Costume and Fashion Research Guide

Books | Reference | Journal Articles | Websites


Searching the Library Catalog
An efficient way to search the Library Catalog is to use Library of Congress (LC) subject headings with an “alphabetic search”. If you are uncertain about a specific subject heading, try a “keyword search” using words you feel describe your topic. Look at the subject headings under “details” of you results list.

Subject Headings
Following is a sample list of the most commonly used Library of Congress subject headings for costume or fashion research. Since Costume is an older term in use, more entries for historical titles will appear under this heading than for Clothing and dress. A comprehensive search should make use of both main headings.
Clothing and dress
Costume Design
Fashion Designers

These headings can also be subdivided by time period (century) and geographical location.
Clothing and dress-Great Britain
Costume-Austria-History-19th century

Narrower subject terms exist, including some of the following:

aprons collars jackets sleepwear underwear
belts color in clothing men's clothing sports clothes uniforms
children's clothing dress accessories nationalism in clothing suits (clothing) vintage clothing
clothing and dress measurements footwear neckwear sweaters women's clothing
coats fur garments riding habit tailoring work clothes



Library Catalog Search Features
• Alphabetic – Searches the subject field in the record (what the book is about).
• Keyword – Searches every field in the record (typically retrieves numerous titles, but the material is not always relevant).
• Advanced Keyword – Allows you to customize your search, and to look for words in the title, subject, or elsewhere in the record. Also allows you to narrow your search by a library, language, format, or location.
• Subject Links – When you’re looking at a book record in the HBLL catalog, check the highlighted subject links, you may want to click on one to bring up the other titles in the HBLL that deal with the same subject.

Call Number Ranges

GT 500–2370 Manners and Costumes: Costume, Dress, Fashion
GT 500–2370 Costume. Folklore: Costume, Jewelry
NK 8800-9506 Textile fabrics. Textile printing. Textile design
PN 1995.9 Fashion in motion pictures
PN 2000–3307 Dramatic representation; stage and set design
PN 2067 Costuming for the stage
TS 1445 Textile fabrics
TT 490–696 Handicrafts. Arts and crafts: Clothing manufacture. Dressmaking. Tailoring

Material in Other Libraries
If you don’t find enough material on your topic, the HBLL home page provides access to the online catalogs of other libraries. You can also connect to WorldCat (FirstSearch), the largest database of records from major research libraries across the country.

Interlibrary Loan
Books or journals not held by the Lee Library may be obtained from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan. You must register for an interlibrary loan account in order to request material. Books are sent free of charge and can be kept for 2 weeks. Journal articles are sent as pdf files to your interlibrary loan account.

Selected Reference Material


Film Costume, and Annotated Bibliography. Prichard, Susan Perez.
PN 1995.9 .C56 X76 Humanities Reference

History of Costume. Ellenburg, Doris.
GT 511 .X1 E45 1989 Science Reference

Theatrical Costume : A Guide to Information Sources. Kesler, Jackson.
PN2067.X1 K47 Humanities Reference

Theatrical Costume, Masks, Make-up and Wigs : A Bibliography and Iconography. Jowers, Sidney Jackson.
PN 2067 .X1 J68 2000 Humanities Reference


Contemporary Fashion. Martin, Richard.
TT 505 .A1 C66 1995

Costume Design on Broadway: Designers and Their Credits, 1915-1985. Owen, Bobbi.
PN 2067 .O94 1987 Humanities Reference

Fashion and Costume in American Popular Culture: A Reference Guide. Oliver, Valerie Burnham.
GT 511 .X1 O451 1996 Science Reference


Costume Language: A Dictionary of Dress Terms. Davies, Stephanie Curtis.
TT 503 .D38x 1994 Science Reference

Garment and Textile Dictionary. Conway, George L.
TT 494 .C66 1997 Science Reference

Fairchild's Dictionary of Fashion. Calasibetta, Charlotte Mankey.
TT 503 .C25x 1988 Science Reference

Fairchild's Dictionary of Textiles. Tortora, Phyllis G.
TS 1309 .F34 1996 Science Reference

The Pantone Book of Color: Over 1000 Color Standards: Color Basics and Guidelines for Design, Fashion, Furnishings-- and more. Eiseman, Leatrice.
QC 494.2 .E36 1990 Science Reference

