Ellis Island Vintage is dedicated to the preservation and research of historic garments and textiles. In addition to our online retail collection we offer the following services:
Consultation services to research ethnic clothing heirlooms and other traditional textiles in personal or institutional collections. We can provide as much detail as necessary in a format that best suits your needs. Detailed written reports are supplemented with bibliographical references and supporting historical images when available. Previous consultations have ranged from single garments to entire collections comprised of hundreds of pieces. In specific instances we may also be able to help you acquire items from the specific area your family originated from or gather reference material to help you recreate garments from the region.
Care & Collection Management
Collection management services to help organize, sort and preserve your textile collection for your long-term enjoyment. Management services range from online support pertaining to cleaning and storing textiles to individualized site visits to assist with sorting, documenting and rehousing your treasures in archival materials. We realize that for a collection to grow items occasionally need to be deaccessioned and we are ready to assist you with every step in this process.
Lectures on a range of topics related to the history, function, design, and care of ethnographic clothing, textiles and European folk art. Previous engagements have included presentations at local and national conferences, museums, guild organizations, cultural events, and regional heritage festivals. For additional information or to schedule a lecture, please send us a message.
An extensive research collection of thousands of authentic 19th and 20th century garments, embroidery & lace samples, and complete folk costumes from over forty countries that can be made available for loan to accredited museums and cultural institutions. Ellis Island Vintage founder Jan Letowski holds an M.A. in Museum Studies/Curatorial Arts from the George Washington University (Washington, DC – USA) and offers curatorial and consultation services for institutions interested in organizing exhibitions on European ethnographic dress and peasant textiles.
Our extensive sales experience in the field has led us to collaborate with certified appraisers in researching the value of ethnic garments for private and institutional clients. While Ellis Island Vintage does not offer official appraisal services, if you are an appraiser looking to determine the value of ethnic garments from a specific region/era, please feel free to send us a message.
Ellis Island Vintage does not currently offer conservation services apart from recommendations related to preventative care. If you are looking to have conservation work done on a family heirloom we recommend that you contact a local museum in your region to ask about what professional services might be available to you locally. You can also check online with the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works for a list of accredited conservators. If you are a conservator specializing in historical fashion and textiles, we’d love to hear about your services in order to connect you with local clients.
If you have any questions related to our products, services or research, we encourage you to contact us and we will do our best to address your needs. By working together we can ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy these unique works of art and understand their importance to the people who made, wore, and cared for them.