Guide to the Virginia "Jimmie" Booth collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0729
Creators:
Booth, Virginia
Dates:
1936 - 1998
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3 Cubic feet
6 boxes, 3 oversize folders
Repository:
Papers relating to Virginia "Jimmie" Booth's career as a buyer for Lord and Taylor, where she worked for Dorothy Shaver. Papers include correspondence; photographs; original drawings by designer Clare Potter; printed material including articles, magazine advertising and catalogs; a scrapbook of clippings and memorabilia.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Virginia "Jimmie" Booth Collection, 1936-1998, focuses primarily on Booth's career as a buyer for Lord & Taylor. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, drawings, clippings, and a scrapbook, and is arranged into seven series.
Series 1: Personal Papers, Photos, and Memoribilia, 1936-1998, includes materials dating from Booth's college days and recent years.
Series 2: Hillandale Business, 1948, 1949, 1972, n.d., consists of advertisements, articles, and correspondence. Hillandale Handweavers was the company founded by Booth's father-in-law, Henry Booth.
Series 3: Lord & Taylor Country Clothes Shop, 1952-1960s, contains photographs of the store, advertising, news articles, original illustrations and catalogues.
Series 4: Irish Materials, 1950s-1960s, is made up of articles and photographs of the weavers at work.
Series 5: European Designers, 1955, 1967, 1997, n.d., includes articles and photographs related to Donald Davies and Von Eckerman.
Series 6: American Designers, 1948, 1951-1957, n.d. The bulk of this series consists of a large number of original sketches by Clare Potter, including fabric swatches. There is also a large scrapbook of Potter's featuring articles and advertisements.
Series 7: Miscellaneous, 1962, consists of an issue of the trade publication, The Ambassador.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection is organized into seven series:
Series 1: Personal Papers, Photos, and Memorabilia, 1936-1998
Series 2: Hillandale Business, 1948, 1949, 1972, n.d.
Series 3: Lord & Taylor Country Clothes Shop, 1952-1960s
Series 4: Irish Materials, 1950s-1960s
Series 5: European Designers, 1955, 1967, 1997, n.d.
Series 6: American Designers, 1948, 1951-1957, n.d.
Series 7: Miscellaneous, 1962

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Virginia Wagoner Booth, known as Jimmie Booth, studied printing and engineering at Syracuse University. An engineer with Pratt & Whitney during World War II, she entered the fashion world as a bridal consultant at G. Fox in Hartford in 1945.
In 1952 Dorothy Shaver, of Lord & Taylor, hired Booth for the Hartford store and asked her to develop and manage The Country Clothes Shop in the 5th Avenue store in New York. There, Booth collaborated with and promoted such American designers as Clare Potter, Bonnie Cashin, and Claire McCardell. Booth also worked extensively with European designers.
Married to Bob Booth of Hillandale Weavers, Jimmie promoted the use of both American and European hand-loomed fabrics by her designers. She frequently modeled the fashions herself. Her casual, yet elegant, style is the epitome of "the American Look" still popular today.
In 1998, Jimmie Booth, Dorothy Shaver, and other creators of The American Look were saluted in the exhibition, "Designing Women: American Style 1940-1960" at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford.
In addition to her design work, Booth was a violinist with the Hartford Symphony in the 1940s, and later became the chef at the Brooklyn, Connecticut, Golden Lamb Buttery, which she and her husband, Bob, owned and operated.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Anne Jones (volunteer), 2003.
Author
Anne Jones
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Virginia "Jimmie" Booth, in May 2000.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Virginia "Jimmie" Booth Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
Henry Booth Collection, 1948-1974, AC0726
Dorothy Shaver Papers, circa 1922-1959, AC0631

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Scrapbooks -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 1940-1970 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Costume design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lord & Taylor Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Potter, Clare Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCardell, Claire Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Davies, Donald Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives