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By Nicola Bacon, PR Manager
Founded in 1932, and with over 400 students each year, The Courtauld Institute of Art is a specialist place of study for the history and conservation of art and architecture in the center of London.
The Institute recently purchased ProQuest’s Women’s Wear Daily Archive (WWD), an archive of the magazine since its creation in 1910 all the way through today. The launch of WWD in 2013 has enabled researchers to have access to historical issues previously only available physically in libraries which held the collection. The digitization of these primary source materials preserves this valuable collection, which dates back to the early 1900s and provides a vital look at fashion and trends throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Over the years, WWD has helped its readers navigate an increasingly complex marketplace with essential competitive intelligence assembled by what is widely considered to be one of the fashion world’s best editorial teams. This essential content is accessible on ProQuest’s academic research platform, enabling users to cross-search it with The Vogue Archive as well as millions of pages of historical newspapers and other periodicals. Users can execute a comprehensive search in seconds leading them to access all content from within the publications including advertisements and images all in high resolution and full color. They are then able to share, save and manipulate the content and collaborate with others on the same platform.
Dr. Rebecca Arnold, FRSA, FHEA, Oak Foundation Lecturer in History of Dress & Textiles at the Courtauld Institute, said, “The students are making great use of it. It is absolutely fantastic to have the WWD archive! I've only seen the issues related to the 1930s on grungy old microfiche at NYPL, so being able to explore it online is such a luxury. The students are thrilled too; it opens up a fascinating new source for us and is good to look at in relation to Vogue, as it's a similar time period covered, but from an industry perspective.”
The WWD archive is a key research catalogue not only for students of fashion, but also provides a valuable resource for students of business, retail, marketing, merchandising, cultural and gender studies and social history.