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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

Bathing suits and sailor suit patterns
on exhibit at URI Library

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 5, 2001 -- Clothes patterns telling the histories of swimwear and children’s sailor suits will be on exhibit in the gallery of the University of Rhode Island’s Library from March 12 through April 24. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.

Swimwear patterns range from the bathing gown to the bikini. Childrens’ sailor suit patterns cover a 150-year period -- from the 1840s to a 1990s outfit for a Cabbage Patch doll.

The exhibit, "Discovering Unknown Resources: The Commercial Pattern Archive," explores some of the remarkable items that can be found in the Special Collections Department of URI’s Library. The Commercial Pattern Archive is an official project of Save America's Treasures.

A few garments including an 1870s gown and some children’s sailor outfits will also be on display.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is the premiere of an interactive, digital database of the archive holdings. The database is now available by appointment, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., according to Joy Emery, URI professor emeritus, curator of the exhibit.
The exhibit is organized to coincide with the Costume Society of America Annual Symposium to be held in Providence in early April.

The University has the largest collection of clothes patterns in the world. Anyone who wants more information or would like to donate pre-1960s patterns should contact Emery at (401) 874-2713 or

For Information: Joy Emery, 874-2713, Jan Sawyer, 874-2116

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