RFID Asset Tracking Protects Antique Costume Collection


Silent Partner Technologies (SPT) provides University of Alabama with the latest inventory technology for their historic costume collection. Leading experts in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), SPT assures the university that their fragile collection of nearly 9,000 items of clothing, dolls and doll furnishings will be tracked without damage.

“Our RFID tracking system allows any user to take inventory without touching or harming any delicate article,” said Ted Kostis, President SPT. “It is ideal product for University of Alabama precious inventory.”

This is good news for the Curator of the Carolyn Thomas Stewart Costume and Textile Collection who is responsible for the security and maintenance of delicate and historic garments that were produced over the last two hundred years. These thousands of wedding gowns, christening gowns, and military uniforms have historical importance for researchers and an artistic appeal for designers and the general public.

There has always been a concern about putting stress on the collection pieces with the handling necessary to maintain a manual inventory. RFID allows real time tracking without handling to minimize the possibility of damaging these fragile items. Once each item has an RFID tag, there will be instant alerts if the article is moved.

This extensive collection includes many special occasion garments and military uniforms. Wedding dresses, ball gowns and 19th century christening gowns have been passed down over generations. Other attractions include hoop skirted dresses that are pre-Civil War, gowns with pouter pigeon bodices from the first decade of the 20th century, and a bridal trousseau from the flapper era of the 1920s.

SPT also provides RFID tracking for the many accessories such as picture hats, kid gloves, purses, and shoes. They can all be tagged, making it easy to pull together an ensemble for an exhibit or research project.

The RFID asset tracking system works well with the antique dolls and doll furnishings that are a cherished part of this collection. SPT provides this perfect solution for keeping a close watch on them during the seasonal exhibits that attract history buffs, doll collectors and curious children.

This University of Alabama collection has been growing since the 1940s when a few items were given to the University’s School of Home Economics Department of Clothing, Textiles and Design. SPT is pleased to be able to support its continuing appeal to academics and the general public.