The Collections

A Universe of Fashions

The 10,000 books in the collection span more than five centuries. A portion of these are rare fashion publications from the 16th to the mid-19th century. Search within the book catalogue via the OPAC of the Von Parish Costume Library (still incomplete).

The collection of periodicals consists of 2,000 volumes and over 40,000 individual issues. There are 1,600 different periodical titles, 186 of which are from before the year 1900. This makes the Von Parish Costume Library one of the most extensive and comprehensive collections of early fashion periodicals worldwide.

The graphics collection consists of around 43,000 individual sheets, with the oldest illustrations coming from the "Nuremberg Chronicle", published in 1493. The main highlight of the collection are fashion prints of the 19th century. But the entire spectrum of fashion drawings are represented: everything from preparatory sketches of ideas to design illustrations and from detailed drawings for the production process to templates for printing, as well as runway sketches of fashion shows.

Additionally, there are artist estates from 20th-century fashion illustrators, such as Hans Fischach, Grete Groth and Isolde Heß-Willkomm, as well as larger volumes, such as 112 prints from the "Gallery of Fashion" (London, 1778-1787), 32 watercolor illustrations by Jules David, the best-known Parisian fashion illustrator of the 19th century, or 800 printing proofs from the magazine die neue linie from 1936 to 1943.

The photo collection includes around 32,000 individual images and over one hundred albums. From the very beginning, photographs and graphics have been collected; thus quite a few images date from the early days of the medium, from 1850 onward. A large part of this collection is made up of amateur images that show everyday fashions.

The Documentation with around 1.5 million units is the "heart" of the Von Parish Costume Library. Preserved here in chronological and systematic order are images of all kinds that testify to cultural and historical character, including newspaper articles, image postcards, and examples of rarely collected “gray literature”, such as department store catalogs, advertising brochures, lookbooks and invitations to fashion shows.

To ensure the collection remains relevant and reflects current times, collecting has not ceased. Fortunate acquisitions and generous donations fill gaps in the collection and keep the Von Parish Costume Library alive.

The five collection areas of the Von Parish Costume Library are largely arranged according to this systematic:


 Actors of Fashion
 Fashion Theory
 Groups and Organizations
 History of Fashion
 Masks, Media, and Music
 Materials and Techniques
 Professions and Activities
 Regional Studies
 Religion, Mythology and Superstition

Visitor Information

The Von Parish Costume Library is a closed stack library.

Loans and interlibrary loans are not possible, with the exception of loan requests for exhibition purposes.

The library is available to the public in addition to the option of a fee-based research service.

To visit the library pre-registration and an appointment is required.


Von Parish Kostümbibliothek
Kemnatenstraße 50
80639 München, Nymphenburg

Dr. Esther Sophia Sünderhauf, Head

Phone +49-(0)89-177717
E-Mail: kostuembibliothek.

How to Get Here

From the city center using public transport: S-Bahn station Laim, then take exit Wotanstraße with bus 51 or 151 to stop Kemnatenstraße.

Plan Your Visit

Opening hours

Although the Münchner Stadtmuseum's exhibitions closed on January 8, 2024, for a complete renovation, the cinema and the Stadtcafé will remain open to visitors until June 2027.

Information to Von Parish Costume Library in Nymphenburg

Filmmuseum München – Screenings
Tuesday / Wednesday 6.30 pm and 9 pm
Thursday 7 pm
Friday / Saturday 6 pm and 9 pm
Sunday 6 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 stadtmuseum(at)
E-Mail filmmuseum(at)

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