Judy Garland's 'Wizard of Oz' Dress Gets Proper Preservation After Being Found in Trash Bag
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Matt Ripa, a drama lecturer at the private Washington, D.C. school, reveals in a press release how he found the famed blue and white garment the actress donned in the iconic 1939 movie classic.

AceShowbiz - A dress once worn by Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" has finally been located - stuffed in a shoebox inside a trash bag.

The famed blue and white garment the actress donned as Dorothy in the iconic 1939 movie classic vanished just a year after it was gifted to officials at the Catholic University of America (CUA) in 1972, but it was recently found by Matt Ripa, a drama lecturer at the private Washington, D.C. school.

Explaining how he made the grand discovery, he wrote in a Catholic University press release, "I had looked in our archives, storage closets etc. to no avail. I assumed it was a tall tale."

However, he eventually found the costume, which had been bundled up in a trash bag, "I was curious what was inside and opened the trash bag and inside was a shoebox, and inside the shoebox was the dress. I couldn't believe it."

"Needless to say, I have found many interesting things... during my time at CUA, but I think this one takes the cake."

University bosses have since confirmed the gown will now be properly preserved and stored.

"It can now be preserved in proper storage in a temperature - and humidity - controlled environment so that hopefully, for many more years, it can be a source of 'hope, strength and courage' for Catholic University students."

In a note on Instagram, CUA leaders wrote, "In 1973, Catholic University's @cuatower newspaper wrote about a gift to Catholic University meant to be a source of 'hope, strength, and courage' to students. The gift was a dress that is believed to have been worn by Judy Garland in 'The Wizard of Oz'."

"It was given to Rev. Gilbert Hartke, illustrious head of the drama program, by actress Mercedes McCambridge, who served as artist-in-residence at CatholicU in 1972."

"For many years, it was rumored that the dress was still located in Hartke, the building named after the priest, but no one knew exactly where. While preparing for some renovations last month, Matt Ripa, M.F.A. 2008, lecturer and operations coordinator for the @cua_drama in @cuamusicdramaart, rediscovered Dorothy's Dress [sic]."

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