Only a small number of the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection’s 13,000 objects are on display at any given time. The majority of our holdings are carefully stored in a state-of-the-art storage facility adjacent to an environmentally-controlled classroom that is reserved especially for study visits. Like any campus archive, any UW-Madison faculty, student, or staff member can request to see an object or group of objects from the Collection. Members of the general public, including independent researchers, school groups, and other community organizations are also welcome to arrange a study visit with us for a modest booking fee.

For more information about scheduling your visit or about our booking fee schedule, please complete our request form or call (608) 262-1162. Please submit your request at least two weeks advance notice of your preferred visit date.

Once we have received your information and confirmed your appointment, we will send a copy of our on-site guidelines and instructions for how to search the online Collection to create a custom portfolio of the textiles you wish to see.

Transportation and Parking

For more information on how to get to SoHE or where to park, click here.

On-Site Guidelines

To help preserve our one-of-a-kind collection, all pieces will be viewed in a chilled and environmentally-controlled preparatory space.

  • Most textiles can be handled with clean or gloved hands under the discretion and supervision of HLATC staff
  • Photography is welcome for study purposes only
  • Beverages and food, including gum and lozenges, are not permitted
  • Pens and markers are not allowed; use pencils instead
  • Be sure not to allow hair, jewelry, or loose clothing to dangle over the objects
  • Be careful not to lean on or rest hands or notebooks on the textiles

If you would like to use an image from the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, please contact us at


Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection
Room 1235, Nancy Nicholas Hall, School of Human Ecology
1300 Linden Drive, Madison, WI
Entrance is through the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery

Open for Scheduled Tours:

Monday – Friday: 10am – 4pm