The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers. Callan, Georgina O'Hara.
GT 507 .O53 2008


International Directory of Cinematographers Set- and Costume Designers in Film. Krawc, Alfred.
TT 505 .A1 I6 vol1, 5, 6 Science Reference

International Directory of Historical Clothing. Huenefeld, Irene Pennington.
NK4700 .H8 Humanities Reference

McDowell's Directory of Twentieth Century Fashion. McDowell, Colin.
TT 505 .A1 M37x 1985 Science Reference


Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion. Steele, Valerie.
GT 507 .E53 Humanities Reference

Encyclopedia of Fashion Details. Ireland, Patrick John.
TT 509 .I69 1987 Science Reference

The Encyclopedia of Fashion From 1840 to the 1980s. O'Hara, Georgina.
GT507 .O53 1986a Science Reference

Encyclopedia of Textiles, Fibers, and Nonwoven Fabrics. Grayson, Martin.
TS 1309 .E53 1984 Science Reference

The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes. Racinet, A. (Auguste).
GT 510 .R3313 1988 Humanities Reference

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Costume and Fashion: From 1066 to the Present. Cassin-Scott, Jack.
GT 730 .C37 1999 Humanities Reference

The St. James Fashion Encyclopedia: A Survey of Style from 1945 to the Present. Martin, Richard (Richard Harrison).
TT 505 .A1 S7 1997 Science Reference


20,000 Years of Fashion: the History of Costume and Personal Adornment.
Boucher, François
GT510 .B6713 1987

The Chronicle of Western Fashion: from Ancient Times to the Present Day. Peacock, John.
GT 511 .P42 1991

Complete History of Costume and Fashion: From Egypt to the Present Day. Cosgrave, Bronwyn.
GT 513 .C586x 2000

Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute. Fukai, Akiko.
GT 580 .F37x 2006 vol.1 & 2

Historic Costume; a Chronicle of Fashion in Western Europe. Kelly, Francis Michael.
GT 720 .K4 1968

Survey of Historic Costume: A History of Western Dress. Tortora, Phyllis G.
GT 580 .T67 2005

The Textile Industries. Chapman, Stanley D.
HD 9861.5 .T49x 1997 Science Reference

Textile Designs : 200 Years of European and American Patterns for Printed Fabrics Organized by Motif, Style, Color, Layout, and Period.
Meller, Susan.
NK 9500 .M45 1991 Humanities Reference

Journal Articles

Major Indexes and Databases

19th Century Masterfile (Poole's Plus)
Provides access to subject indexes covering most periodicals published in the US or from the UK from the late 18th century to the early 20th century, also selected 19th century publications specific indexes with links to full text, and descriptions of many books published during the 19th century.

American Periodical Series Online 1741-1900 (ProQuest - Full text)
Includes digitized images of popular magazines and other rare periodicals from early American history up through the 1940’s. Images are scanned from original pages and appear in their original layout with pictures and graphics. Coverage is from 1741 to 1941 and includes over 1000 titles.

Art Full Text (EBSCO)
Indexes and abstracts periodicals in art, archaeology, architecture, design, photography, film, theatre, and television, animation, etc. Contains full-text coverage of periodicals from 1984-present.

Art Index Retrospective (EBSCO)
Complements Art Full-Text in the coverage of journals from 1929 to 1984.

Bibliography of the History of Art - BHA
An art history database that indexes and abstracts the current literature on the history of Western art. Coverage is of works from late antiquity to the present.

Design and Applied Arts Index (ProQuest)
Indexes and abstracts information in design, design-related and photography journals. Includes articles, news items, conference and seminar reports, book reviews, videos, films, exhibitions and illustration. Also includes links to design sites on the Internet. 1973 forward, updated quarterly.

Godey's Lady's Book
First successful American journal for women. Resources for the study of the 19th century American history and important social issues of the day. Covers social history, women’s studies, textiles studies, material culture and literature. (1830-1885)

Index to 19th Century American Art Periodicals (EBSCO)
Indexes and abstracts the entire journal contents of 42 American art periodicals published between 1840-1907. Includes articles, art notes, illustrations, stories, poems, advertisements, exhibition, and works of art.

International Index to the Performing Arts (ProQuest)
1998 forward, indexes and abstracts more than 140 international periodicals.

