Visit the Collection

HLATC Pull out drawers

Specific pieces from the collection can be requested for classes, faculty, and students, as well as independent researchers, individuals, and organizations outside the University. (Please note that a $50 donation is requested for visitors outside the University, to help support our privately funded collection). To schedule your visit, please follow the steps below and submit your request at least two weeks prior to your requested date to help our curators properly prepare. The same process can be used to reserve objects for up to one one semester within in the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery.

Textiles can be viewed year-round in the Lynn Mecklenburg Textile Gallery and scheduled exhibitions in the Ruth Davis Design Gallery.

Steps for Arranging a Visit
1. Download the Tour Request Form

If you have difficulty with the PDF, feel free to use this Word file.

2. Browse the digital collection

Using the UW-Madison Digital Collection, review the textile collection to determine the pieces you would like to have pulled.  Also, check out featured textiles and collections, other textile stories and exhibitions on our website.

3. On the Tour Request Form, record the items you would like pulled for your visit

For each item, record the following information from the Digital Collection’s object page

  • Accession # (Local Identifier)
  • Object name (Title)
  • Date
  • Place
4. Email the completed Tour Request Form to

Be sure to submit your tour request form at least TWO weeks before your preferred date.


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, gloved hands under the discretion and supervision of HLATC staff
  • No food or beverages, including gum and lozenges, are permitted
  • Do not allow hair, jewelry, or loose clothing to dangle over the objects, do not lean on or rest hands on textiles or walls, and keep tables in their original arrangement
  • Visitors must use available lockers for storing packs, coats, purses, etc.
  • Use pencils only
  • Photography is permitted for study purposes only

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