Von Parish Costume Library

In both size and content, the Von Parish Costume Library is a unique resource for students exploring the history of costume and related fields. The library is named for its founder Hermine von Parish (1907-1998), who devoted her life to collecting books, graphics and general pictorial materials documenting dress and other manifestations of fashion. In 1970 von Parish, who was born in Rome, bequeathed her life's work to her adopted home city of Munich. Since then the collection has been part of the Münchner Stadtmuseum, although it is still located in the Art Nouveau villa in Nymphenburg where Hermine von Parish spent most of her life. Without intruding upon the building's protected architecture, a library, archive, engravings collection and desk facilities have gradually spread out through the former living quarters, giving the facility its uniquely atmospheric setting.

The Costume Library is a reference library with its own book stacks. Serving as an information resource, it offers paid research services for users and is chiefly used by fashion designers, students and costume designers working in theater, opera, television and the film industry.

At the heart of the collections is the library itself with approximately 40,000 volumes, of which some 16,000 are magazine issues published since the 18th century. Over 500 different periodicals are represented, and the collection is continuously growing thanks to current subscriptions to 40 international magazines. The library is also unusual in that it consists almost exclusively of illustrated works. Numerous of the 5,000 specimens from the 16th to 19th centuries are hand-colored, with some completely painted by hand.

With some 40,000 items, the Graphics collection perfectly augments the library's books and magazine stocks.

Over 600,000 documentary sources render the Von Parish Costume Library unique the world over. The major collection of picture cuttings, catalogs and ephemera from the past 150 years is extremely important for students of everyday fashions. Over 10,000 items are added annually to this growing archive, keeping it apace with the similarly unique thesaurus. Its broad spectrum of detailed documentation has made the Costume Library a popular and indispensable resource.

Main Focuses of the Von Parish Costume Library:
The history of costume, haute couture, fashion designers, fashion schools and institutions, ready-to-wear clothing, the textile industry, accessories, physical culture, beauty and aesthetics, occupational apparel, sportswear, uniforms, state costumes, streetwear, youth culture and fashion, the music scene, fashion and art, history of fashion illustration, history of fashion magazines, fashion caricatures, fashion photography, traditional costumes (national and international), cuts, home tailoring, textile science, handcrafting techniques, customs, and etiquette.


Von Parish Kostümbibliothek
Kemnatenstraße 50
80639 München

Dr. Esther Sophia Sünderhauf

Phone +49-(0)89-177717
Fax +49-(0)89-12711004

The Von Parish Costume Library is open for study and research.

Plan Your Visit

Opening hours

Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 6 pm
Closed on Mondays

Every 2nd Wednesday of the month selected exhibitions at the Münchner Stadtmuseum are open until 8 pm

Filmmuseum München  Screenings
Tuesday – Friday 7 pm
Saturday 5 pm and 8 pm
Sunday 5 pm

Getting here

S/U-Bahn station: Marienplatz
U-Bahn station: Sendlinger Tor
Bus 52/62 stop: St.-Jakobs-Platz


St.-Jakobs-Platz 1
80331 München
Phone +49-(0)89-233-22370
Fax +49-(0)89-233-25033
E-Mail stadtmuseummuenchende
E-Mail filmmuseummuenchende

Ticket reservation Phone +49-(0)89-233-24150

Stadtcafé Phone +49-(0)89-26 69 49