Related Indexes and Databases

ARTbibliographies Modern (ProQuest)
Indexes and abstracts of articles covering visual arts in the 20th century to present Coverage is from 1974 to the present.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI): Web of Science (ISI)
A citation index for the arts and humanities. Fully covers 1,144 or the leading arts and humanities journals. Provides access to current information and retrospective data from 1975 to the present.

The Clothing and Textile Arts Index: An Index to Periodical Literature
GT 500 .C56x Science Reference 1983-1993.
(Previous title) The Clothing Index: An Index to Periodical Literature
GT 500 .C56x Science Reference1970-1982

Image Collections

Digital image database of nearly 700,000 images from a wide range of cultures and time periods.

Saskia Digital Image Archive
Digital collection of over 32,000 core art history images photographed on site, as well as works from over 100 museums and archaeology sites worldwide.


Costume & Fashion
(Contemporary fashion and businesses are best represented online and most major designers have their own sites.)

The Character Shop
A special effects company for animatronics, makeup effects, puppets, and robotics. Site includes glossary of special effects terms.

The Costume Gallery
Includes descriptions and images of period costumes. Also includes links to websites that provide goods and services to the fashion and costuming industry.

The Costume Site
Online sources for costumes, materials, accessories, books, etc.

The Costume Page
Costuming resources

The Costumer’s Manifesto
Links to aspects of costuming and types of costume, from ancient Babylon to the 1990's, including ethnic costume. Features text and images.


The History of Costume by Brian & Schneider - c. 1861 - 1880
Images of plates of historical dress from antiquity to the end of the 19th century, with a Victorian perspective. From the book originally published as "Zur Geschichte der Kostume," printed from 1861 to 1880 in Munich by the publishing firm of Braun and Schneider.

Make-Up and Mask Links
From the Costumer's Manifesto site.

Museum of Costume, Bath (U.K.)

New York Public Library Digital Gallery
Many costume images including reproductions from Racinet's Costume Historique

Oriental Costumes Their Designs and Colors
From Max Tilke's Oriental Costumes, Their Designs and Colors, 
Berlin : E. Wasmuth, 1922 Translated by L. Hamilton

Prêt à Porter


Designers A to Z
Lists of fashion designers, with links to official sites, profiles, photos and more.


Apparel Glossary
Search the Apparel Search glossary alphabetically to find a definition or do a word search to find all definitions available from online dictionaries, complete with links to those definitions.

Bisonnette on Costume: A Visual Dictionary of Fashion
Includes selected clothing and accessories primarily housed in the Kent State University Museum. Color photographs detail North American and European costumes and accessories from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries and costumes from Greece, Japan, Turkey, China, and Central Asia, and museum exhibitions on individual designers.

Textile Dictionary
Two glossaries by the Internet Centre for Canadian Fashion & Design. Groups fibers under the categories of cotton, silk, manmade, wool, plant, specialty, and miscellaneous, includes the particular weaves, characteristics, and uses. The Fashion Glossary brief definitions of fashion terms.

Fashion Merchandising

Display and Design Ideas
Current and archived issues of this periodical. Also includes industry reports, directories, events, and newsletter.

Fashion Windows
Includes (1) Windows of department store windows dating back to 1997); (2) Fashion Designers with material on spring and fall fashion shows; (3) Visual Merchandising; and (4) Mannequins. General articles, newsletter, and forums are free, but some material is subscription restricted.

Fabric & Textiles

Articles on the history, characteristics, production, and care of fabric. Includes current articles on trade shows; fabric, apparel & technology trends; and, textile industry issues & overviews.
Provides information on fabrics and fabric related items to individual sewers, fabric stores and manufacturers.

Runway Shows

British Vogue Fashion Shows
Photos from the fashion shows of major fashion designers in London, Paris, Milan, and New York. Includes news updates and photos from key collections of women's ready-to-wear and menswear

Fashion Showroom
Photographs of runway shows can be accessed by city, season, or subject.

Runway Shows
By Fashion Windows. Material is restricted to subscribers.

Associations & Organizations

The Costume Society (U.K.)

Costume Society of America

Official site of the American Fiber Manufacturers Association, Inc.

Fashion Institute of Technology’s Research Guides and Bibliographies
Extensive bibliographies on fashion, costume, accessories, apparel design technology, apparel manufacturing management, fashion merchandising, careers, textile science, and related topics.