In addition to my other ICG Archives activities, I’ve been writing a series of posts on the International Costumers Gallery Facebook page for the past two or three years about the history of convention costuming. This is a personal interest of mine, as well as a focus of the ICG Archives.
The posts start with events in 1939, and I’m currently all the way up to 1966. My most recent post on October 4 was about several events of significance in 1966, including the creation of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and “Star Trek”.
When I decided to do research for these posts, I started by finding all the old fanzines that I could. In the early days, a lot of these fanzines included reports about masquerades and the people who participated in them. This was an invaluable source for documenting the history of these events.
Fortunately, the University of Iowa has the Rusty Hevlein collection (https://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu/collections/show/18), which was especially useful for the things about the first decade or so. They also house the M. Horvat collection (https://aspace.lib.uiowa.edu/repositories/2/resources/703), which was actually the most useful, but I had to travel there to look at it. Other collections I use include FANAC: the Fan History Project (https://fanac.org/fanzines/), and the J.K. Klein collection at the University of California Riverside (https://sfts.ucr.edu/galleria/jk-klein-photography-collection), which is all 1960s black and white photos that are wonderful.
I include links in my posts that refer to these sources, as well as to images in the ICG Archives, so that you can actually see the list of the winners of the masquerade, and the actual costumes that were made and who wore them.
There are still many of years to go, but it has been a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to continuing the project. I also plan to do side features about specific costumers, or events, or significant things in costuming like the first cosplay video, which the ICG Archives also collects.
To read my posts on the history of convention costuming and other posts from the ICG Archives, visit the International Costumers Gallery page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064519521169.
ICG Pat and Peggy Kennedy Memorial Archives