Art Resources Lab, now on 6!

The library just opened a new space on the 6th floor. It’s called the Art Resources Lab or ARL. There are all kinds of useful things for your projects both up there on 6, and at the 5th floor Access Services Desk. We’ve already hosted several library programs there, but it’s open the whole time the library is open. The tools available include:

  • Several light tables
  • Overhead digital projector
  • Analog opaque projector
  • Dedicated wall for large work documentation
  • Copy stand
  • Basic photographic equipment (for check out at the Circulation Desk)

You should know that it’s forbidden to eat or drink up there, and that you are responsible (financially and ethically) for any equipment you sign out. To find out more, look here:

We offer a lot of tools to help you with your art projects, especially if they involve photography. For more details on the tools you can borrow to use in the library, read this:

Here’s the form to request tools and resources. Turn this in to the 5th floor Access Services Desk to get what you need:

The space is also being used for Maker Minds: a series of projects run by the FIT library and the IT for FIT departments. Today there was a project to build things with Lego plastic blocks. There’s also a biiiiigg chalk board up there in case you want to doodle large and in color while the ideas for that latest project swirl around in your head.

Here are some of the creations people made:


Looks like someone is excited about the new Star Wars movie.






These projects look more like architectural forms. Someone studying the pyramids at Machu Picchu in their History of Art class?

There is also chalk so you can come doodle on the big black board. The space isn’t quite finished, but it’s turned out to be a nice place to get your hands dirty. Come by and take a look!




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Magazine of the Week

This week, I’m going to talk about WWD, formerly known as Women’s Wear Daily.

WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) used to be the main newspaper for the American fashion industry. While it has gathered some competition* in the last few years, it remains a principle source for fashion industry news in the United States. It was founded in 1910 as a spinoff of the menswear newspaper, Daily News Record. (Ironically, DNR ceased publishing on its own in December, 2008. Menswear market coverage was added to WWD to compensate.) However, corporate takeovers combined with shrinking print markets and the fading American fashion industry took their toll on WWD as well. The last newsprint issue came out on April 24, 2015, although the paper still prints issues for spring and fall New York Fashion Weeks.


Founded in 1910 by Edmund Fairchild. During World War I, when Paris fashion houses closed, Fairchild encouraged American designers to use Native American sources and local landscapes as inspiration. He used the newspaper to inspire and promote an American design voice independent of the Paris couture scene through both this war and WWII.




John Fairchild, at his WWD desk. Photo by Bob Peterson, Life Images Collection.


Fairchild’s successor (and grandson), John Fairchild, famously led the publication to its late-century position of arbiter of taste and design talent. Focusing on the glamour of designers and their international lifestyle, he helped create the era of the designer as celebrity. He personally launched the careers of Bill Blass, Oscar de la Renta, and Yves Saint Laurent by raving about their early work.

His relationship with design houses was love/hate in many cases, because he often published new designs ahead of their runway or wedding debuts. His personal feuding with legendary designers was also well known, and resulted in the banning of designers such as Azedine Alaia, Geoffrey Beene, and Pauline Trigere from the newspaper’s pages.





This special issue on intimate apparel was published from 2004 through 2010. The newspaper took advantage of changes that made color printing cheaper by putting out a series of tabloid-sized supplements like this. Other titles we have from this era of WWD include WWD Fast (attempting to catch current pop-culture trends), WWD Scoop (focused on celebrity stylemakers), WWD Accessories, and WWD Magic (the menswear show).





The library has WWD in multiple formats:

We keep the last 3 months’ worth at the PERS desk on the 4th floor. These are mainly the fashion week issues and any recent special issues they’ve published.

We have special issues housed both behind the PERS desk and in the main stacks on the 5th floor.

We have a subscription to the online version of the title.

And we have the ProQuest archive of the newspaper since its beginning in 1910.

StyleCat search for WWD

We have bound issues of the newspaper from 1980-1993 in the open stacks on the 4th floor.

New York Fashion Week


*BoF and WGSN both have created competitive reporting on the global fashion industry.

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Giving Thanks


Americans have celebrated the annual Thanksgiving holiday so long that it has become part of our national mythology. In fact, it has only been an official, national celebration since 1863, proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln as a way of uniting a disheartened and divided country during the American Civil War.

Plimoth Plantation reenactment of the first Thanksgiving in 1621


The holiday itself has many roots, and interweaves Native American traditions of giving thanks for rich harvests  with Puritan ones of celebration a good harvest after hard years of travel, weather, and labor. The Puritan custom evolved into a New England custom of annual thanksgiving that was declared yearly in the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Plymouth colonies and celebrated on a weekday to offer citizens an additional day of rest in their week.





By the eighteenth century (1700s), the family dinner table overshadowed the religious resonance of the event. As New England settlers moved further west, they took this custom with them.

The Continental Congress declared a national day of Thanksgiving in 1777, as a solemn day of observance in the face of the difficulties of the Revolutionary War. George Washington, John Adams, and John Monroe declared such days sporadically during their presidencies, but the custom died out by the 1820s.


In 1827, a woman wrote a novel called Northwood: A Tale of New England, in which the family celebrated an annual Thanksgiving dinner. This became significant only after the author, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, became the influential editor of a new kind of news source: the women’s magazine.

Sarah Josepha Hale was a widowed mother and a poet and author. A native New Englander, she grew up celebrating Thanksgiving. Her novel Northwood attracted the attention of The Ladies’ Magazine, and she was hired as editor in 1828. In 1837, Louis Godey took over the magazine and changed its name to Godey’s Lady’s Book. Godey and Hale collaborated on the title for the next 40 years.



Godey’s Lady’s Book became the most popular magazine of its day. By 1840 it had circulation of 40,000. By 1860, it reached 150,000 subscribers. While avoiding overt politics, Hale did make use of her influence to further causes such as promoting education for women (she helped found Vasser), publishing the work of women authors, promoting child welfare laws, and establishing Washington’s Mount Vernon home as a national monument. Hale advocated widely for a national celebration of Thanksgiving as well. In 1863 she wrote President Lincoln and Secretary of State William Seward calling on them to establish this as an official, national holiday.¬† Lincoln did so, as an attempt to unify a nation at Civil War.





For the next 50 years or so, Thanksgiving continued to be proclaimed annually by the President, usually on the last Thursday in November. In 1941, Congress proclaimed the holiday an annual one, to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, as we do to this day.

We hope you have a restful and delicious Thanksgiving feast!


Enjoy this gallery of gorgeous vintage Thanksgiving postcards:

Here the Smithsonian museums have put together a collection of Thanksgiving-themed objects, gifts, and activities:

This listing includes a playlist on the Smithsonian’s recording label, Folkways:




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