Saving America's Treasures

The Commercial Pattern Archive database, CoPA, provides a unique tool for researchers and designers to recreate or date clothing from 1868 to 2000. There are several collections from the States, Canada and the UK represented in the database which functions like a Union Catalog of pattern collections. The cornerstone of CoPA is the Betty Williams Collection. 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.

Acknowledgements:

The project is supported in part by:

Betty Williams Pattern Fund

United States Institute for Theatre Technology Edward F. Kook Endowment Fund,

United States Institute for Theatre Technology Commissioners Fund

University of Rhode Island Foundation Faculty Assistance Fund,

University of Rhode Island Council for Research,

The Rhode Island Foundation ADDD Fund,

The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities

National Endowment for the Humanities