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!
The Real Women’s Clothing Directory has had all its links fixed, so you shouldn’t come across anything broken (hopefully). I’m slowly working on an update, but it’s making me think… as more and more museums put their collections online, it’s become harder for me to keep up with it all (hence the about once yearly update). Would you mind terribly if the guide became a link to museums’ online collections pages/databases? Or is having it all sorted for you incredibly useful?
I’ve actually had enough time to do the major housekeeping required on the Real Women’s Clothing directory. All broken links have been fixed or removed – thanks to those who emailed to point things out! Unfortunately it’s a huge task to go through and correct links — I have to systematically go through the whole thing, or I forget which parts have been checked and which haven’t and have to start all over again. Also, I was asked by the Museo del Traje to list their name next to all of their listings; this is something I’ve thought about doing for a while, but their request made me get off my butt and do it. So now each listing has the museum indicated, which took a few weeks to complete.
In far more exciting news… the directory has always reflected my research interests. It started as just Victorian, then grew to include the second half of the 18th century. Now that I’ve been seriously studying the 17th and first half of the 18th century, I’ve included listings for 1600-1699 and 1700-1749! There aren’t a ton of listings, as the earlier you go, the less has been preserved, but there’s enough interesting stuff in there to warrant doing it. I’ve thought about including the 1500s too, but there are enough sites out there (the Elizabethan Costuming Page, the Realm of Venus) who are doing these harder-to-find eras, and I think doing it better than I could.
There are a VERY few new listings in the other eras (1750-1919), but soon (give me a month or so) I’ll have a ha-uge whopper of an update to those eras. I’ve found some really great resources lately!
So what happens when you get busy and don’t really update the Real Women’s Clothing directory for about a year? You have bazillions and bazillions of new listings to add! Ouch! I think my arm just fell off!
I’ve cleaned up links that weren’t working (like the Museo del Traje), relinked sites that changed URLs (like the Bowes Museum and what used to be the Museum of Costume in Bath, now the Museum of Fashion) — most of these have been gone so long that they’re highlighted as new, so longtime users of the directory may see some repeats. And I’ve added a veritable fiesta of new links. Yay!
I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who sends me links, or posts links on their own blog/livejournal/etc. Sometimes I file away your emails/posts for months before I’m able to get to them, and sometimes I bookmark the site and forget that it was you who sent it to me, but I’m always sincerely appreciative! Big shout out to Wendy for finding the Powerhouse Museum in Australia (bonus points to those who find the tram ticket dress!), Eva for finding the Gothenburg City Museum, and Bjarne for finding the National Museum of Denmark. And to anyone else who I’ve forgotten who has ever sent me links – thank you!
It’s been forever since I’ve had time to update the Real Women’s Clothing directory! The problem is that many of the razadsdnrfkadsfn museums change URLs on me, and there are so many listings that I’ll start to go through the links, fix some, and then get too busy to finish. By the time I come back to it, more things are broken, I don’t know where I was before, and I have to start over.
The plan right now has just been to fix links and just remove totally any sites that have completely changed URLs (like the Bowes Museum and the Museum of Costume [now the Museum of Fashion]) or any that I had placeholders for (like the Centraal Museum, whose website has said for like a year that they’ll be reloading their online collections but have failed to load any of the costume images). I’m up through 1889, so if you’ve been as irritated as I have by all the broken links, you should be able to breeze through with nary a hitch up to that date. I’ll get to 1890-1919 early next week.
Then I’ll go back through and add any new additions (there are a few in there now, some I added months ago and some from just the last few days — all marked with white backgrounds as usual), plus relink all those sites that changed on me (Bowes, Museum of Costume/Fashion, etc.). I’ll highlight all the relinked with white backgrounds, since they’ve been gone so long they feel new!
In other news, I had decided to skip this year’s Gatsby picnic in favor of rest (exhausted!), but of course caved and am back on. So I need to get cracking on my dress — I’ve been hemming and hawing about the whole, “But is 1920s flattering on me (and if not, what is)?” issue. I’ve decided for ease in getting this sucker done (already have a pattern, 1920s doesn’t require much fitting), and hell, it really is a 1920s event, to stick with the current plan (1930s would have meant finding another pattern and getting different foundation garments which would be hassle and $$). So look for some updates this weekend and in the next few weeks! I need to sew fast, but I actually found all that offline sewing I did over the summer wasn’t very fun — I like to post my progress, even if for only myself!
So yeah, that’s what’s up around here. What’s up with y’all?
I’ve been working for a few weeks now on updating the Real Women’s Clothing directory. Many of the major museums changed their URLS, which took forever to go back and reconstruct (razaaraerknasdfkn). In fact, the Centraal Museum has totally changed their image database and their website has said they’ll be loading the images “within a few weeks” for a few months now, so there are only placeholders for those. I’ve also added a decent amount of new listings (marked in white, as always). So have fun browsing, and let me know if you find anything new out there — many thanks to those who have emailed me links!
In other news, I promised an update to my 1910 evening dress, but my home computer (which has all my images stored on it) is sickly and had to go away to Texas. So until I get it back, I’m not going to be able to add images — which means no project updates for at least a week. Sorry! I’ll try to keep things lively around here anyway.
It’s that time again! Just finished a big update to the Real Women’s Clothing directory. Have fun!