collection SC.125 - Lord & Taylor collection, 1826-2010

Identity area

Reference code



Lord & Taylor collection, 1826-2010


  • 1826-2010 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

195 Linear feet

Context area

Name of creator

(1826 (date of establishment))

Administrative history

George Washington Taylor and Samuel Lord opened Lord & Taylor department stores in 1826 as a small dry goods company on 47 Catherine street in New York City. In 1853, the company moved into a building on the corner of Grand and Chrystie streets. By 1872, the stored had moved and opened two additional stores, one at 20th and Broadway, and the other at Grand and Broadway. In 1910, Lord and Taylor was purchased by United Dry Goods Companies, the parent company to the Associated Merchant's Company

By then, Lord and Taylor had expanded their building at 20th street to the end of the block at 5th avenue, making it the first department store to reside on the street which would later become a center of commerce. The company's final move came in 1914, when they relocated to a ten story Italianate building at 5th avenue and 38th street. The rooftop of this building was fitted with excellent employee facilities, such as an open air garden, a dining room, lounge, hospital, and gym. It was at this location that Lord and Taylor became known for its artful department store display windows for promotions and holidays. Lord and Taylor pioneered new retail policies in shopping for its time. They were the first department store with fixed-price policies, the first to include a steam elevator, the first who did not employ men to to entice customers to enter, and the first to open a branch in the suburbs at Manhasset. Lord and Taylor also opened the first juniors, maternity, bridal,and petites departments. Under the direction of retail executive Dorothy Shaver, Lord and Taylor launched "The American Look" campaign in 1932, becoming the first department store to promote the works of American fashion designers over Parisian designers.

Archival history

This collection was donated directly by the Lord & Taylor in 2011.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection contains scrapbooks and company records related to the Lord and Taylor department stores, primarily focused on the original stores in New York City. The scrapbook series consists of unbound pages of newspaper and magazine clippings of Lord and Taylor stores in New York City and the greater New York Area. Company records include advertising, photographs and illustrations of Lord and Taylor buildings, company catalogs, press releases and clippings, as well as internal company histories authored by Lord and Taylor. A small subseries relates to biographical information and photographs of former Lord and Taylor president Dorothy Shaver.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected

System of arrangement

This collection is divided into two series. Series two has been further divided into nine additional sub-series. Sub-series 5 includes two sub-sub series. The collection is arranged in the following format:
Series 1, Scrapbooks 1932-1985
Series 2, Lord and Taylor Company records, 1826-2010
Subseries 1, Advertising, 1826-2010
Subseries 2, Photographs, 1860-1970
Subseries 3, Receipts, 1860-1880
Subseries 4, Correspondence, 1860-2010
Subseries 5, Press, 1880-2010
Sub-sub series 1, Events and Promotions, 1968-2005
Sub-sub series 2, Press Clippings, 1870-2010
Subseries 6, Catalogs, 1880-2005
Subseries 7, Internal company histories, 1880-2005
Subseries 8, Dorothy Shaver records, 1930-1959
Subseries 9, Miscellaneous files, 1826-2010

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law ( when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Generated finding aid

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The Library of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives, 27th St. at 7th Ave., NY, NY, USA, 10001

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

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Name access points

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Description control area

Description identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English


  • Latin


Archivist's note

Arrangement, description and archival processing compiled by Bethany Gingrich, FIT, NY, NY, USA, October 2017.

Accession area