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Use databases to find secondary literature about the fashion of a specific period.
Academic Search Complete
Multidisciplinary - good for nearly all subjects. Scholarly and trade journals, popular magazines, newspapers, conference proceedings, book reviews, and more.
America: History and Life
Index to research on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. Indexes articles and book reviews from more than 1,700 journals published in more than 40 languages. Dates of Coverage: 1964 to date
Art Full Text (1984 to date)
Indexes 350 art magazines and journals covering pre-historic to contemporary art. Some full text from 1995-date. For earlier dates search its companion database the Art Index Retrospective. Searching both databases simultaneously for publications dated 1929 to the present. Both databases index the Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin.
Art Index Retrospective (1929-1984)
Indexes 350 art magazines and journals covering pre-history to contemporary art. Indexes the Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin.
Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) (1975-2007)
Index to 1,200+ North American and European Journals covering Western Art from ca. 300 CE to present.
International Bibliography of Art (2008 to date)
Indexes 500 journals covering European art since antiquity, American art sincle the colonial period, and Global art since 1945. Preceded by the Bibliography of the History of Art.
Design and Applied Arts Index
Indexes articles, news items, and reviews. Broad range of materials are covered, from textiles and ceramics to glass, wood, and metal. Topics include jewelry, furniture, fashion, typography, landscape architecture, web and computer-aided design, computer graphics, and animation, plus business-oriented subjects such as advertising, packaging, and industrial design. Dates of coverage: 1973 to date
Tips for searching Google
It can be difficult to find period clothing and accessories with Google since it doesn't support searching date ranges or categories of objects. And it can be hard to distinguish between authentic costumes and modern interpretations.
- Find a relevant image and use Google's Image search
- Search for a famous person or event to locate images from the correct period, then scan the results for images of costume.
These search strategies are also useful in the other databases listed on this tab. Each database can all be searched by subject or keyword; each has their own, unique, subject headings.
OBIS -- Start your search in OBIS.
Subject headings (created by librarians) increase the relevance of search results, as illustrated by these two examples (follow each link to see results): Women's clothing Men's clothing
Other useful subjects Highlighted subjects link to OBIS searches
||19th century [or 18th century, 17th century, etc.]
||Clothing and dress
Keyword searches work best when combining broad concepts:
(clothing or costume) and 18th century
More about keyword searching
Tip: Combine subject headings in Keyword search box for best results:
Keyword: Women's clothing and history