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Costume and Fashion History: A Guide to Resources: About

Modern publications usually define the term "costume" as a mode of dress specific to a time period, nation, or social class. The terms "fashion" and "style" are often used interchangeably to indicate a predominant form of dress during a given time.

Costume history extends from antiquity to the modern era, however, publications relating to fashion history begin in bulk in the mid-to-late nineteenth century. Today, fashion history is linked with the development of haute couture and the emphasis on individual designers and their work. Costume history studies generally consider fashion synonymous with stylistic change.

While most of the costume and fashion history works are located in the Wallach Division's Art & Architecture Collection, costume publications can be found throughout the different collections of the New York Public Library. This guide serves as an introduction to these resources and will provide helpful tips for starting your research.

Supervising Librarian

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Miguel Rosales
Art & Artifacts Division
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Reference Librarians

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Art & Architecture Collection Reference Librarians
476 Fifth Avenue (42nd St and Fifth Ave)
Third Floor, Room 300
New York, NY 10018
(212) 930-0835