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Medieval Dress Codes: Clothing, Textiles & Representation

Research Sources & Tips


Page contents: Reserves | Facts & Overviews | Books | Journal Articles | Full Text | Request Articles/Books | Images/Illuminated Manuscripts | Citing sources


I. Course Reserves

Check out the Course Reserves.

II. Overviews

Illuminating Fashion: Dress in the Art of Medieval France and the Netherlands
This exhibition from the Morgan Library and Museum allows you to page through several dozen 14th and 15th century illuminated manuscripts, and zoom in on the clothes.


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


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


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

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

The Historical Encyclopedia of Costumes Ref. GT510 .R3313 1988

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.)

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

III. Clothing and Dress History

A. Use Library Catalogs to find books

1. Tufts Libraries Catalog

2. BLC WorldCat (beyond Tufts)

B. Searches & Results

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

A. By Country/Region and Periods:


Fashion -- England -- History.

Fashion -- Europe -- History.

Fashion -- Japan -- Themes, Motives.


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




Costume -- History -- To 500

Costume -- History -- Early Works To 1800.

Costume -- History -- Medieval, 500-1500.


Textile fabrics, Medieval.

B. The Broader Context:



Fashion history



Costume history


Clothing and dress

Clothing and dress history


Textile fabrics history


Dress accessories

C. Specific Focuses:


Clothing and dress in art.

Clothing and dress in literature.


fashion in art


Textile fabrics in art.


Clothing and dress -- Social aspects.

Clothing and dress -- Symbolic aspects.

Path of Discovery in the Catalogs

1. Find a title/author (assigned readings/Course Reserves);

2. Note the descriptive language of the Catalog record.

3. Use that language in further searches


e.g. Click on subject/author in the record to see further results and related topics.


Author Scott, Margaret, 1951-
Title Medieval Dress & Fashion.
Publisher London : British Library, 2007.
Subject Clothing And Dress -- History -- Medieval, 500-1500.
Illumination of books and manuscripts, Medieval.
Clothing and dress in art

Appendix I. Digital Images/Illuminated Manuscripts


Artifact (Tufts University)

Index of Christian Art (Princeton University)

Illuminated Manuscripts

Image Quest

an online file of more than two million rights-cleared images from some 40 image collections.

Art Project (museums from around the world by Google)

IV. More Specific and Current Discussions

A. Use Subject Databases for Journal Articles:

1 & 2. JSTOR and Project Muse


JSTOR is a favorite with its full texts in core journals of all disciplines. Project Muse does not include exactly the same JSTOR journals, but it has more recent and current articles on many topics.


3. Period Studies


International Medieval Bibliography (400-1500).

Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400 -1700).

Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index.


4. Anthropology Plus

5. Art History and Literature


6. History, Religion, and Women's Studies


7. When use GoogleScholar, set your Library Links to access Tufts full texts.

B. Review Articles

Reviews of recent books and other types of review articles in major journals in a discipline are likely to summarize the current state of research in an area.

Examples of reviews of a Book:

Sarah Randles. "Encountering Medieval Textiles and Dress: Objects, Texts, Images (review)." Parergon 23.1 (2006) 173-178.


Mary Weitzel Gibbons. "Medieval Dress and Fashion (review)." Renaissance Quarterly 61.2 (2008): 604-605.


A Few Core Journals:

Dumbarton Oaks Papers

Early Medieval Europe

Essays in Medieval Studies


Medieval Encounters


Studies in Iconography. (Tisch oversize: NX1 .S84)


The Art Bulletin.

Art History

C. More Articles like this "perfect" one


Search, in Arts and Humanities Citation Index, for the article you have read.

For example:

Sponsler, Claire. "On the Threshold of the Flamboyant- the 2nd Campaign of Construction of Saint-Urbain, Troyes." CLIO  21: 3 (1992), 265-283.
References: 23 Times Cited: 5

You can, then, look up, in the record, the 23 references that Sponsler cited for her article and, in turn, 5 articles that cited hers. The assumption is that these articles address related issues.



1. Not every single article is cited;
2. Influential authors are cited more often;
3. More recent publications take time to be cited.

Appendix II. Finding Full Texts

1. Click on the findIt@tufts button button in your search results screen to a window of three sequential options:

a. link to the digital full text when available;

b. link to a Library Catalog search for the print journal;

c. link to ILliad for requesting the article when the above two options are negative.

2. Search for a journal directly here:

a. Tufts Library Catalog (including e-journals)

b. Electronic journals list

c. Use ILliad to request your article, if Tufts does not have your journal.

Appendix III. Request Articles/Books

Set up for your ILliad account

Use ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan Service, to request articles, books and other materials that are not available at Tufts.

Appendix IV. Citing Sources

Chicago Style Manual (for citing sources)