May 20, 2022

Special Collections: “How Acclaimed Actress Glenn Close’s Extensive Costume Collection Ended Up at Indiana University”

From Indiana University:

Costumes from the Glenn Close collection are kept in acid-free cardboard boxes in a climate-controlled room at the Auxiliary Library Facility at IU Bloomington. Photo by Chris Meyer, Indiana University

Glenn Close’s search for a place to house her more than 800-piece costume collection started with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and ended in an Indiana University building far from the Broadway stages and Hollywood sets where the award-winning actress has built her career.

Close donated her meticulously preserved costume collection to the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design’s Sage Collection in 2017, after first getting involved with IU through her national mental health nonprofit, Bring Change to Mind. During one of her visits to the Bloomington campus, Close toured the Ruth Lilly Auxiliary Library Facility, operated by IU Libraries.

“Glenn’s tour of the Auxiliary Library Facility was the key to her decision to make IU the home for her treasured collection,” said IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, who played a key role in showcasing the campus to the actress. “She saw the quality of the facilities and had a chance to interact with the curators and archivists who would be taking care of her costumes. She knew that she was bringing them to a world-class facility with first-rate professional care, and that these beautiful works of art would be learned about and learned from. It was everything she needed to say ‘yes.'”

The ALF, as it’s often referred to, is unassuming from the outside. It’s constructed of concrete and steel, with only a few light-blocking windows in staff areas. Every aspect of the building’s construction is designed to protect the millions of treasures inside.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.