Cataloging our Costume and Textiles Collection

Ever wondered if you can see our collection outside of the museum? Here you can get a glimpse on how our staff documents items from our collection for the online database, like this dress designed by Claire McCardell.

An important part of a museum’s mission is providing access to their collections. But not everything can be displayed, and not everyone can visit in person. For that reason, we are glad to be working to get more of our collection online accessible through our searchable online database.

Photography is a crucial part of each online record. To photograph objects from our Costume and Textiles collection, we first dress them on mannequins, since more information is conveyed by an image that shows how a garment looks on the body.

In the pictures below, Museum Technician Elise and summer Costume and Textiles Intern Marina are dressing a wool day dress designed by Claire McCardell, an American sportswear designer active from the 1930s through the 1950s. The Valentine’s wool dress is a great example of the kind of chic, comfortable clothes that McCardell was known for. You can access the Online Collections Database and search for the McCardell dress as well as other items in the Valentine collection.

Marina K. Hays
Summer Intern
Costume and Textiles Collection
The Valentine