After that, Ripa and his colleague put on gloves to inspect the dress, took a few photos, and then went to the archive. “I called one of our faculty and former professor who kept telling me the dress existed and that it was in the building to let her know I found it,” he continued. “Of course I found a lot of interesting things in Hartke during my time at CUA, but I think this is the icing on the cake.”
According to CUA, she is working to obtain additional documents to prove the authenticity of the dress. So it contacted curators Ryan Lintelman, Dawn Wallace and Sunae Park. They work at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and other memorabilia are kept.
While the museum’s curators don’t offer monetary ratings of historical objects, they do offer some insight into the costume. To start with, Lintelman told Smithsonian Magazine that there are five other dresses that “make a good claim” to be authentic. The newly discovered dress, the publication goes on, has several features that these costumes share, including a “secret pocket” that Garland kept her handkerchief in and the name “Judy Garland” hand-written on the piece.
According to the CUA, it now plans to store the dress “properly in a temperature and humidity controlled environment”.