabric swatches, fashion line summaries and photographs, research materials, as well as sales and advertisement materials from circa 1950 to 1980. The collection also includes European fashion plates collected by Salinger, showcasing popular clothing for upper-class men, women, and children from the mid- to late- nineteenth century. Some of these gems from the 64 linear foot collection were on-hand for perusal during Professor Mally’s talk, and are available for research in the Special Collections and Archives reading room.
If you’re a fashion enthusiast, you may want to check out some of our other glamorous holdings featuring delicious assortments of eye candy:
- Edyth Sparag Studios fashion drawings (MS-P024)
- Berley Studios fashion drawings (MS-P032)
- Collection of European women’s fashion drawings (MS-P039)
- Parisian fashion etchings collection (MS-P043)
- Collection of advertisement sketches of women’s fashions and accessories (MS-P044)
- Fashion plate curio book (MS-P046)
- Student portfolio of French women’s and children’s fashions (MS-P049)
- Fashion Frocks, Inc. style cards and other material (MS-P054)