The rarely exhibited American and European items date from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman said the grant would allow a detailed inventory of the collection for the first time since it was established a century ago. A three-and-a-half year review of the museum's holdings will also document the collection and ultimately provide electronic access to scholars, students and the public, Lehman said.
The Brooklyn collection is generally considered one of the richest and most important costume collections in the world. The grant will allow it to be transferred from various temporary storage spaces to a capacious, climate-controlled off-site location for inventory and digital photography under the supervision of a curator, project director and conservator yet to be appointed, Lehman said.
The photography project will include high-resolution pictures of some 4,000 of the most important works in the collection to support broad electronic dissemination, Lehman said.