What is the Australian Dress Register?

The Australian Dress Register website project team:

  • Kate Chidlow, Conservation
    Glynis Jones, Curatorial
    Julie McFarland, Volunteer
    Sarah Pointon, Registration

The Australian Dress Register is a collaborative, online project about dress with Australian provenance. It includes men's, women's and children's clothing ranging from the special occasion to the everyday. Museums and private collectors are encouraged to research their garments and share the stories and photographs while the information is still available and within living memory. The Register encourages people to consider their collections very broadly and share what they know about members of their community, what they wore and life in the past. This provides access to a world-wide audience while keeping their garments in their relevant location.

The site and its extensive resources provides a valuable forum for discussion within the museum community. It is a great resource for schools and universities, designers of fashion, film and television along with researchers in many disciplines. The project is underpinned by training and support for the contributing organisations and private collectors.

The Australian Dress Register (ADR) is a collaboration involving the Powerhouse Museum, collecting institutions with dress collections, private collectors, and industry and sector specialists who have provided, and continue to provide, advice and guidance. (SeeĀ governance.)

The Register has proved to be a resource-effective model for providing the skills and knowledge necessary for dress collectors to research, document and care for their collections according to best practice.

The Register encourages a rich and detailed level of documentation. It unearths people's personal stories through the garment they wore, and links objects, collections and places involved in these stories. Museum workers and volunteers from the community where the garments belong can provide a context for the objects in their collections. By enhancing their practical knowledge of care and documentation, community history will be available for all to share.