Thursday, 18 June 2009

(just found this out from a librarian mailing list I'm on. There's some AMAZING photos! You can even see details like the models' "vintage manicures" with bare cuticles, and the reinforced soles of their stockings!)

"The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) and the London College of Fashion announced a collaboration today that will see the photographic archives of three important cosmetics companies made accessible online for the first time.

The archives of Gala, Miner's and Crystal, three prominent cosmetics companies operating during and after the Second World War, are held at London College of Fashion and have been digitised and made freely accessible through the VADS website.

The archives are a valuable resource for the study of the history of cosmetics, advertising photography, fashion promotion and women in the Second World War.

During the War when silk was needed for parachutes and stockings disappeared from the shops, Miner's had particular success with its leg make-up, Miners Liquid Stockings, which many women used to paint their legs and even drew black lines down the back of their legs to simulate the seams. Gala of London was also the first company to introduce lip stick in a tube when they introduced their lipline in 1957.

Katherine Baird, Manager of Archives and Special Collections at the London College of Fashion said: "The history of cosmetics is a subject area poorly served by archives to date, and this archive is a valuable addition."

"The war and immediate aftermath, was an important period for the development of package design and also for the development of women's economic independence and consequently their image. The photographs in this collection provide a rich resource charting the development of designs and promotion of cosmetic products and images of women using them."

Leigh Garrett, Director of VADS, said "We are delighted to have worked with London College of Fashion to make these unique archives accessible to a wider learning community than ever before."

"Through our partnerships with university and museum collections across the UK, VADS has already made a wide range of visual arts image collections available online freely for educational use. This latest project will bring another valuable collection to wider recognition and use by scholars, researchers and students as well as members of the public."

The three cosmetics archives have been digitised by the London College of Fashion and made available online through the 'Enhancing VADS'
project, funded as part of the Enriching Digital Resources programme from JISC."

The collection is available at

Monday, 15 June 2009

Back to normal!

The people who I get the domain name "" from didn't send me their annual invoice and so for 24 hrs starting late Friday until I got it sorted out late on Saturday, the website disappeared, replaced by a holding page.

There were two holding pages that I saw. The first had links to retro clothing, which seems logical, but the second one, I think, has damaged the reputation of my endeavour. It was covered in links for all things "adult" related, which led to some customers worried that I had changed the nature of my site, and other customers thinking I'd done a runner.

Basically, the invoice error of the domain name people has meant that I have been seen as a pornographer and thief.

I am absolutely disgusted with the holding page that went up, and of course the fact that it only went up because of their error. I have complained to them and told them that this has had an adverse effect on people's confidence in me.

The whole thing is very upsetting and frustrating. It has jeapordised two years of work.

I can only ask that you believe me when I tell you that what you see is what you get - yes, I really am a provincial librarian, yes, I really do run Pin-Up Parade in my spare time, and no, I'm neither a perv parlour accountant nor a dishonest thief.