chao chen, research librarianChao Chen, Research Librarian; Home
email:; phone: 617.627.2057.
Tisch Library, Tufts University


Evolution of Fashion

Research Sources & Tips








Journal and Magazine Articles



I. Overviews


book coverThe Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Fashion and Fashion Designers.



book coverEncyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion.
Valerie Steele, editor in chief.
Ref: GT507 .E53 2005


book coverThe Worldwide History of Dress.
Patricia Rieff Anawalt.
Ref. GT511 .A63 2007


book coverThe Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Costume and Fashion: From 1066 to the Present.
Jack Cassin-Scott.
Ref. GT720 .C37 1994


book coverThe Greenwood Encyclopedia of Clothing through World History
edited by Jill Condra.

Ref. GT507 .G74 2008

A cultural history of fashion in the 20th and 21st centuries: from catwalk to sidewalk / Bonnie English. Stack: TT507 .E64 2013  

A Pictorial History of Costume; a Survey of Costume of all Periods and Peoples from Antiquity to Modern Times including National Costume in Europe and Non-European Countries. Oversize:  GT513 .B76 1955

Costume in Detail; Women's Dress, 1730-1930. Stack: GT580 .B67 1968

Costumes of Everyday Life; an Illustrated History of Working Clothes, from 900-1910. Stacks: GT720 .L5 1972

Dress and Society, 1560-1970. Stacks: GT720 .S6 1974

Fashion and Reality [1840-1914]. Stacks: GT510 .G4 1963)

Fashion Through Fashion plates, 1771-1970. Oversize: GT513 .M6 1972

The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes Ref. GT510 .R3313 1988

Mirror of Fashion; a History of European Costume, 1789-1929. Stacks: GT595 .B713 1964

Modes & Manners of the Nineteenth Century as Represented in the Pictures and Engravings of the Time. Stacks: GT595 .B613 1970
v. 1. 1790-1817.--v. 2. 1818-1842.--v. 3. 1843-1878.--v. 4. 1879- 1914.

Western European Costume and its Relation to the Theatre. Stacks: GT720 .B73 1963
(v. 1 Thirteenth to seventeenth century -- v. 2 Seventeenth to early nineteenth century.)

B. Books, Journal and Magazine Articles

Use Library Catalogs to find books

Tufts Libraries Catalog

BLC WorldCat (beyond Tufts)


Sample Searches

(note the search pattern; modify to your own needs)


The General Subject:


Fashion history


Costume history

Clothing and dress

Clothing and dress history

Textile fabrics history


by Country/Region and Periods:

Fashion -- England -- History.

Fashion -- Europe -- History.

Fashion -- Japan -- Themes, Motives.


Clothing And Dress -- Egypt -- History -- To 1500.

Clothing and dress -- Greece


Costume -- History -- To 500

Clothing And Dress -- History -- Medieval, 500-1500.

Costume -- History -- Early Works To 1800.


On Clothing in America throughout History:

Costume united states.

Fashion united states.

Clothing And Dress -- United States.

Check out this two sets:

American Decades (1900 - 2009.)

American decades primary sources (1900-1999)



More Examples of Specific Topics:

fashion and women and (france or french)

(fashion or clothing or costume) and japan*

Tips: use and in between keywords; "or" and ( ) to nest related/varied expressions; japan* searches for japan, japanese.

Use Databases to find Magazine, Newspaper and Journal Articles

About the Fashion Literature

The literature of fashion history is diverse in nature, incorporating interdisciplinary approaches. The following databases cover fine arts, performing arts, social history (including gender and women's studies) as well as fashion publications of general appeal.


Journal Articles:

1. Two favorite collections of core journals of all disciplines:



Project Muse

2. Search Across, or separately, these databases:

Academic Search Premier, America: History and Life, Anthropology, Art Full Text, Art Index Retrospective (1929 - 1984), Historical Abstracts. (World Culture), Readers' Guide Retrospective: 1890-1982, and Women's Studies International.


