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Kevin L. Seligman CollectionDSC.Seligman
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Related Materials
  • Separated Materials

  • Contributing Institution: Doris Stein Research Center for Costume and Textiles
    Title: Kevin L. Seligman Collection
    Creator: Seligman, Kevin L.
    Identifier/Call Number: DSC.Seligman
    Identifier/Call Number: 63
    Physical Description: 607 boxes 252.92 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): unknown
    Language of Material: English .

    Biographical / Historical

    Kevin L. Seligman was a costume designer, professor, and author. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and was heavily influenced by his father and grandfather who were both manufacturers of women's sportswear in Los Angeles. From 1988 to 1991, Mr. Seligman served as Commissioner of the Costume Design and Technology Commision at The Association for Performing Arts and Entertainment Professionals (USITT). In 1996, he wrote Cutting for All!, a guide book for pattern making. He taught costume design and technology at The School of Theatre and Dance, Northern Illinois University for 32 years. Upon his retirement from the school in 1998, he was awarded Professor Emeritus and donated his Library and Archive to The Doris Stein Research Center for Costume and Textiles located at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Kevin Seligman passed away in 2015 in London, United Kingdom.

    Scope and Contents

    The Kevin L. Seligman Collection comprises 252.92 linear feet (607 document boxes) of material arranged into seven series that all relate to the craft and technology of pattern drafting, tailoring, dressmaking, related crafts, and the commercial paper pattern industry from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. The collection is a significant source for materials related to 19th and 20th fashion and the influential designers and dressmakers of the time. These materials include individual patterns, journals, fabric and needlework samples, templates, drafting and tailoring equipment, and realia relating to the fashion and pattern industry of the time. The major designers and companies included in the collection are Marian Martin, Jim Foster Clothes, Saks and Co. Furs, Advance, Butterick, McCall's, Simplicity, Sears/ Roebuck and Co., Lebotys, and New York Patterns. The journals include names such as Vogue, Tailor and Cutter, Der Bazaar, and Lady's Companion.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment only through the Balch Research Library, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Telephone 323-857-6118 or email library@lacma.org, or by using the Make an Appointment Link at https://www.lacma.org/learn/balch-research-library. Some institutional records may be unavailable in order to protect the privacy and safety of museum staff, visitors, and collections, and where prohibited by law.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Contact the Balch Research Library at 323-857-6535 or library@lacma.org for information on publishing or reproducing materials included in these records. For materials not created by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, permission will be granted by the Museum as the owner of the physical materials, and does not imply permission for use from the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all necessary permissions from the copyright holder.


    Upon the acquisition of the Kevin L. Seligman Collection, the original order was arranged, and described by nine different series. This original order is believed to have been preserved. The description and organization of the material was administered by DSC staff in 1999, during the process of moving the collection out of Kevin Seligman's archive and library. The library material included books and catalogues that were separated from the archival material and were cataloged and are being integrated into Research Library holdings. In the original order, the library material was labeled as Series III and there were multiple instances of the overlapping of material in multiple series. In 2023, the Kevin L. Seligman Collection finding aid was prepared by Tyler Haberkorn under the supervision of Jessica Gambling and Julia Han. With the removal of Series III and overlapping of series, the archivists at the Balch Art Research Library revised the labeling and titles of the arrangement of the collection to better describe its contents and improve the navigation and findability of material in the collection. The Kevin L. Seligman Collection is now organized by seven series that are all further arranged into subseries. The contents of each subseries are arranged alphabetically by creator or journal name, or by date if known. The original order of the material has been retained. The arrangement of the series is as follows:
    Series I, Patterns Series II, Journals with Patterns Series III, Advertising and Ephemera Series IV, Caricatures and Cartoons Series V, Samples Series VI, Pattern and Drafting Equipment Series VII, Realia

    Preferred Citation

    [Description of item], Kevin L. Seligman Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art Balch Art Research Library, DSC.Seligman.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Upon his retirement in 1998 from The School of Theatre and Dance at Northern Illinois University, Kevin L. Seligman donated his Library and Archive to the Doris Stein Research Center for Costume and Textiles located at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). This donation has come in multiple batches of acquisitions from Kevin L. Seligman, which began in 1998 and ended in 2003.

    Processing Information

    The collection is housed in archival boxes that were originally packed and numbered by DSC staff and later placed on numbered pallets. The locations of the pallet numbers have been updated in the finding aid in order to keep track of their locations. It is recommended that multiple boxes be examined and potentially rehoused to make the contents more accessible to users.

    Related Materials


    Separated Materials

    Upon aquisition of the Kevin L. Seligman Collection, the Balch Art Research Library also received separated materials that consists of library books and periodicals, posters and items sorted into chronological and subject files. Library material is being integrated into Research Library holdings.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Los Angeles (Calif.)
    Fashion design
    Costume design
    Dressmaking -- Patterns
    Design drawings
    Journals (periodicals)
    Magazines (periodicals)
    Clippings (information artifacts)