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Special Collections: Fashion

Fashion Collection: How to View

The Fashion Collection is made up of different parts, and you can find out more about them by using these links:

Access to the Fashion Collection

The Fashion Collection is an assortment of clothes, accessories, fabrics and haberdashery items which date from Victorian times to the current day. This is held in the Sheppard Library which is accessible to Middlesex University staff and students.

The collection is housed in the Materials Room (Sheppard Library:Basement) which is usually open 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday (term-time).

Detail of Dress

Detail from Afghani dress held in the Fashion Collection

 Motif from dress in Fashion Collection

Fashion Collection Catalogue

The Fashion Collection

 Dress from the Fashion Collection

This collection of about 2,000 items was put together by a previous head of Fashion, Julian Robinson over 25 years ago. The various garments and accessories were acquired by purchase and donation and include dresses, coats, capes, shoes, hats and haberdashery from Victorian, Edwardian periods through to the 1970s. We have added to the Collection with more recent acquisitions. The Collection is kept in the Materials Room. 

Objects from the collection can be studied or photographed in the Materials Room or may be borrowed by members of staff.

The Materials Room is open from 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday, when specialist help is available.  Contact Marion ( for more information.

Fashion Collection on Flickr

Updated: Access to the Materials Room


Image of bunch of keys

From Monday 27th September the Materials Room will be open from 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday. For safety, we are restricting numbers to not more than 10 in the room, and asking for masks to be worn where possible.

Please contact Marion ( to make an appointment outside these hours, or for more information about the using the Special Collections.
Key image

Key Pieces

Image of Levi 501's from Fashion Key Pieces Collection

We have added some new classic fashion items to the Collection, sourced by fashion staff. These include:

  • a black leather motorcycle jacket
  • Levi's 501 jeans
  • a Burberry raincoat
  • 1950s girdle
  • Canada goose jacket
  • Kaffe Fassett jumper
  • Boxing boots
  • Dungarees
  • Parka
  • Goth leather trousers

These will all be loanable and available to borrow for studying.

For more information please come and ask in the Materials Room or click on the link below to view:

Fashion Collection Index

This is an index to the Fashion Collection.  Items are stored in boxes, which have numbers, or on labelled hanging rails.

1900s: 25, hanging rail
1920s: 38, 39, hanging rail
1930s: 39, hanging rail
1940s: hanging rail
1950s: hanging rail
1960s: 84, hanging rail
1970s: 84, hanging rail
Artificial flowers: 80
Babies clothes: 83
Bags: 3A, 3B
Beaded dresses, 38
Beads: 71, 82
Beadwork: 82
Blouses: hanging rail
Boa: 13
Bobbins, lace: 70
Boots: 2B
Braids: 73,74, 75
Buckles: 57
Buttons: 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65
Capes, 10, hanging rail
Children’s clothes: 83
Chinese work boots: 2B
Coats: hanging rail
Collars, lace: 58
Edwardian costumes: 21, 22, 23,24, hanging rail
Embroidery samples: 76
Evening dresses: 38
Fabric samples: 77, 78
Fans: 13
Fancy dress costume: 14, hanging rail
Fasteners: 57
Feathers: 81
Flowers, artificial: 80
Gloves: 13
Haberdashery: 79
Handbags: 3A, 3B
Hats: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Hooks & eyes: 72
Kimonos: 14
Lace, 58, 59
Lace bobbins: 70
Lace maker’s machine: 67
Motifs, decorative: 76
Nightclothes: 18
Press studs: 72
Ribbons: 74
Samples, fabric: 77, 78
Scarves: 12
Shawls: 12
Shoes: 1,2,2B,3
Stockings: 16
Swimwear: 39
Theatre costume: 14, hanging rail
Threads: 72
Toggles: 62
Tops: hanging rail
Umbrellas: 13
Underwear: 16, 17
Uniforms: hanging rail
Victorian costumes: 21, 22, 23,24, hanging rail
Wood cuts: 66
World costume: hanging rail