Introducing the Special Collections Coloring Book

The cover of the Special Collections coloring book features an image from a 19th-century English publication instructing women in social graces and presenting the latest fashions.

FIT’s Special Collections at the Gladys Marcus Library are truly breathtaking. These treasures, some 500,000 works on paper, comprise original fashion sketches and illustrations, rare and fragile photographs, and periodicals, many dating before the Civil War. The collection competes in importance with similar holdings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, and facilitates thriving scholarship in the field of fashion history.

It goes without saying that no one is permitted to mark up these priceless artifacts. It’s verboten even to bring a pen into the facility. Enter the FIT Library Special Collections and College Archives Coloring Book. These 20 noted illustrations, chosen by Karen Trivette, head of Special Collections and College Archives, derive from diverse resources within the unit, including the renowned Frances Neady collection of fashion illustrations, the shoe designs of Arsho Baghsarian, the Bergdorf Goodman Custom Salon sketch collection, and the very rare publication Les Robes de Paul Poiret.

The sketches have been stripped of their hues for your coloring enjoyment. Download and print the book, then while away a lazy afternoon executing your chromatic vision, with children or all by yourself. If you’re curious about the provenance of these illustrations, endnotes offer additional detail. 

And while in-person access to Special Collections and College Archives is currently limited due to the pandemic, its digitized content can always be accessed online through SPARC DigitalSPARC Connect, and Archive on Demand

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