This paper reports on the human factors considered in the design and implementation of an online digital museum for historic costume. Starting with a thorough elicitation and analysis of the qualitative as well as the functional needs of its users, an evolutionary prototype has been developed for a model of digital archiving that delivers a gratifying web experience, visually and interactively. The prototype is a standards and best practices based information system with the interface designed to be accessible for anyone with World Wide Web experience. Vigilance over the evolution of user needs helps to dynamically develop the system . An online category thesaurus has been developed to enhance the classification of, and access to, images and data about historic costume. It also connects us to the historic costume community by attempting to "grow" an inclusive verbal language. Standards and protocols of the Open Archive Initiative (OAI) and the Museums Online Archive California (MOAC) are being implemented to broaden the user base by making the system portable and extendible.