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BGSU purchases Vogue archive

Researching 20th-century fashion icon Christian Dior or the transformation of Coco Chanel’s little black dress just got easier for students at Bowling Green State University.

With just the click of a mouse, members of the BGSU community and campus visitors can access 120 years of fashion history in an online database of Vogue magazine.

Click here to view Toledo Magazine

The university recently purchased the Vogue archive, which consists of every issue of the fashion magazine dating back to 1892.

More than 425,000 images, 300,000 ads, and 100,000 articles have been fully indexed and are searchable.

"We thought this would be a great tool for students in our Apparel Merchandising Product Development program, who study designers and fashion trends" said Sara Bushong, dean of university libraries. "This allows them to go back to 1892 to trace styles, designs, and designers."

Users can browse by date, designer, article of clothing, and much more. In addition, the data can be culled and analyzed to create charts and graphs, which will be good for students studying advertising trends, Ms. Bushong said.

As new editions of the magazine are released, they will be added to the database.

The university paid $15,200 for the database and will pay an $800 annual access fee.

The archive is available to students, faculty, and staff members with a BGSU login name and password. Nonmembers can access the database by visiting the university’s main library and requesting a guest login name and password.

Considered by some to be a fashion encyclopedia, Vogue has a rich history. For decades it has been used to shape the fashion industry, starting and discovering fashion trends and introducing them to the masses.

In 2006, a book critic in the New York Times described Vogue as "the world’s most influential fashion magazine."

It’s not new for a magazine to make its articles archive available online. The Vogue archive stands out for including advertisements and fashion photo-editorials in a searchable database.

"Every article, every ad, every image — it’s all there," said Amy Fry, electronic resources coordinator at BGSU. "Anything you would see in the print copy is there."

Contact RoNeisha Mullen at: or 419-724-6133.

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