140,000 Costume Items Transferred to #DIESE

Monday, November 7, 2022

The Comédie-Française now manage their extensive costume inventory in #DIESE.

The Comédie-Française now manage their extensive costume inventory in #DIESE.

Home to the oldest troupe in the world, Comédie-Française has an inventory going back 350 years. As new clothes and accessories are created, older pieces are transformed, destroyed or sent to the National Performing Arts Costume Centre for archive and preservation purposes.

This requires precise tracking of items use, state and transformation. Even when items are destroyed, sent away or divided into several parts, it is essential that the history of each is kept in memory. Costume designers taking over a production later must be able to find items still in their stock, or to understand the work achieved to work on future adaptations.

The Comédie-Française had been working with #DIESE for 3 years when they asked IT4Culture to help them extracting their inventory from their legacy system – a 30 year-old database left without any export feature or instruction manual.

IT4Culture and the Comédie-Française’s IT department have worked hand-in-hand to extract the database from the system, and to rework data until it could match the #DIESE data structure.

A series of very interesting workshops have led costume teams to decide how they would use #DIESE to carry on the same activities in a new system – taking into account all features #DIESE would add to their daily operations, such as the highly flexible configuration of the tool or the possibility to attach as many pictures as they want.

Today 140,000 items are registered in 1,000 categories, ranging from shirts – the largest category with 7,600 items imported! – to capes, top-hats, liveries, animal tails and many other peculiar pieces which make costume design a fascinating world to work with.

Pic: Centre National du Costume de Scène