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Prêt-à-rechercher! NYPL Offers Innovative Fashion Design Database to Patrons Creating the Next Runway Hit


Demonstration of Berg Fashion Library on Tuesday, April 5 at 5:30pm in South Court Auditorium with reception following

March 29, 2011 (New York, NY) – The New York Public Library is delighted to offer patrons the world’s first online resource of comprehensive coverage of dress and fashion around the world. The Berg Fashion Library (Berg/Oxford University Press), which provides access to interdisciplinary and integrated image, book and journal content, offers users cross-searchable access to an expanding range of essential fashion resources, and is of critical significance to anyone working in and/or researching a range of disciplines including  fashion, anthropology, art history, and cultural studies.

In a city whose colorful fashionistas and deft sartorialists have always elicited global admiration, this resource couldn’t be more welcome. “The Berg Fashion Library provides a window into the history of costume and dress that is fundamental to the creative process,” says Clayton Kirking, Chief of Art Information Services at the New York Public Library. “A new generation of designers will return to it again and again.” The database won the 2011 Dartmouth Medal for outstanding reference, the FutureBook Digital Innovation Award, and the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair Digital Award.

On Tuesday, April 5 at 5:30pm, the NYPL and Oxford University Press, which distributes the Berg Fashion Library (BFL) worldwide invite the public to a demonstration of the many practical uses of the online portal. The event will be hosted by fashion expert Ada Calhoun, who has authored two books with Project Runway’s Tim Gunn, and Kathryn Earle, the Managing Director of the BFL. And will take place in the South Court Auditorium of the library’s StephenA.SchwarzmanBuilding (Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street). A reception will follow. RSVP to

Berg Fashion Library Key Points

*Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion (July 2010 edition): consisting of 10 volumes, 760 articles, and 2,284 images
*Images from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s renowned fashion collection: 2,633 images
*Images from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute: 2,000 images
*E-book collection of Berg dress monographs consisting of 65 titles upon launch
*The Berg Companion to Fashion consisting of 315 entries and containing 50% of the total number of entries in Valerie Steele’s major reference work Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion which was originally published in 3 volumes by Scribners
*The Dictionary of Fashion History beginning with 900 A.D. to the present day consisting of approximately 3,250 terms, the most comprehensive dictionary of specialist fashion terminology available
*Fashion: Primary Source Documents comprising major documents licensed from third party content providers
*Index of the top costume collections in the world which outlines strengths, number of objects held, etcetera
*Premium links to Berg journals
*Specially-created taxonomy: a classification system guides users to information and allows them to refine by place, period, themes, materials, and dress objects.

The BFL database will be updated 3 times a year with chief updates amounting to approximately 8-10 monographs yearly, new links to journals, and approximately 1500-2000 images yearly.

About the New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. Its renowned research collections are located in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem; and the Science, Industry and Business Library at 34th Street and Madison Avenue. Eighty-eight branch libraries provide access to circulating collections and a wide range of other services in neighborhoods throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English for speakers of other languages. All in all The New York Public Library serves more than 17 million patrons who come through its doors annually and millions more around the globe who use its resources at


Contact: Jennifer Lam | 212.592.7708