CoPA-Online: An Archive of Everyday Wear 1847-2010

CoPA-Online contains over 55,000 scanned images (garments & pattern schematics) from 61,000 commercially produced patterns, dating back to 1847 and is growing daily.

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Features include:

Search the catalog in several ways for example: by garment type (dress, suits, bathing suits, maternity), by date, and by designer.

Keywords further qualify your searches, such as 'western wear', 'pedal pushers' or //'couturier'.

Images with the patterns

Print full-page reports of selected pattern with the image and pattern layout

List of patterns by company & number for dating


Betty Williams, a theatrical costumer in New York City, pioneered research on commercial patterns in the early 1980s. She became a leader in the field, establishing a major personal pattern collection and encouraging others to actively participate in the collection and storage of patterns. Betty passed away in 1997 leaving a wealthy legacy of research, and an extensive pattern collection now housed at the University of Rhode Island. The Williams Collection is combined with the URI and Joy Spanabel Emery Collections in the Commercial Pattern Archive in URI Library Special Collections.