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ART/WGS 271 ~ History of Fashionable Dress

The history of fashionable dress in Europe and America from the Renaissance to the present, examining men's and women's clothing in the context of economic, political, and cultural change in the modern period.

Library catalog

Start simply:  type the words "fashion history" into the search box below.

Interdisciplinary call numbers

G  Geography, Anthropology, Recreation

   GT  Manners and customs

      GT500-2370  Costume, dress, fashion

 PN  General literature (which includes journalism, which includes fashion magazines…)

 TT  Handicrafts, arts and crafts (includes clothing manufacture dressmaking, tailoring)

 NK  Decorative arts (includes textiles)

 HM  Sociology (includes sociology relations to other subjects)

 HQ  Family, marriage, women (includes feminism)

 N  Visual arts (includes history of visual arts)

 HD  Industries, land use, labor (includes manufacturing industries)

 ND  Painting (includes history of painting)


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Balenciaga bodice

Christóbal Balenciaga [Spanish couturier, 1895-1972], Evening dress in three parts, detail:  bodice, 1949.  Silk, appliquéd and embroidered with sequins, rhinestones, silk flowers, and silk-wrapped wire, 14" (bodice only).  Boston, Museum of Fine Arts.

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"Primary source" definition(s)

Primary sources are original materials. They are from the time period involved and have not been filtered through interpretation or evaluation. Primary sources are original materials on which other research is based. They are usually the first formal appearance of results in physical, print or electronic format. They present original thinking, report a discovery, or share new information. 

NOTE: The definition of a primary source may vary depending upon the discipline or context.

Examples include

·      Artifacts (e.g. coins, plant specimens, fossils, furniture, tools, clothing, all from the time under study)

·      Audio recordings (e.g. radio programs)

·      Diaries

·      Internet communications on email, listservs

·      Interviews (e.g., oral histories, telephone, e-mail)

·      Journal articles published in peer-reviewed publications

·      Letters

·      Newspaper articles written at the time

·      Original Documents (i.e. birth certificate, will, marriage license, trial transcript)

·      Patents

·      Photographs

·      Proceedings of Meetings, conferences and symposia

·      Records of organizations, government agencies (e.g. annual report, treaty, constitution, government document)

·      Speeches

·      Survey Research (e.g., market surveys, public opinion polls)

·      Video recordings (e.g. television programs)

·      Works of art, architecture, literature, and music (e.g., paintings, sculptures, musical scores, buildings, novels, poems)

·      Web site 

Definition from:

For more research help...

Louise Kulp

Art Reference Librarian


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