Clothing and Textiles Collection

This unique collection houses more than 23,000 clothing and textile-related artifacts with local, national, and international significance. Founded in 1972, the Collection includes everyday wear and designer clothes for men, women and children from different continents and spanning over 350 years of history. In addition to examples of textiles from different continents, artifacts that depict clothing and relate to the production and embellishment of cloth are also part of our holdings. These include looms, spindles, needlework tools, patterns, historical fashion magazines and photographs.

An integral part of teaching, learning, and research in the Department of Human Ecology, the Collection also facilitates community outreach for the University of Alberta. It is a unique reference tool for gaining insights into areas such as apparel and surface design and technology, historical and material culture inquiry, textile science and technology, and museum practice, including conservation and exhibition curatorship. In-house exhibitions are continually presented, some by professional staff members and others developed within undergraduate and graduate courses.

We are among the five largest clothing and textiles collections in Canada. In addition to the Mactaggart Collection of the University of Alberta, we are the only collection of its size and significance held in a university setting in the country. Our artifacts are acquired for use in the classroom and for research. They are accessible to students and to researchers on-site and through our Web site.

Location and Access


1-15 Human Ecology Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2N1

The collection can be accessed by students, faculty, researchers, and members of the public. Groups are welcome. Tours are offered to the public by appointment every last Thursday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (two weeks’ notice is required - maximum of eight individuals per tour). Please contact the Collections Manager for information on collection tours and visits.

Human Ecology Gallery - featuring rotating exhibitions

Current Exhibitions

Human Ecology Building, first floor, east entrance

Gallery hours:
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Holidays: please call 780.492.3824 for this information as it varies


Dr. Anne Bissonnette, Curator
325 Human Ecology
Phone: (780) 492-3604
Academic Profile

Vlada Blinova, Collections Manager
103 Human Ecology
Phone: (780) 492-2528
Academic Profile

Related Links

Search the collection database 

Acquisition Mandate