Costume Core is a work in progress, building on existing standards to create a specification for cataloging and encoding costume (historic clothing). This specification is being tested to consider its application for inter-institutional digital resources for the study of the history of dress, such as HistoricDress.org.
This website is intended to function as a user guide, addressing usage in both new and existing collection management systems, including relational databases, flat databases, spreadsheets, and XML documents.
See the individual page for each version for links to guides, examples, and templates to help you use Costume Core with your own collection.
Version 0.4 is the most recent release as a part of the Costume Core Toolkit, supported by a Project Grant from the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) and published here in 2020.
The initial versions of Costume Core, 0.1 and 0.2, were created by Arden Kirkland from 2013-2016. Work on version 0.3 progressed gradually after that with the help of informal collaboration within the costume history community. Now more collaborative development is under way, so stay tuned for version 0.5!
In creating a prototype collection to test version 0.1, the focus was on bathing suits, which hopefully will be amusing even to those who are not otherwise interested in historic costume. This collection of bathing suits comes from different collections of historic clothing around the world, including the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Australian Dress Register, the Vassar College Costume Collection, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Examples such as these are intended to show the potential for interoperability of metadata across a variety of historic clothing collections.
(revised October 17, 2020)