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!