This collection features photographs of over eighty dolls which were donated to LSU Libraries Special Collections starting in the 1960s by retired professor of speech and costume design, Edith Dabney. Each doll was photographed at several angles so the details of distinguishing materials and dress fabric could be seen. Some dolls also feature close-up shots of the face or other unique characteristics. Each doll includes a description, often with information about the doll’s origin, distinctive dress, and how they were acquired.
The dolls originate from all over the world, including but not limited to: Scotland, Japan, Mexico, Turkey, and China. Most of the dolls in the collection wear clothes that reflect this cultural diversity and convey a unique story. The “Hua Moo Lan” doll represents a sixteenth century Chinese heroine who bravely disguised herself as a male soldier and lead her country into battle. The doll features an elaborate hair-dress, painted features and an intricate dress featuring feathers. The “Bali authentic doll” from the island of Bali is made in the figure of Tijili, the symbol of fertility and good fortune. The doll is made from hand-woven straw like material, a dramatic fan like head, with decorative earrings. With each meticulously designed costume, the collection offers a unique glimpse into the national dress across the globe.