Abiti Antichi — In Italian. Lots of beautiful pictures of someone’s collection of extant clothing from the 18th century through the 1930s. Easy to navigate, even if you can’t read Italian. There is one page in English that explains the site.
Amica Library — “Art Museum Images from Cartography Associates.” Art image database with over 90,000 items from museums worldwide.
Artcyclopedia — Art can be searched by medium, location (i.e. museum), title, subject, and of course artist.
Australian Dress Register — “The Australian Dress Register is a collaborative, online project about dress with Australian provenance pre-1975. This includes men’s, women’s and children’s clothing ranging from the special occasion to the everyday.”
Berger Foundation — Images collected by Jacques-Edouard Berger of ancient artifacts from China, Egypt, India and Southeast Asia.
Bibliothèque des Artes Décoratifs — (In French) Large online collection of fashion plates from the late 18th to 19th centuries. To Search: 1) Click “Recherche simple”; 2) Type “mode” in ”Termes de recherche”; 3) Select “Album Maciet” in ”Document numérisés”; 4) Click “Rechercher”; 5) Wait until the results display in the left pane; 6) Check one or more of the results; 7) Click “Voir les notices”; 8) Under each selection in the right pane, click “Voir les vignettes Maciet” to see the fashion plates.
Bowes Museum — (UK) The Bowes Museum has a small online collection of clothing items, mostly from the 19th & 20th centuries.
Bridgeman Art Library — Bridgeman has over 350,000 images online from multiple museums all over the world. “the Bridgeman Art Library works with museums, art galleries and artists to make the best art available for reproduction. The result is an outstanding archive of images drawn from collections throughout the world, all of which are available for licensing.”
British Library: Online Gallery — The British Library has a large online selection of manuscripts and other documents. Includes a section of “virtual books”, including several from the Middle Ages through Renaissance eras. (My favorite is Jane Austen’s “History of England.”)
Canadian Historical Portraits — Collection of portraits from Canadian history, from the 16th-20th centuries. The collection was created by Aegidius Fauteux, which was acquired by the Bibliothèque du Montréal.
Enluminures (Illuminations) — (In French) This site has more than 120,000 images from over 5,000 medieval manuscripts and illuminations, kept in municipal libraries throughout France. Click “recherche guidée” from the home page to find manuscripts by author (“auteurs”), title (“titres”), type and context (“contextes”). You can also search by Library (“Accès par Bibliothèque”). Or, from the home page, click “recherche experte” to search using your own criteria.
Fan Museum, The — The Fan Museum in Greenwich, London. A small portion of their collection is available to view online.
Fashion Museum at Bath — If I ever get to England, this and the V&A are my two ”must sees.” Not a lot of images on the website, but definitely worth checking out.
Germanisches National Museum — Wonderful collection of medieval and renaissance art & textiles. Search & collections pages are only in German.
Haltadefinizione — This Italian website has an archive of high-definition images of important works of art, including Bronzino, Titian, and Michelangelo. You have register in order to view the items.
Harvard Library — The Harvard Library website includes a visual search engine. From the main page, go to the “Search & Find” menu, and select “VIA”. They have many interesting collections, including original costume design drawings.
Institut für RealienkundeNew! — (Austria) University of Salzburg site, in German. Select "Datenbanken" from the menu and then "REALonline". This opens the REALonline search page, which has a small selection of search options in English. The other German search options include: Bildnummern - picture numbers; Standorte - locations; Institutionen - institutions; Künstler- artists; Bildthema - picture theme; Historische Orte - historical places; Orte - places; Handlungen - actions; Personennamen - person name; Standesbezeichnungen - occupations/title; Gestik - gestures; Kleidung - clothing; Materielle Objekte - material objects; Tiere - animals. Once you select one of those options, another menu will appear with lots of terms in German - the "Ziege Bilder" button means "show pictures."
Legion of Honor — European paintings and decorative arts, ancient art, etc.
Les Arts Décoratifs — An institution in Paris, devoted to preserving decorative arts. Located in several locations, including the Louvre. A few items can be viewed online. Also see my listing for “Bibliothèque des Artes Décoratifs”, which is a searchable online database (not linked to from this site) with many more items, including their large collection of 18th century fashion prints.
Library and Archives CanadaNew! — Flickr account for the Bibliothèque Canada. Lots of photos & artwork from the 19th century and early 20th century.
Life Magazine Photo Archive — Hosted by Google, an archive of images from Life magazine. “...stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.”
McCord Museum — Located in Quebec, McCord Museum has lots of costumes and textiles, paintings and photographs covering Canadian 18th and 19th century history.
Metropolitan Museum - Free Online Publications — The Met Museum has over 400 of their publications, in their entirety, available to read online or download. Besides books about art in general, there are quite a few fashion related books; search by Collection/Department for The Costume Institute.
Metropolitan Museum of Art — The Met has a fabulous collection of clothing, The Costume Institute, as well as lots of beautiful paintings. Lots of images online — check out the Timeline of Art or just Search the Collection.
National Museum of Denmark — This site is in Danish, but with the help of a translation webiste, you can search for items like “kjole” (dress), “bukser” (pants), “kjol” (skirt), etc. Lots of lovely 18th century clothing in their collection.
Textile Museum of Canada — Museum has a large collection, from all over the world and spanning over 2000 years, most of which is available to view online.
Textile Museum, The — Part of George Washington University in Washington, DC, this museum was started from a personal collection and now contains textiles from all over the world and many different time periods.