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Drama: Costume: Images and Media

Image Collections

Arts Library Visual Resources
Link to this guide to access well-researched high resolution subscription and some open-access web image resources.

AP Images Collection
Images by Associated Press photographers.  A great way to view contemporary everyday dress

A collection of historical and contemporary images from museum collections in the U.S.
New in 2009:The Brooklyn Museum of Art Costume Collection was transferred to the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A portion of the collections, approximately 6,000 images of the 23,500 objects, can be viewed in ARTstor.
Link also to ARTSTOR's
See also:

Bridgeman Education
Over 300,000 images of visual culture across civilizations, continents and periods.
and Bridgeman Education: World Fashion

CMU Historic Costume Collection
Searchable full- text database of books that illustrate period costume, selected from University Libraries collections. The digital collection was seeded by a gift from Margaret Morrison Carnegie College alumna Irene Thomas (MMCC 1937, Costume Design). Ongoing growth and access to the collection are made possible by an endowment from Carol Cushing Chaplin in memory of her mother, Margaret Smith Cushing (MMCC 1927, Costume Economics).

Image Collections: CMU
A database of art, architecture, design and other images
in including the
Pratt Institute Fashion Plate Collection

Motley Collection of Theatre Design (University of Illinois)
A rare collection of original materials on the theatre comprising over 5000 items from more than 150 productions in England and the United States. These materials include costume and set designs, sketches, notes, photographs, prop lists, storyboards, and swatches of fabric.

Carnegie Mellon Libraries Film and Video Collections

Life Magazine Archive.
An extensive collection of the famed photojournalism magazine, spanning its very first issue in November, 1926 through December, 2000 in a comprehensive cover-to-cover format. Published by Time Inc., the magazine has featured story-telling through documentary photographs and informative captions. Each issue visually and powerfully depicted national and international events and topical stories, providing intimate views of real people and their real life situations.


OR try..
LIFE Photo Archive Hosted by Google
This is an open access version hosted by Google with an interface that might suit better for just image searching. Coverage goes up to the 80s.

Time Magazine Archive
The complete digital version of more than 77 years of the prominent weekly news magazine dating back to its first issue in March, 1923 through December, 2000 in a comprehensive cover-to-cover format. Published weekly by Time Inc., the magazine has focused on conveying to a broad audience a wide range of topics, including national and international current events, politics, sports, health, technology, and entertainment

CMU University Archives

University Archives Home

University Archives contains archival collection pertaining to drama that date back to the founding of the Drama Department at Carnegie Tech in 1914. Collections include production photographs from 1914 through the present, programs, prompt books, scripts, costume designs, departmental and faculty papers, and related collections pertaining to the theatre and entertainment careers of Drama School alumnae including:

  • School of Applied Design records and the Beaux Arts Ball (1907-1923)
  • Bes Kimberly Collection (1926-1973) of papers, books, scrapbooks
  • Scotch and Soda Collection of papers, audio and video (1940-1999)
  • School of Drama Photographs of productions, costume stills and character shots, (1914-1981)
    and more...

Streaming video


Digital Theatre Plus

British theatre productions streamed in high definition and more; additional educational content.


Drama Online Globe on Screen
World-class performance at the Globe on streaming video.

Kanopy Streaming Service. Provides remote access to over 25,000 documentary and feature films on many subjects: arts, business, global studies, health, sciences, technical training, etc.
Offers filmed concerts performed by today’s greatest names in classical music, archive movies, inspiring documentaries on performers and composers, educational programs, and master classes.

Met Opera on Demand
Provides unlimited access to more than 450 extraordinary Met performances.
High-quality films of full-length performances by current provocative artists working in dance, theater, music and other forms.

Dance Online: Dance in Video and documentaries in streaming video with influential performers and companies of the 20th century. Includes ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, experimental, improvisational dance, and forerunners of the forms and the pioneers of modern concert dance;
search, browse, cite or bookmark videos to the moment; make custom clips, annotate and share them.

Music Online: Opera in Video
...important opera performances, captured on video through staged productions, interviews and documentaries; selections are based on a work’s importance to the operatic canon.

Theatre in Video
...definitive performances and documentaries in streaming video with leading actors, playwrights and directors covering a wide range of 20th century theatre history. Includes contemporary revivals of classic works, television broadcasts of New York productions, experimental performances and more;
search, browse and bookmark scenes, monologues, and staging examples to a link that can be shared.

World Newsreels Online
Captures full runs of many of the key international newsreels produced during the early twentieth century. Newsreels are in English, French and Japanese.


Open access web links


AdAccess (Duke University)

U.S. and Canadian ads from 1911-1955

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

Costar Archives (Consolidated Clothing and Costumes Archives)
Hosted by the Costume Program in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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 Costumer's Manifesto (Tara Maginnis)
Links to many aspects of costuming and types of costume, from ancient Babylon to the 1990's, including ethnic costume. Features text and images. Including Make-Up and Mask Links.

Brings together more than 30 public and private archives and museums, coming from 13 European countries, in order to collect and give public access to high quality digital fashion content, ranging from historical dresses to accessories, catwalk photographs, drawings, sketches, videos, and fashion catalogues.

Fashion Museum Collection, Bath UK


Godey's Lady's Book
Digitized portions of the 19th century women's magazine containing fashion plates, illustrations, literature and other content deemed appropriate for women in the Victorian era;  made available through The University of Vermont.


The Hair Archives
Vintage hair fashion.


Historic Clothing Collection
Albert S. Cook Library Digital Collections: Towson University
Growing digital collection of clothing for women, men and children from the mid 19th century and 20th century.


The History of Costume by Brian & Schneider - c. 1861 - 1880 (C. Otis Sweezey)
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.


Kyoto Costume Institute Timeline
Images and text for 200 objects from the collection arranged in chronological order.


LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collections

MMA Metropolitan Museum of Art Collections 

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (New York)

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


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


Archival fashion videos from the 1950's to present


Victoria and Albert Museum Collections

World community video on the open-access web


Vogue and British Vogue

World community video on the open-access web