Museum PR Announcements News and Information

Chicago History Museum launches online Digital Collection

The Chicago History Museum announces the launch of the online Digital Collection which currently features 1,382 digital images representing nearly 400 costumes, accessories, and fashion drawings including all costume materials exhibited in the museum’s Charles James, Dior, Bertha Palmer, Chic Chicago, and I Do exhibitions. The official launch of the Digital Collection is on July 10, and will be accessible from the Chicago History Museum website. The Digital Collection is made possible by a generous donation from the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum.

Garments by Gianni Versace, Christian Dior, Charles James and Cristóbal Balenciaga headline the content on the Digital Collection. In addition to hundreds of garment and accessory images, the website also features videos of CT scans of garments constructed by designer Charles James and 103 sketches by James’ illustrator Antonio Lopez. Images are offered at extremely high resolution with zooming tools allowing users to examine artifacts stitch by stitch.

With over 50,000 costumes and textile artifacts from the mid-18th century to the present, the Chicago History Museum’s Costume Collection is the second largest in the world and one of the nation’s most complete fashion repositories.

The Digital Collection is made possible by the Costume Council of the Chicago History Museum. Founded by Mrs. Phillip K. Wrigley in April 1974, the purpose of the Costume Council is to support the Chicago History Museum as a leader in the documentation and interpretation of the history and the art of costume. Through the Costume Council’s efforts, the Museum has been able to maintain and grow a thriving collection.

The Digital Collection can be found by visiting and all of Chicago History Museum exhibitions, events and projects can be found by visiting or by calling 312-642-4600.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *