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Historic Dress
A Five College Digital Humanities Project

Historic dress scholars, students, and enthusiasts will have a new home: a digital nexus for accessing historic dress collections across the United States and a learning community for sharing research among a diversity of voices.

The project focuses on women’s clothing and accessories worn in America from 1770 to 1930.  The topic resonates in diverse fields of study including: gender studies, material culture, theater, art, social history, and economics to name a few. This will be the first participatory digital library on the subject open to a wide range of contributing institutions.  The virtual Center will be accessed under the domain,

The project is funded by the Five College Digital Humanities program, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Grant supported activities include:

  • Residencies for the working group composed of faculty, researchers, digital humanities specialists, and librarians.
  • Summer workshop residencies for Five Colleges students. Workshop curriculum included: clothing and design scholarship, metadata standards, taxonomies, and digitization methods.
  • Creation of a showcase web site (using OMEKA) and blog to launch the project and garner community.  The site includes a select group of clothing items, primary/secondary resources, and exhibitions realized as images, video, text, timelines, and geographic points. The site will be used to make the case for a future major grant that supports a sustainable infrastructure. Ultimately will need a combination of robust technologies, such as content management and social media tools, in order to achieve the goals of the project. read more . . .

Five College Digital Humanities            Smith College            UMass Amherst