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UDTH206: Costume Design & Makeup for Stage: Finding Visual & Background Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

  • Primary Sources: The artifact/object of study (the actual text of the play, hat that someone wore in the 1940s, the painting that sits in the museum). Think of primary sources as objects that sit on those pedestals in museums or behind display cases.
  • Secondary Sources: Sources that critique, interpret, or try to understand the primary source (scholarly articles, books, interpretations). Think of secondary sources as those experts that sit in the room and explain the item on the pedestal.

Browsing Guide

Library of Congress Call Numbers

GT 500-2370 Costume, Dress, Fashion

N Visual Arts

NC Drawing, Design, Illustration

ND Painting

NE Print Media

NX Arts in General

Finding Books

UD Catalog

Enter term(s)

Advanced Search

Need a refresher on how to use the catalog? Check out this video.

Background Information

Although Credo and Britannica are not devoted just to visual resources, they both often have accompanying images with their articles. Britannica even has links to videos and other helpful outside sources!

Searching Tips

  • When looking for print or e-books in the library catalog, the "ill." in the description field of the record indicates the book contains illustrations
  • "Clothing and Dress" works as a subject heading in quite a few databases
  • Try searching for clothing/dress with your location
  • Fashion is another great keyword
  • Dates can be difficult. Many times putting something like "1880's fashion" won't give you the results you're looking for. Try searching by era (i.e. Victorian era) or start broad with something like "London fashion" and then use the date tool to limit to specific years if the database/website has that option.

Visual Specialized Resources

Resources listsed are both library databses and outside resources. The outside resources include the Library of Congress and New York Public Library online digital collections. These resources may have images of people living in your particular time period/location.