Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Uploaded

Few monarchs of the past hold the iconographic power of Queen Elizabeth I. Gloriana. The Virgin Queen. With her halo of red hair, ropes of jewelry and parade of fabulous gowns, she is defined by her clothing and accessories to a greater extent than almost any other English ruler. A fascination with her costume, and the dress of her era, has remained through the 18th century, Victorian times, and to this very day. Many books have been written about it, including the comprehensive and detailed masterwork by Janet Arnold, Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Unlock'd.

This project was based, in part, upon the extensive analysis of Queen Elizabeth's wardrobe accounts, specifically upon the manuscript MS Egerton 2806 held by the British Library. Unfortunately, though Arnold had transcribed the manuscript for her own use, it has never been published...until now.

Queen Elizabeth's Wardrobe Uploaded holds documentary evidence for what the Queen, her ladies and waiting, servants and others of her court wore that I have transcribed over the last decade from original manuscripts from the Public Records Office and the British Library.

After much consideration, I have decided to make these manuscripts freely available online to other researchers. My hope is to encourage and help others, across a wide range of disciplines, who are doing research on the dress and material culture of this area by making the text of these warrants available in easily searchable and browsable form.

Areas of the site are still being improved. The glossary is being expanded and fleshed out. Synonym searching and sound-like searching, which makes it easier to search the whimsically spelled accounts of 400 years ago, is being improved. In addition I am currently working on transcribing additional wardrobe accounts from 1588-1603, which I plan to add as they are finished.