The Costume and Textiles study room in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center provides access to the museum’s collection of more than 30,000 costume and textile objects. One of the oldest and largest in the country, the collection encompasses art from across the world, spanning many diverse eras. While only a small percentage of the museum’s extensive collection is on display at any time, many objects not on view are available for study by appointment.
The study room is open by appointment only. Individuals, groups, and classes (of no more than twenty at a time) are invited to contact the department at CTstudyroom@philamuseum.org for further information and assistance or to request an appointment application.
Appointment availability may be affected by the department’s exhibition schedule and by staff and space limitations. In most cases, appointments are limited to two hours and a maximum number of twenty objects will be made available (depending on fragility, size, and other considerations, this number may be lower). Please request your appointment preferably four weeks in advance.
The department recommends doing preliminary research with other primary and secondary sources before requesting an appointment to ensure that research requests are as specific as possible and that the objects made available are useful. The museum’s online collection database provides images and information for some of the objects in the collection, but many objects are not represented online, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with specific requests about collection holdings that you may be interested in studying.
Things to Know
The study room is located in the Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Costume and Textiles on the second floor of the Perelman Building. Information on accessing the building as well as helpful hints and study room rules will be sent with the application form. The department also encourages you to review the museum’s general tips and policies for visitors before your appointment.
Study room visitors are required to leave all coats and bags at the entrance to the study room. Food, beverages (including water), and chewing gum are not permitted. Only graphite pencils may be used for writing or sketching. Laptops are allowed and visitors are welcome to take non-flash photography for personal use.