The Design Collection houses a "significant" collection of (mainly) 20th Century costume, which has been collected over the past twenty years. Recently the Stafford Community Theatre Wardrobe donated a part of their collection to the University and this is available for students to borrow and wear to compliment their courses. The collection has been used for two 60s Fashion Shows, a Student Union Diversity Fashion Show,and photography and film students and FE Colleges in the area have used the resource. Last year Betty Smithers donated her teaching collection to the university to ensure that it continued to be used for education rather than gather dust in a more traditional museum. Most of the garments in the collection may be freely handled and borrowed; there are exceptions when fabric becomes fragile and unstable.

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