Anne Lambert Clothing and Textiles Collection

This unique collection houses more than 23,000 clothing and textile-related artifacts with local, national, and international significance. Founded in 1972, the Collection includes everyday wear and designer clothes for men, women and children from different continents and spanning over 350 years of history. In addition to examples of textiles from different continents, artifacts that depict clothing and relate to the production and embellishment of cloth are also part of our holdings. These include looms, spindles, needlework tools, patterns, historical fashion magazines and photographs.

An integral part of teaching, learning, and research in the Department of Human Ecology, the Collection also facilitates community outreach for the University of Alberta. It is a unique reference tool for gaining insights into areas such as apparel and surface design and technology, historical and material culture inquiry, textile science and technology, and museum practice, including conservation and exhibition curatorship. In-house exhibitions are continually presented, some by professional staff members and others developed within undergraduate and graduate courses.

We are among the five largest clothing and textiles collections in Canada. In addition to the Mactaggart Collection of the University of Alberta, we are the only collection of its size and significance held in a university setting in the country. Our artifacts are acquired for use in the classroom and for research. They are accessible to students and to researchers on-site and through our Web site.


Current Exhibition

re-Vision and re-Turn: exploring sustainable fashion

May 14, 2018 - October 23, 2018

The “re-Vision, re-Turn” exhibition is a message and an inspiration. Human Ecology students explored the meaning of sustainability through the upcycling of used or unwanted clothing. Their vision was to create new life for items rescued from second-hand stores and discovered through wardrobe revision.  The materials used were chosen for their fabric qualities and/or sentimental value. Dresses, coats, jackets, and reclaimed fabric samples served as the raw material and inspiration for new, one-of-a-kind fashion items. Old pieces were diverted from the landfill, turned into new styles of contemporary clothing and returned to an active life cycle.

This exhibition is a response to society’s current overconsumption of clothing and the environmental and social justice challenges existing in the fashion industry today. Human Ecology students act as artists and activists making a contribution to a growing sustainability movement by offering their own design solutions to an environmental problem. They position upcycling as a means of acknowledging that the world is our habitat, our place to be, and not just an environment in which to promote our wants.

While scientists and industry professionals are searching for answers, individuals can also play a role in textile sustainability.  The hope of this exhibit is to inspire visitors to ask critical questions, be informed consumers, and find new potential in the clothing they already own.

Location and Access of Exhibitions

Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Call for holiday closures.






1-15 Human Ecology Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2N1

The Anne Lambert Clothing and Textiles Collection can be accessed by students, faculty, researchers, and members of the public through exhibitions and tours. Visitors are welcome to come for self-guided exhibition viewings of the Human Ecology Gallery from Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. The gallery is located in the lobby of the Human Ecology building and is free to all.  Visitors must enter on the south end of the Human Ecology Building to access the Human Ecology Gallery and/or the Collection Storage entry.

Individual students, faculty members, and researchers who want to arrange for a research appointment to examine specific artifacts must contact the Collections Manager two weeks ahead of time.

“Behind the scene” tours of the Collection’s Storage to student groups are offered by appointment only and are subject to availability. Two months notice is required to arrange for Collection’s Storage tours for class visits for UofA students and senior high school students.

Please be advised that during the fall and winter terms we have a limited capacity to accommodate public tour requests and normally offer only one tour a month when possible. Public tours are provided on a first come first served basis and are subject of staff availability. Visiting groups from the public require a minimum of two (2) and maximum of eight (8) individuals per group. Please contact the Collections Manager to inquire about the availability of Collection’s Storage tours.


Dr. Anne Bissonnette, Curator
325 Human Ecology
Phone: (780) 492-3604
Academic Profile

Vlada Blinova, Collections Manager
103 Human Ecology
Phone: (780) 492-2528
Academic Profile

Related Links

Search the collection database

Acquisition Mandate