BLUE: The TATTER Textile Library Collection Development Policy


The mission of TATTER is to promote the consciousness of cloth by considering and celebrating cloth’s intrinsic and essential relationship in human life — through portals that include but are not limited to: art, shelter, comfort, science, commerce, and culture. BLUE, The TATTER Textile Library, serves as both an ongoing interactive art-installation, as well as a non-circulating academic research library. In addition to serving as a laboratory for TATTER’s workshops, journal, conversation series and artist collaborations, the Library serves an international community of designers, makers, students, and those passionate and curious about textiles and the color blue. To this end, its goal is to provide a comprehensive and unique collection of printed materials and objects that examine and celebrate the global history, traditions, makers, craft and beauty of textiles. 


The Library’s holdings reflect textile knowledge from the proto-historic to the present and across all regions and cultures. The Library holds nearly 7,000 titles, including books, pamphlets, periodicals, exhibition catalogs, artist’s books, zines, ephemera, design patterns, and disc media. The Library also holds nearly 1,500 textile objects, including tools and equipment, costume, lace, buttons, samplers, swatches, fragments, and artwork. 


Collection decisions are made jointly between TATTER’s Director and the Librarian. The Library collects publications in all languages reflecting the international nature and scope of the collection. New editions are acquired when they reflect significant changes and additions. The Library typically acquires only one copy of any given publication. 

The following topics are collected comprehensively: titles relating to historical and contemporary textile art, production, use, techniques, design, conservation, dyes and dyeing, industry, and labor; textile artist monographs and exhibition catalogs; fibers and fiber art; soft sculpture; costume and traditional dress; fashion and fashion designers; and the color blue. 

The following subjects are collected selectively: titles in complementary research areas such as folk arts and crafts; philosophy of craft; material culture; painting; photography; sculpture; metalwork; jewelry; architecture; interior design; book arts; and ethnography. 

The Library selectively collects textile-related objects that reflect the intellectual scope of its print collection.

The Library may seek to acquire unique or rare archival material.


Gifts to the collection are added using the same criteria as purchased materials. Gifts are accepted with the understanding that the Library has complete discretion over the option to retain. Materials which fall outside of the library’s scope or duplicate existing holdings may be sold to support Library operations.

Weeding is practiced periodically, with assessment based both on physical condition and relevance to collection. Decisions to withdraw specific items are made within the context of the total collection policy.