List of Resources on Costumes at the Folger

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Secondary Sources

A number of secondary reference books on early modern English and European costume including modern editions of Alciati, Foillet, Vecellio, and pattern books for making reproductions of early dress; books on stage costume, etc.

Rare Books

Festival Books – large collection recording festivities at courts and in cities, many showing dress of the people as well as costumes on performers. Search festival books as SUBJECT in Hamnet – list is organized by country and date.

Freyle, Diego de. Geometria y trace para el oficio de los sastres… Seville, 1588 TT575.F8 1588 Cage Digital Image

Le pompe di Minerva per le nobili, e virtuose donne . . . Pistoia, 1642 NK9105 P7 Cage (embroidery patterns)

Ostaus, Giovanni. La Vera Perfettione del disegno . . . Venice, 1591 260-133q (ink sketches and scribbling; pin pricks)

Parasole, Lucretia and Cesare Vecellio. Ornamento Nobile, per ogni gentil matrona . . . Venice, 1620 265774

Vecellio, Cesare. Corona delle nobili et virtuose donne . . . Venice, 1601 NK9405 V4 1601 Cage

Vecellio, Cesare. Habiti antichi et moderni . . . (editions from 1590,1598) GT509 V4 1590a Cage; GT509 V4 1590b Cage; GT 509 V4 1598 Cage (2 copies)

Engravings, Photographs, and Paintings

Royal, military and court costumes from the period of James I ART Vol. c91 Digital Image (watercolor, 17th century)

Wenceslaus Hollar – large collection of engravings, including a number of women in various kinds of dress, as well as details of lace, fur, etc. See the substantial but incomplete list of Folger [Wenceslaus Hollar] holdings. Also check the LUNA image database, searching under Hollar.

Engravings by Abraham Bosse, Adriaen Collaert, van de Passe family, Jan Sadeler and others in the 17th century. Advanced Search in Hamnet for engraver’s name as NAME [example: Passe] and graphic as MATERIAL TYPE

Many 18th century prints of actors and actresses. Advanced Search in Hamnet for actor’s name [example: Siddons] as SUBJECT and graphic as MATERIAL TYPE

Photographs of late 19th and early 20th century actors. Advanced Search in Hamnet for actor’s name [example Rehan] as SUBJECT and photo as KEYWORD (You can also search on graphic as MATERIAL TYPE with actor’s name as SUBJECT– that will return photographs as well as other media.)

Paintings - Portraits from the 17th century

Elizabeth I George Gower, 1596: Digital Image After Jan de Critz, after 1620: Digital Image

Elizabeth of Bohemia After Michiel van Miereveld, after 1623: FPb54 Digital Image

James I Nicholas Hilliard, ca.1620: FPm11 Digital Image

Queen Anne, consort of James I ca. 1620: FPm12 Digital Image

Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales Peter Oliver, ca. 1610: FPm 13 Digital Image

Philip Herbert, 4th earl of Pembroke Isaac Oliver, 1611: FPm10 Digital Image

Lettice Knowles, Countess of Leicester Nicholas Hilliard, ca. 1590-95: FPm9 Digital Image

Henry Wriothesley, Third Earl of Southampton After Daniel Mytens, after 1620: FPb55 Digital Image

Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Southampton After Daniel Mytens, after 1620: FPb56 Digital Image


Thomas Trevilian. Trevelyon miscellany, 1608. Contains 296 leaves including many embroidery patterns. V.b.232 Original restricted. Available in full on LUNA and also as a modern facsimile with separate Index: Flat PN6245 .T74 2007 copy 1 R.R.

Family Papers

These large collections have finding aids and many of the papers have been fully digitized in LUNA – it’s worth searching some of the other collections besides those mentioned below.

Bagot Family Papers, 1428-1671. References to cloth and clothing. Search the finding aid.

Cavendish-Talbot Papers; letters between Sir Anthony and Elizabeth Wingfield, and the latter and Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, concerning the making of a cloak as a New Year’s gift for Elizabeth I (1576/77). These are all digitized on LUNA. X.d.428 (127), X.d.428 (128), X.d.428 (129), X.d.428 (130)

Ferrers Family of Tamworth Castle Papers, 1371-1804. Contains many instances of purchasing cloth. Search the finding aid.

(Elizabeth I). Inventory of robes, apparel and garments in Her Majesty’s wardrobe, 1600 July. V.b.72 See transcription by Janet Arnold in Queen Elizabeth’s Wardrobe Unlock’d (1988).

Theatrical Manuscripts

Covent Garden Theatre. Copy of the inventory of the wardrobe . . . 1715. [actually refers to inventory from Lincoln’s Inn Fields Theatre] W.b.492, no. 34

Drury Lane and Covent Garden Theatres. Records, 1714-1880. Includes pay books and records of the wardrobe keepers. See the finding aid.

Loseley Collection, 1489-1682. Includes papers from the Offices of the Tents and of the Revels under Sir Thomas Cawarden (d.1559) with some information on costumes. See the finding aid.

Theatrical Microfiche Sets

University of Bristol Theatre Collection including sets, models and costume designs (Pt.1, 30 fiches) Microfiches 29-34 Royal Shakespeare Company, including set and costume designs (Pt. 1, 19 fiches) – Microfiches 27-28, 37 Victoria and Albert Museum, costume design – Microfiche 35 (38 fiches)