The Association of Dress Historians supports and promotes the study and professional practice of the history of dress, textiles, and accessories of all cultures and regions of the world, from before classical antiquity to the present day.
The Association of Dress Historians (ADH) supports and promotes the study and professional practice of the history of dress, textiles, and accessories of all cultures and regions of the world, from before classical antiquity to the present day. The ADH is proud to support scholarship through international conferences, publication of The Journal of Dress History, prizes and awards for students and researchers, and ADH members’ events such as curators’ tours. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge with you. Our mission is to start conversations, encourage the exchange of ideas, and expose new and exciting research in the field to all who appreciate the discipline. Thank you for visiting our website, and thank you for supporting scholarship in dress history.
The ADH believes that the history of human clothing and adornment is taught, learned, explored, researched, developed, and advanced through a wide range of practices, including archaeology, art history, conservation, curation, design, journalism, publication, theatre design, and visual studies. The history of dress, textiles, and accessories may be pursued academically and professionally in many related fields, including history, anthropology, sociology, material culture, literary and theoretical studies. Our goals are to bring students and professionals together in order to share knowledge and experience, and to provide opportunities for the presentation of new research, discoveries, and practices through the academic investigation of images, objects, and texts.
In 1965, The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, established the first academic course in Dress History, which was headed by Stella Mary Newton for a decade until Aileen Ribeiro assumed the role in 1975. The ADH was founded in 1991 as The Courtauld History of Dress Association (CHODA). The founding members of CHODA, all MA degree graduates in Dress History at The Courtauld, wished to encourage the study of dress and textile history, to support their MA course and its students, and to create a scholarship fund to help future students studying Dress History at The Courtauld. By early 2011, as a consequence of the growth of many more degree programmes concerned with dress and textile history, and a greater general interest in the discipline, it was felt appropriate to have membership drawn from a wider constituency than only the MA course at The Courtauld. After two decades of activity, 1991–2011, CHODA was renamed The Association of Dress Historians (ADH) and was registered as such with The Charity Commission for England and Wales. Our ADH constitution was approved by The Charity Commission on 2 September 2011 and can be viewed here. The ADH receives no public funds, and is a non–profit educational charity run by a team of unpaid volunteers. Read a history of our past honorary volunteers here. The logo of The Association of Dress Historians was designed in 2017 by Janet Mayo, longstanding ADH member. The logo is a monogram of three letters, ADH, interwoven to represent the interdisciplinarity of our membership, committed to scholarship in dress history.
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The Association of Dress Historians (ADH)
Registered Charity #1014876 of The Charity Commission for England and Wales