How to Use the Fashion Calendar Research Database

Fashion Calendar, Home Furnishings Calendar and Fashion International are all scanned and available for users as whole or partial issues. When clicking the “Issues” tab at the top navigation users can browse by decade and year. Individual issue pages enable users to keyword search, access library holding information, link out to the Internet Archive and download the scanned material in a multitude of file formats. This method, particularly browsing issues in the reader software, is the closest to handling the material directly.

Browse issues screenshot

Users can choose to optimize their access to the data in the Fashion Calendar and Home Furnishing Calendar by clicking the “Data” tab at the top navigation. The “Data” page is designed to help users perform advanced searches, generate data visualizations and collapse the time-based structure of the calendars.

Data view

Each digitized listing includes the text and categories from its associated listing in the Calendars. Text pulled directly from the calendar is depicted in the typewriter style font, and interpretive information including added identity attributions are listed in the default font.

By clicking the symbol associated with the name, users can see the added identity attributes, associated sources and other details about the individual or entity. The symbol next to the geographic coordinates under location will show the location on a map. The symbol will search for the associated term.

Datasets of listings become interactive and can be quantified using the data visualizations tools by clicking the “Refine,” “Graph,” or “Map” buttons.

Research Guide

With the page viewer function, users can browse the issues directly and perform keyword searches when clicking the .

When using the “Data” function users have access to all of the “full text” found in the material, and or the processed data that includes enhanced identity attributions and location geocoding.

Tips for Exploration

Users can explore names and categories by navigating to the “Data” section of the FCRD. The “Names” and “Categories” drop-down menus appear under the basic and advanced search bar.

Click on the symbol near a name to generate associated category tags, further information and search the FIT Library catalog.

A great way to understand the culture of the fashion and creative industries is to generate a dataset based on the user’s interest in the “Data” section and based on generated listings link back to the original issue and read the listings that occurred in around the event. This helps situate events and people with their peers and various communities.

Basic Search

Search terms typed into the search bar can search the entirety of the captured text in the calendars (full-text) when typing the word and completing the search. This includes words or names that appear in the description section in the Calendars. When searching for phrases, you can use “ ” quotation marks to search for that exact phrase; without quotation marks the database will return results with any words of the phrase. For instance, searching for “calvin klein” will return results where that exact phrase appears, but searching calvin klein without quotation marks will return results for KLEIN BROS. TEXTILE and Calvin Hathaway.

Quoted search screenshot

Name and Category Drop-Down

When you begin typing into the basic search you will notice a drop-down menu, which lists tagged names and categories that can be selected as a means of searching.

Names

The “Names” drop down menu is an index of the majority of the “Given By” column in the Calendars. The names reflect subscribers and or hosts (individuals and entities) who have listed in the publications. Note: just because a name does not appear in the drop-down does not mean that it can not be found in data. There are names that appear in the description or other fields that were not indexed but will be searchable by using the “full-text” search.

Example search term: “Eartha Kitt”

Eartha Kitt does not show up in the drop down menu because the actress and singer did not host any events that were listed in Fashion Calendar. Eartha Kitt does show up as a noted guest in the descriptions of at least two fashion shows.

Categories

The “Categories” drop down menu is an index of the categories or “hybrid controlled vocabulary” the project team developed to attribute additional identifiers to names that appear in the publication. The multiple categories can be mixed and matched using the “Refine” sidebar.

The language chosen for the categories list was based on concepts prevalent within Critical Cataloging discourse and feminist digital humanities and aims to highlight diversity and under-represented groups within the publications.

Advanced Search

Advanced search enables users to search the “full text” and or search tagged names, categories and set a date range. The tagged names and categories correspond to names and their associated identity attributes. Users can mix and match “full-text” and/or multiple tagged names and categories that are reflected in the drop down menus to generate search results.

Refine

The “Refine” function enables users to interact with data sets. The “Refine” sidebar includes a date range scale, the ability to focus on Fashion Calendar and or Home Furnishings Calendar. Users can refine and mix and match their search results by clicking on associated names, categories and decades.

Refine screenshot

Graph

The Graph view function is a data visualization tool that allows users to quantify the data sets by number of events, or number occasions the name appears by year in the bar graphs. The pie charts visualizes the number and ratio of categories in a data set and the number of host names that appear in the data set. Users can choose to download the data by clicking on the symbol.

When searching the “full-text” and then clicking “Graph” the database will also generate an NGram chart which tracks the appearance of words over time.

Graph screenshot

NGgram

The NGram function is a digital tool that tracks the appearance of words over time. Users can use the “full-text” search. By clicking “Graph” the NGram will be the first chart to appear.

Map

The Map view function is a data visualization tool that allows the user to map out the global locations of events in a data set. The interactive map enables users to click on an event and read the information in the original listing, the identity categories and a link to the original scanned page in the scanned material.

Map screenshot

The Map view includes its own advanced search that allows users to change or refine the search results, date range and refine by category or name. Users can map the listings within individual issues, or data-sets based on a refined search.

JSON

Search results can be downloaded in the JSON format to be further analyzed and repurposed. Within the "Graph" view, users can also download each chart as a simple CSV file. Note: due to the complexity of the data, full results can only be downloaded in JSON format.

Teaching Guide

The Fashion Calendar Research Database is a tool for primary source research and the analysis of historical documents that provide insight into the American and global fashion and creative industries from 1941 to 2014. The information within the material serves as a record of participation that reflects the open and democratic nature of the American market during the period. By making Fashion Calendar and Home Furnishings Calendars interactive, students, and users can navigate the text-based material and generate visualizations that can stimulate further research on specific historical, cultural, economic, and social realities.

The FCRD also serves as an example of experimental digital humanities applications and the potential digital interventions that can be applied to historical material. The pedagogical and educational uses of the FCRD can be expanded to include digital and AI literacy, creative uses of technology in humanities research, and quantitative research analysis.