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THE254: Costume I, Image Research

Fall 2023, K. Smith

Smith College Historic Clothing Collection

"The Smith College Historic Costume Collection is an archive of clothing and accessories of women in the United States from 1800 to the present and from a range of social classes. It is a resource for students and scholars of costume design, the history of dress and material culture, art and literary history, and curatorial practices. Founded in 1979, the Collection includes over 1000 objects; most of these are donations from Smith College Alumnae."



Historic Clothing Collections


VADS: Visual Arts Data Service includes fashion and textiles collections: London College of Fashion (paper patterns, Cordwainers Shoe Collection, the Woolmark Company, a collection of garment photos), The Textiles Collection: University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham, and Central Saint Martins: Museum & Study Collection.

Digital Images in Public Collections

These national digital libraries and major digital research collections include thousands of high quality images of original materials in all formats on a wide variety of subjects.

  NYPL Digital Collections 

"New York Public Library's digital collections provide access to hundreds of thousands of images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books,  fashion plates, printed ephemera, and more."

Open Access Images & Other Content

Photo Agencies & Other Commercial Sites

Commercial sites offer hundreds of thousands of contemporary and archival photos and footage for sale, though users may search and view watermarked images online.
Getty Images

Images by well-known photojournalists covering a wide range of subjects. Includes the photographic archives of Time Life and many other sources as well as commercial and archival footage.