Levi's archives were created in 1989 at the behest of Bob Haas, the company's chairman and great-great-grandnephew of Levi Strauss. Downey started with 200 pieces of clothing when she came on board. Today, the archives house more than 5,000 pieces of clothing, 400 linear feet of documents, 750 linear feet of marketing materials, 4,500 photographs, 500 posters and 300 artifacts.
About 10 percent of the collection is from the late 19th century, "and I'm grateful for every piece," Downey said. Like most archives, Levi's has a substantial backlog of items that have not yet been cataloged.
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