Fashioning an Education

At a conference about Women’s History in the Digital World at Bryn Mawr College in March 2013, I presented about an online exhibition at Vassar. This was part of a panel about what online representations of historic dress can reveal to us about the lives of the women who wore or made the clothing.  From the abstract,

“The online exhibit “Fashioning an Education: 150 Years of Vassar Students and What They Wore” highlights current student and faculty collaboration to use clothing as the starting point for research on the lives of late 19th and early 20th century Vassar students, and the effect of fashion on education (and vice versa – http://vcomeka.com/vccc/exhibits/show/fashioning/introduction). Such projects have been made possible by ten years of effort to provide digital access to the Vassar College Drama Department’s research collection of historic clothing. This project has moved through different formats (Excel, Filemaker, and now Omeka), has involved many students, and has largely remained a “Do-it-Yourself” effort, with little funding or technical support. Detailed data and images are included, showing garments inside and out and including videos and ObjectVRs, animated views that show each garment mounted on a mannequin, which the viewer can rotate and zoom. Also included are an array of materials that provide context for the objects, such as photographs, letters, magazine articles, and illustrations. The growth of the digital project has helped to show the interdisciplinary nature of the study of clothing through the examination of articles of women’s clothing as primary source materials: historical evidence of women’s lives.”

More information: http://repository.brynmawr.edu/greenfield_conference/papers/saturday/28/

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