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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Apparel Design


Welcome to the Apparel Design Research Guide. This guide covers a wide range of available resources such as useful books, links, and digital resources to complete assignments and conduct research.

This guide will help you begin your research. Keep in mind that research is an iterative process; it will build on itself and is often better accomplished in multiple small steps. Art is often an interdisciplinary area of study so some resources might seem more relevant than others. This guide cannot list all possible resources, but it is a good place to start. If you have more questions or need additional help, just ask! There are librarians available to help you find answers.

The Art of Browsing

Here are some helpful tips:

Books in the RISD Fleet Library are organized by topic using Library of Congress classification system. Topics related to Apparel Design are under the letter ranges GT, HD, HF, NK, PN, and TT. If you are interested in browsing the shelves, you can use this map and these call number ranges as a guide:

GT 1-7070 Manners and customs

GT495-499 Human body and its parts. Personal beauty

GT500-2370 Costume. Dress. Fashion

HD 9720-9975 Manufacturing industries

HD 9850-9939 Textile Industries. Textile Fibers    

HD 9940-9969 Clothing/Apparel

HF 5001-6182 Business

HF 5410-5417.5 Marketing.  Distribution of products

HF 5419-5422 Wholesale trade

HF 5428-5429.6 Retail trade 

HF 5437-5444 Purchasing.  Selling.  Sales personnel.  Sales

NK 8800-8999 Textile Arts

PN 2000-3307 Dramatic representation. The theater

PN 2085-2091 The stage and accessories

PN 2131-2193 By period

PN 2131-2145 Ancient

PN 2152-2160 Medieval

PN2171-2179 Renaissance

PN2181-2193 Modern

TR 679 Fashion photography  

TT 490-695 Clothing manufacture.  Dressmaking.  Tailoring

TT 697-927 Home arts. 

Home crafts Including sewing, embroidery, decorative crafts


For SUBJECT searches try:


Costume -- Exhibitions.

Clothing and dress.

Exoticism in fashion.



For KEYWORD searches, you can either use terms or use phrases. An example: when searching for tips about men's fashion try men's AND fashion or "men's fashion" as searches and see what you can find.


Exploring Theses

One of the best ways to learn about what other artists have done is by viewing and studying the graduate thesis projects of past RISD students. Check out the Graduate Theses Index by Department. This will allow you to explore theses by specific parameters and terms.

Citation Managment

Requesting an Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If the Fleet, Brown or the Athenaeum libraries doesn't have what you are looking for, you can request materials from other libraries! Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a library privilege that allows the Fleet Library to "check out" materials that we don't have from other libraries. If we don't have something you need you can request it through ILL and we will look to see if we can borrow it from another library.

Through ILL you can request:

    CDs, Musical Scores

Request an Item Now


You can request items through Fleet search when you see this option below an item.


If you'd like help, please contact the Reference Desk, 401-709-5902 |

Renewing Books Online

Step 1.

Step 2.  Log In

  • Your Name: Type in your name as it appears on the front of your RISD ID
  • Barcode: Type in the 14-digit barcode number on the back of your RISD ID ( It starts with 3444400...)







Step 3. Sort Items by

  • Due Date
  • Renew Marked
  • or Renew All  

New due dates will appear in red

Fantastic, you're done!

Have questions? Contact the Circulation & Reserve Desk | 401 709-5901

Additional Resources

Brown University Libraries

RISD faculty, staff, and students have access to and borrowing privileges at Brown Libraries. You must have a current RISD ID for access. Be sure your account is active with RISD's Fleet Library.

Brown Visiting Policy

RISD students, staff and faculty may visit Brown's libraries daily until 10:00 PM. RISD community members will need to sign-in at the Circulation Desk.

Database Access

RISD community members can only access Brown's Databases on-site. You can search and download from Brown's databases using their public computers. The public computers are on the 2nd floor of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library. If you have questions ask at the Circulation Desk for help.


RISD community members can borrow up to 5 books for 4 weeks.


Unfortunately, RISD print cards don't work at Brown. However, Brown uses a print card system similar to RISD's. You'll need to purchase a Brown print card to use with their system. You can purchase print cards at the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library or Sciences Library.

Brown has subject librarians who have advanced education and experience in a particular subject or academic discipline. If you find that your area of research is very specific and you are having trouble find information or resources you can contact a subject librarian and make a research appointment.


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