Cloaks Home Page | Costar | Nowes Ark

Guide to browsing the cloaks archives

For a general description of what you can expect to find and do on the Cloaks sites, please visit the 'About' page. The topics covered on this page are:

  • Browser Requirements and so on. Cloaks is not designed for all browsers nor all users.
  • The Holdings pages
  • The star system
  • The garment detail page (incl print, image pages)
  • The Holdings List
  • The Menu

Browser's Beware

  • A modern browser -- If you want to be safe, use Firefox. We spent a good many hours trying to adapt to the worse of the Internet Explorer violations of standards but there are lingering problems. Opera is better, but not perfect.
  • The page is designed for a screensize of 1024x768 pixels, common on laptops. This is a bit small for real power users but our curators don't have that kind of hardware. It works fine on larger areas of course, but a couple of the layout choices may seem odd.
  • Cookies must be enabled for costar to work. If you don't know what this means, you have a opportunity. Our list of things to do includes warning you if you don't have cookies set.

The Holdings Page

Mostly what you see is what you get: a rectangular matrix of garment images. There are a few tricks though. The search box at the bottom of the page is described in a separate paragraph. The column on the right title 'My Stars' is also described below. Titles for the garments are shown if you hold the cursor over the image for a few seconds. And, of course, clicking on an image will take you to the detail page for that image.

Hopefully the tool for scrolling through the pages, at the top of the page, looks fairly familiar. This will scroll through all the garments in the archive which fit your search request.


If you are looking for garments of a particular period, a particular type, or with titles matching some keyword, the search tool at the bottom of the page may be of help. Enter the search parameters and click on the Search button. Use the reset search button to view all garments again.

The Star System

As you notice interesting garments you can mark them for reference and to examine in more detail later. We call this 'starring' the garment. Starred garments are shown on the side of the page as you navigate from one page to another. Clicking on a starred garment will take you to its detail page. You star a garment on the holdings page by clicking on the 'star icon' in the upper left corner of the garment image. You can remove a garment from the list of stars by clicking on its 'remove star' icon -- again in the upper left corner of the image. You remove all the starred garments by clicking on 'empty' at the top of the 'My Stars' list.

The Garment Detail Page

Basically there are three areas on the page. The central section contains one or two images of the garment followed by a textual description. The left column contains pictures of interesting garment details. The right column has your starred garments for easy navigation.

The center section includes title. Next to the title are icons for opening a 'printer friendly' view of the garment and for adding the garment to your stars list. The printer icon is to the left of the title, the star icon is on the right. If the garment is already starred, that icon won't appear. There usually are higher quality versions of the images available -- both the central images and the details. High resolution images can be quite time consuming to download. Clicking on an image will display the high resolution version in a separate page.

The scroll bars are, I'm afraid, a bit cluttered. There can be three of them. Both the right and left colums may need to scroll. And the entire page may have a scroll bar as well. That is a bit clumsy and we are scratching our heads looking for a nicer way.

The Holdings Inventory

This is a plain text listing of the garments. It is intended for reference only. Probably not much help; but sometimes it is nice to know what's there.

The Menu on the top of the page

The menu allow you to quickly navigate to the holdings view for the archive, to its holdings list, to the archive home page, to the Cloaks site home page, and to this help page. Clicking on the site icon, in the top left, will take you to the holdings. If you want to look at a different archive, go to the Cloaks home page and navigate from there.