download a pdf of the syllabus (the formatting is better)

Historic Costume Preservation Workshop – Spring 2010
Drama 298 or 399 – Independent Work – 1 credit
facilitated by Arden Kirkland

1    Fri    1/22    3:15-5:15    Introduction
Hand in student survey, conflict schedule
2    Mon-Fri    1/25-1/29    Self-scheduled    Lab – Inventory
Work in teams of 3    Reading
Completed Inventory
3    Wed    2/3    3:30-5:30    3:30-5:30 Jonathan Scheer workshop
Condition Reporting    Reading
4    Fri    2/12    TBA    Jessa Krick workshop
Cataloging    Reading
5    Mon-Fri    2/19    Self-scheduled    Lab – Work in teams of 2-3
Documentation submitted online
6    Mon-Fri    2/26    Self-scheduled    Lab – Work in teams of 2-3
Documentation submitted online
Mon-Fri    3/5    Self-scheduled    Lab – Work in teams of 2-3
Documentation submitted online
8    Fri    3/12        BREAK!    ***
9    Fri    3/19        BREAK!    ***
10    Mon-Fri    3/26    Self-scheduled    Lab – Work in teams of 2-3
Documentation submitted online
11    Mon-Fri    4/2    Self-scheduled    Lab – Work in teams of 2-3
Documentation submitted online
12        4/9-
4/13        Colleen Callahan workshop:

12    Fri    4/9    3:30-5:30    Preservation Presentation (with invited guests)    Reading
Sat    4/10    10-6    Project work
Mounting Presentation (with invited guests)    Project work
Sun    4/11    10-6    Project work    Project work
13    Mon    4/12    Self-scheduled    Project work    Project work
Tues    4/13    Self-scheduled    Project work
Project on mannequin to view
Mon-Fri    4/16    Self-scheduled    Lab
Documentation submitted online
14    Mon-Fri    4/23
Self-scheduled    Lab
Documentation submitted online
15    Mon-Fri    4/30    Self-scheduled    Lab
Documentation submitted online
16    Tues    5/4        last day of classes
Fri    5/7        celebrate a job well done!    all documentation complete and handed in
or submitted online

Required Work:

As this project is being treated like an internship, students will be responsible for 80 hours of work, as they would be for one credit of field work. Those hours will take place as follows:

2 (or more) workshops with Jonathon Scheer    8-12
Workshop with Jessa Krick    4-6
Workshop with Colleen Callahan    28
Weekly labs throughout the semester
(about 4 hours a week for 10 weeks)    34-40

Participants will keep a time sheet to log their hours.
•    Attendance at all workshops is required, as these are the core of the project
•    Labs will be self-scheduled within times offered by Arden Kirkland, however it is still required that you come at the time you signed up for; much work will be done in groups and your group will not be able to proceed without you
•    Some work may include independent research/writing, which will also count toward the total hours

The goal of this project is to add significantly to the documentation of the Vassar College Costume Collection.
To that end, work submitted from the “labs” will include
•    text documentation (notes and reports)
•    photography
Work will be submitted in both
•    digital format (uploaded to the collection database)
•    hard copy (object files)
Highlights of our process will also be shared with the public, by way of a blog. Students will be expected to add to the blog on a regular basis:
•    blog posts
•    comments on blog posts by others

With each phase of the project, we will narrow down the selection of objects we are working with:
•    Inventory/Survey – basic documenation of every object (500+)
•    Cataloging – brief description of every object (500+)
•    Condition reports – more detailed reports for objects with condition issues (60-100)
•    Research –  on background of objects that might be candidates for exhibition (32-50)
•    Stabilization – conservation of objects to be exhibited (5-7)


TBA, as suggested by our consultants (as handouts or available online)

For the semester, a temporary library of costume and textile books will be on hand to help with identification of textiles, silhouettes, etc. (to be used in the space only, not to be borrowed).

Supplies (optional):

TBA – provided by the costume shop, but students may prefer to use their own


If the independent study is being taken in Drama, then the final grade will be determined by the workshop facilitators and consultants.

If the independent study is being taken in a department other than Drama, the student’s faculty sponsor in that department will submit the final grade, with input from the workshop facilitators. The faculty sponsor may require additional work.

“SA / Satisfactory” work is defined as work at C level or above
•    Familiarity with the content of the course
•    Familiarity with the methods of study of the course
•    Evidence of growth in actual use both of content and method
•    Full participation in the work of the class
•    Evidence of an open, active, and discriminating mind
•    Ability to express oneself in intelligible English

“UN / Unsatisfactory” work will not be credited toward the degree.
•    not fully participating in the work of the class

“DS / Distinction”is given only rarely
•    involves conspicuous excellence in several aspects of the work


Academic accommodations are available for students with disabilities who are registered with the Office of Disability and Support Services.  Students in need of disability accommodations should schedule an appointment with me early in the semester to discuss any accommodations for this course that have been approved by Office of Disability and Support Services, as indicated in your ODSS accommodation letter.


Costume Shop / Voice Mail – (845) 437 5589  (Vassar extension 5589)
email –

a more detailed contact sheet will be developed early in the semester

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