Skip to Main Content

Library Guides

Fashion History in the University Archive: Getting started

An overview of resources held by the University Archive


This guide gives an overview of resources for researching fashion within the University Archive. It covers:

  • the teaching of fashion design, dressmaking, tailoring and hairdressing in the University since 1882
  • sportswear for men and women since the 1880s
  • fancy dress and pageantry
  • street fashion
  • the Hogg, Sons & B Johnstone tailoring firm.

Fashion students might also find inspiration in other resources that the archive holds – such our travel collection, our printed ephemera, and our historic architectural books. We can also help you to find archive resources elsewhere. Please contact Anna for more information or advice on your research.

The University Archive is managed separately to the Westminster Menswear Archive; for information about the garment collection please visit

What are archives?

An archive can refer to:

  • a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people; or
  • a place where historical documents are kept

Although we usually think of archives as being paper documents, they can also be digital, photographic and audiovisual. Many archive collections also include some books and objects. 

Archive items are unique and often fragile. While you will usually be allowed to handle them, you will not be able to borrow items from an archive. You will also be asked to not eat and drink while in an archive, and not to use pens, as these can all damage the documents.

I've found something in the guide that I'm interested in - how do I see it?

The University Archive is on level B3 of 4-12 Little Titchfield Street.

We are open on a drop-in basis for staff and students at the following times:

Monday        10.00-12.00   13.00-17.00

Tuesday       10.00-12.00   13.00-17.00

Wednesday  10.00-12.00   13.00-17.00

Thursday      10.00-12.00   13.00-17.00

Friday           10.00-12.00   13.00-17.00

If you are a part-time student and these hours are difficult for you, please get in touch and we will try to make alternative arrangements for you.

The Reading Room only seats four and does get quite busy at times. You are also welcome to make an appointment so that we can reserve a seat for you. This is particularly important if you would like to come as a group. Please contact us at to make an appointment.

Contact Us

This Guide was created by members of the University Archive who can be contacted by emailing 

or chat with us via our catalogue