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Apparel historian & scholar Elsie Frost McMurry dies at 99

Aug '07
Elsie Frost McMurry, professor emerita of textiles and apparel an apparel historian, scholar, designer, dressmaker and former curator of the Cornell Costume Collection died July 25 at age 99 in East Lansing, Mich.

McMurry taught at Cornell from 1942 to 1972, when she retired from the College of Human Ecology. She then launched a project, playing "dress detective" for 16 years, researching and writing in longhand thousands of manuscript pages for a study of American dresses from the 1800s.

McMurry was born April 1, 1908, in Lansing, Mich. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1930 and received an M.A. degree from Columbia University in 1932. She was a member of the DeWitt Historical Society, where she served as visiting curator.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald L. McMurry, and a brother. She is survived by nieces, nephews and other members of her extended family.

A memorial service will be held Aug. 2 at 2 p.m. at All Saint's Episcopal Church, 800 Abbott Road, East Lansing. Memorial donations can be made to the Elsie McMurry Costume Collection Endowment Fund.

Cornell University

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