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Willie the Wildcat Mascot Costumes and Costume Elements

Identifier: 25/10
The collection contains two costumes worn to embody the Northwestern University mascot, Willie the Wildcat. The costumes date from the periods circa 1991-1995 and circa 1997-2000, were generally employed at Northwestern athletic events, and feature differences in detail reflecting changes over time to the designed appearance of the mascot. Each costume includes an oversized caricature wildcat head; an artificial fur suit worn over arms, legs, and torso; gloves; and footwear. The costume dating from circa 1991-1995 includes two pairs of gloves but only one piece of footwear, a shoe covering. The costume from circa 1997-2000 includes one pair of gloves and one pair of footwear.

In addition to the two costumes is a set of costume elements dating from circa 2013. These elements could be worn by a person to suggest an anthropomorphized wildcat or a human-wildcat hybrid. Included are footwear (artificial fur and plastic claws applied over standard athletic shoes), a tail to be attached to a belt, artificial fur ears with metal spring clips, artificial fur eyebrows, artificial whiskers attached to a nose clip, three extra plastic claws, two extra spring clips, and a small patch of artificial fur. Associated with the costume elements are two pages of advice and directions for their use from RedStar Costumes & Clothing, presumably the manufacturer or vendor of the elements.


  • ca. 1991-2000, ca. 2013

Conditions Governing Access



6 Boxes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired by Northwestern University Archives as accessions 13-175 and 18-61.

Processing Information

Kevin B. Leonard; May 31, 2018.
Guide to the Willie the Wildcat Mascot Costumes and Costume Elements
Kevin Leonard
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US