3. Additionally:

ABI/INFORM (Business/Company/Indutry)

Africa Studies

Bibliography of Asian Studies

Drama & Theatre (MLA)

Index Islamicus

International Index to Performing Arts

Slavic and East European Studies  

Latin American Studies

Performing Arts


Historical Magazines:

Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey, The Costume Designer's Handbook (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, c1992), 61-62.

Magazines "are particularly valuable resources for costume designers because so many are devoted to fashion, lifestyle, and the daily activities of ordinary people."


Periodicals offer a more peculiar essence of the a period rather than the general description in a costume history


Women's Wear Daily Archive

a searchable and browsable archive of Women's Wear Daily, from 1910 to the last twelve months. Key moments in the history of the industry, as well as major designers, brands, retailers and advertisers are all covered in this publication of record.



Vogue Archive (U.S. edition, 1892 - current)


1. Search Across, or separately, these two databases for historical articles, Art Index Retrospective   (1929- 1982) and Readers' Guide Retrospective (1890-1982):


Limit Your Results


Designers' favorite magazines: life, Vogue, Town and Country (1902-1913), Tatler (1830-1832), Punch (1841-1991), Harper's bazaar (1867-1912), National geographic.


2. Three more databases for historical articles:

African American Periodicals (1825-1995)

American Periodicals (1740 - 1940)
British Periodicals (1680s - 1930s)



For reviews of theatre productions, first-hand, contemporary account of a historical event, etc.




Book, Movie, Music, Play, And Video Reviews (in LexisNexis)

Factiva (more international coverage)

Alt-PressWatch (1970 -present)

Ethnic NewsWatch (1959-present)




Times Digital Archive  (1785 - 1985)

New York Times Online Archive
(1851 - 3 years before current date)


American Newspapers (1690 - 1922)


Set up for your ILliad account to request articles, books and other materials that are not available at Tufts.

II. Visual Research

Digital Images

Print Images


Fashion Resources: Clothing & Costume History
(Kent State University's fashion library)

Texas Fashion Collection
Currently, over 500 items are available for browsing by decade, country of origin, and other themes.

ARTstor (images from outstanding museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists' estates from all over the world. )

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology

Los Angeles Public Library: Fashion Plates (The collection includes over 6,200 hand-colored, finely detailed fashion illustrations produced between 1780 and 1880 for British and American fashion magazines.)



American Memory

City Gallery

Getty Images Inc. Time & Life Pictures: Defining Visions of an Enduring History

Google LIFE Photo Archive

New York Public Library Picture Collection

New York Public Library Web Gallery of Images

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

Culture and History Museums
Image Quest  (two million rights-cleared images from some 40 image collections

American Association for State and Local History

Smithsonian Museum

The American Association of Museums
This is the largest and most important museum organization in the world.


Museum of Fine Arts: Hippie Chic


Note: You might need to identify artists creating art during a certain time period and search for their art works when other types of visual materials are not available.

Selected Painters for Costume Design Research. (Source: Rosemary Ingham and Liz Covey, The Costume Designer's Handbook (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, c1992), 61-62.

Art Museums, Art Images and More

Art Project (museums from around the world by Google)


Books with color plates, photographs, etc. are often the official records of the objects. For example:

book coverThe Fashion Book. Oversize: TT503 .F37 1998
Ref. GT720 .C37 1994

Spanning 150 years, the whole industry is represented -- from pioneering designers to influential photographers and the people they photographed. It is an A -- Z guide to 500 clothes and accessory designers, photographers, models and those iconic individuals who instigated or symbolize a whole fashion movement.

Each entry is illustrated with a photograph or drawing which shows a quintessential aspect of their work or style. An accompanying text describes where they fit into the fashion story and includes essential biographical information about the creator. (Publisher)




Use keywords such as pictorial, exhibitions, photography, plates, drawings, etc. to search for books with images in the Tufts Library Catalog:

A sample search:
fashion and (pictorial or exhibitions or photography or plates or drawings)

Advanced Keyword Search for books with images

Material Type:

Search Results

Material Type:

Search Results


1. "or" and ( ) to nest related/varied expressions;

2. photo* search photo, photographs, photography, etc.

3. limit search results to books.