Organizing and Storing Patterns


Date the Pattern:

1. Use Copyright dates on the patterns. Do not use patent dates.

Note: McCall's included copyright dates on the envelope from the mid 1920s; Simplicity occasionally placed a copyright date on the instruction sheet in the early 1940s and on all instruction sheets from the late 1940s through 1959, then none though 1964. Dates have appeared on the Simplicity envelope since 1965. Vogue occasionally listed the copyright date on the envelope in the 1940s & 1950s.

2. Write the confirmed date in pencil on an unobtrusive corner of the envelope.

3. Store the pattern in clear inert plastic bags. Do not seal the bag tightly to allow air circulation inside the bag.

Assign Archive Numbers:

The archive number has three segments, each separated by a period:

1. The date of issue of the pattern; four digits.

2. The sequential number within the date of issue year that the pattern is catalogued.

3. A letter code to identify the holding collection based on the Online Computer Library Center, OCLC, designation system used for holdings of library abstracts is recommended as designating master location. For private collectors, use the owner`s initials.

For example, 1934.3.URI specifies a 1934 pattern, third of that year to be assigned a number, with the original pattern located at the University of Rhode Island. 1934.69.URI designates the sixty-ninth pattern from 1934 to be assigned an Archival Number.

4. If the date of the pattern is confirmed put the archival number on the storage bag for the pattern; do not obscure the Pattern Number. Half-inch self-adhering labels work well.

Storing Patterns:

1. Filing cabinets in a climate-controlled space make good storage for a large number of patterns. They will fit in two rows to a drawer. A simple divider such as a file folder separates the rows.

2. File the patterns by year in numerical order by company.