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Costume Studies

A guide to Costume Studies


New Costume Studies Books

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Reference Shelf

What is Reference?

Reference materials include dictionaries, encyclopedias, indexes, critical surveys, and other sources that can provide an introduction or clarification of basic ideas. These texts are located in the general library collection in the appropriate subject areas ( primarily in the GT section on the fourth floor).

Online Reference Resources

Grove Encyclopedia of Materials and Techniques in Art

This reference work provides historical and current uses of materials and techniques in a wide range of areas including techniques, history, and conservation of textiles.


Credo Reference: hosts 550 reference titles including

The Bridgeman Art Library ArchiveThe Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designersand The Cambridge Guide to Theatre

Use the search box below to do a general search, or the links above to search in a specific source.




OED Online: a historical dictionary tracing the English language over 1000 years. Use to discover historic definitions traced through quotations from sources like classical literature and film scripts.

Search Oxford English Dictionary






The databases listed here are largely full-text journal sites.  Some are indexes that search for and list references but do not contain a pdf of the article.  Use the Get It At Dal button  to see if the article is held by another database at Dalhousie, if it is available in print, or you can order a copy through Document Delivery. 

Some platforms, such as EBSCO, host multiple databases.  It is possible to search in several databases at once by clicking on Choose Databases (top right) on the EBSCO interface.

Databases such as the International Bibliography of Theatre and Dance are subject specific, while others such as Academic Search Premier are broad and can contain references from thousands of journals spanning many disciplines.  Databases also contain references to books and videos, have dictonary definitions, and contain historical full texts of plays or literature. 


Interdisciplinary Databases

The databases listed below cover a wide range of humanities topics and will include information on costume-related topics.  There is not a database in our collection devoted exclusively to Costume Studies.

Key Journals

Electronic Journals & Periodicals

Fashion Theory: The Journal of Dress, Body & Culture

An international and interdisciplinary forum for the rigorous critical analysis of cultural phenomena. Peer-reviewed articles range from foot-binding to fashion advertising.

Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture

Multifaceted view of textiles, particularly critical practices.  Discusses relationships between art and craft; cloth, body and architecture; identity and gender; technology and labour; techno-design and practice.  

Textile History

Journal articles cover social and cultural history, and issues regarding the preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of apparel and textiles.

Textile Research Journal

Covers research on technology, new concepts, and improved understanding of textile materials, processes, chemistry and systems.

Internet Resources