Cloaks Home Page | Costar | Nowes Ark

About the Cloaks Archives

The Consolidated Clothing and Costumes Archives (Cloaks) provides web support for several collections of garments associated, primarily, with university and professional theatrical costume programs. It is an extension of the Costar web archive that was used for several years by the graduate program in Costume Production associated with the Department of Dramatice Art at UNC in Chapel Hill NC and the PlayMakers Repertory Company. Costar features a remarkable collection of nineteenth century garments from Europe and the United States. In the initial release of Cloaks in the fall of 2008 Costar was joined by Nowes Ark, a collection of garments from outside the western tradition .

Please see the Cloaks Users Guide page for information and instructions about how to use the site effectively.

The Structure of the Archives

There is a common structure for all the archives. Each one has

  • A cover page with links to the other sections.
  • A description of the archive, where it located, its general purpose and scope, and the people involved.
  • The Holdings pages show a small image of every garment in the archive. There are roughly fifteen images per page. Holdings can be searched for a date range, for a particular type of garment and for words in the garment's title. There is also innovative system for marking garments of interest as you scan; this is the 'star' system and it is described in more detail in the user's guide page.
  • A Catalog of the archive: this lists the garment's name, type, and dates. The catalog is primarily for reference.
  • A descriptive page for each garment in the archive which shows front and back images, annotated images of interesting garment details, and, for many garments, extended descriptions of the garments construction, its current condition, provenance, historical notes and so on.
  • High resolution images -- the descriptive pages often show 'chopped down' images to avoid extensive download times. The full images are also available by clicking on the displayed images.

Notes About: The Date of a Garment

Determining what date to assign to a garment can be quite challenging. There are of course relatively standardized eras in western clothing. But what was au courant in Paris one season may go on sale in Des Moines, not to mention central North Carolina, a bit later. So, Cloaks assigns each garment to a range of dates. And Cloaks support searching with a range of dates. If the range of the search overlaps the range of the garment, that is treated as a match.

An Invitation

We welcome inquiries from clothing and costume collections curious about being include in Cloaks.

Technical Notes

This is version 2.3.0 of the Costar software.

In lieu of 'powered by' icons, we acknowledge: J2EE. EclipseLink. Oracle, MySQL. CKEditor.