The Kent State University Museum's costume collection encompasses American and European high fashion from the 18th century to the present day.
The majority of early garments in the collection were part of the original Shannon Rodgers/Jerry Silverman gift.
More recently, two major gifts, the Martha McCaskey Selhorst Collection and the Helen Clark Ward Collection of the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, have augmented the Museum's 19th century holdings.
Although the Museum's holdings consist mostly of 20th century garments, the 18th and 19th century pieces it possesses are of remarkable quality and one of its great strengths. Within the collection of 20th century fashion, most major American and European designers are represented, and many have donated their archives, sketchbooks and samples to the Museum.
At the June F. Mohler Library of the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising, the special collections house the archives of the designers Pauline Trigère and George Stavropoulos, among others, and the sketchbooks of Tina Leser.
Ongoing gifts from firms such as Calvin Klein and from many individual donors keep the Museum's collections current.