Some fabulous new resources for tracking down extant costume info/pictures online have been added to the Digital Collections of Extant Costume directory:
Europeana – cross-museum search; art from various European museums. I recommend searching both in English and in other European languages. So far, not too impressed by their “narrow by date” options — I recommend instead searching by century, and then again do it in various languages (example: 18th; 18e; settecento; XVIII; etc.).
Esbirky – Czech cross-museum search. Click here to specifically to see the historical costume items in the database. Thanks so much to Hana Marmota for not only finding this, but figuring out how to use it!
Museo San Telmo Museoa in Spain — a few costumes in their collection highlights.
Texmedin – Spanish cross-museum textiles & apparel database. New items still being added, so check back on this one periodically.
Indiana State Museum — thanks very much to The Dreamstress for finding this one!
I’ve been adding new resources as I find them to the Digital Collections of Extant Costumes directory (ah! it’s so easy! it’s just one link! yay!)… unfortunately I’m not sure if I remember all of the new ones, but here’s an attempt!
There might be others in there that I added relatively recently but have forgotten about, so it might be worth skimming through to see if anything catches your eye. As always, let me know if you find anything new out there!
I re-found some collections that needed linking on the the Digital Collections of Extant Costumes directory:
Elin wrote to tell me about a new digital collection from the Nordiska Museet in Sweden. It’s in Swedish, but pretty easy to figure out. There are some really nice 18th and 19th century items in there! I’ve added it to the directory.
New to me, anyway! The Fashion Institute of Technology’s E-Museum has been added to the Digital Collections of Extant Costume directory. (See how excitingly easy it is to make updates to the new directory, rather than having to wait 6 months for me to link all the individual garments? Yay!)
Not sure if this link will work, but I am loving this red damask robe a l’anglaise — I think it’s the whole tone-on-tone damask thing I’ve had going on lately.
So I’ve got good news and bad news. The good? There are SO MANY museums that are putting their costume collections online — since my last update to the Real Women’s Clothing guide, there’s been the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Colonial Williamsburg, and Centre de Documentació i Museu Tèxtil de Terrassa, among I’m sure many others. The bad? There’s just no way I can keep up with adding and maintaining that many individual links. Seriously — run some searches in some of these new databases, there are hundreds if not thousands of individual items that I would need to add/maintain. Given that the last real update to the Real Women’s Clothing guide was in November 2008, I think it’s time to give up the ghost.
Instead, I have created a directory of Digital Collections of Extant Costumes, which includes both collection databases and static webpages with images of historic costume. This will be much more easily updated, and I can now include museums/collections that don’t include women, or go outside of the date range, of the previous Real Women’s Clothing guide. I tried to include searching instructions where I thought they would be needed, especially with non-English language sites. If you know of any museums that I’ve missed, please let me know!
I will leave the old version of the Real Women’s Clothing guide up, as I know many people find it useful… but I won’t be updating it anymore. (I’ll add redirects off that site to the new directory very soon).
And a fair offer, as I always said I would do this: if there is someone who is CRAZY enough to want to take over updating/adding to the Real Women’s Clothing guide in its previous incarnation on your own website, I will happily pass that on to you — but we should talk so you get an idea of how much work you’re signing up for!