Resources by Subject Art History

Reference Sources (Background)
Locating Books
Locating Articles (Databases & Indexes)
Locating Images
General Websites
Websites for Museums, Collections, Exhibits, and Artists
Evaluating Sources
Citing Sources

Reference Sources (Background)

The following list gives some representative titles relating to art history and is not exhaustive.

ArtLex Art Dictionary (created by Michael Delahunt)
Online dictionary of terms relating to art and architecture. Includes illustrations and examples.

Biographical Dictionary of Artists (1995)
Ref N 40 .B53 1995 
Includes a timeline of artists.

CAMEO: Conservation and Art Material Encyclopedia Online (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
Definitions, images, and technical information for materials used in art and conservation.

Credo Reference (current, full text)
Over 500 reference books and sets from several publishers covering all subject areas.

Dictionary of Art (1996, 34 volumes)
Ref N 31 .D5 1996
Comprehensive coverage from prehistory to present, including architecture, photography, and decorative arts. Entries include bibliographies.

A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques (1969)
Ref N 33 .M36
Entries for terms, techniques, and processes in the creation of art.

Dictionary of Symbols in Western Art (1995)
Ref N 7740 .C29 1995
Entries include cross-references and are illustrated with simplified drawings. Index of artists whose works are mentioned.

Oxford Reference Online: Art & Architecture (current, full text)
Search reference books published by Oxford University Press. Includes A Dictionary of Architecture, The Oxford Dictionary of Art, The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance, A Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Art, among others.

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
Interactive timeline allows you to select a date range and region of the world to see the progress of art. Also includes images, maps, and signed thematic essays with bibliographies.

Locating Books

The Library of Congress Classification for Art is N:

N Visual Arts (General)
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Drawing
ND Painting
NE Print Media
NK Decorative Arts
TR Photography

The library's online catalog, providing access to books, journals, music, and movies in the library.

A catalog of books and other materials in libraries worldwide.

Books and articles not owned by our library can be obtained from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan. Allow sufficient time for processing.  Average turnaround time is 3-5 days for articles and 3-14 days for books, excluding holidays and weekends. Submit ILL requests well in advance of deadlines.

Locating Articles (Databases & Indexes)

OmniFile Full Text Mega (some full text; most 1994 to present, with some 1982 to present)
Articles from scholarly and popular sources in all disciplines.

JSTOR (dates vary by journal, full text)
An archive of over 400 journals in many disciplines.

Bibliography of the History of Art - BHA (1990 to 2007, citations & abstracts)
A bibliography of scholarly writing about the history of western art, indexing over 1200 journals.

Project MUSE (generally late 1990s to present, full-text)
Covering over 300 journals in the humanities, arts, and social sciences.

Dissertations & Theses Global (full text 1997 to present; citations & abstracts primarily 1861 to present, some citations 1637+)
Covers master's theses and Ph.D. dissertations worldwide in all disciplines.

Academic Search Complete (1988 to present, some full-text)
Articles from selected popular magazines and scholarly journals in all disciplines.

Once you know which journals you need, search Journals A-Z to see if they are online or in the library.

Locating Images

An international digital library of approximately 550,000 images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences contributed by museums, individual photographers, scholars, special collections at libraries, and photo archives. View guides for finding images in the areas of architecture, decorative arts, design, Medieval art, photography, and Renaissance art.

Google Art Project
Browse by museum collections and create your own online collections.

Frick Digital Image Archive
High-quality digitized photos of art and other objects from the Frick Collection. Includes highly detailed information on provenance, subject, and many other attributes.

Web Gallery of Art
"A virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture" covering the years 1000–1850.

Art Images for College Teaching (University of Michigan)
Collection of public-domain images for download, focusing on paintings, sculpture, and architecture through the Renaissance, with some more modern images.

General Websites 

Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations
The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO) promotes and supports digital research and teaching across all arts and humanities disciplines.

Archives of American Art (Smithsonian Institution)
Collection of primary sources relating to American art and artists, including diaries, sketchbooks, oral history interviews, and more.

Commercial site searchable by artist, title, or museum, and browseable by period, medium, or other category. Good for finding images from online galleries.

Art History Resources on the Web (Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe, Sweet Briar College)
Portal to resources browseable by time period and region or country.

Google Art Project
Browse by museum collections and create your own online collections.

Internet Archive
Offers permanent access to digital collections, including text, audio, and video. The Wayback Machine lets you see what webpages used to look like.

Medieval Sourcebook (Fordham University)
Provides access to primary sources from the Medieval period, browseable by categories covering geography, religion, and society.

Mother Of All Art and Art History Links (University of Michigan)
Portal with categories for digital image collections, art history departments, and art museums, among others.

Smarthistory: A Multimedia Web-Book about Art and Art History
Designed as a supplement to art history textbooks, browse the site by style, time period, or artist to retrieve both text and downloadable podcasts and videos, which are also available through iTunes.

Web Resources for American Art (Association of Historians of American Art)
Portal to websites on American art, including a timeline, and grouped by historic event, artists, media, and more.

Websites for Museums, Collections, Exhibits, and Artists

The Louvre: Atlas database
English-language catalog of works in the museum's collection, with descriptions and many with photos. Search by title, artist, material, or room in the museum.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Search for information on works in the museum's permanent collection and special exhibitions. Also includes the interactive, searchable Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History.

Walker Art Center
This Minneapolis museum features contemporary art and artists who work in all media. Browse the collections and exhibits or read blogs highlighting contemporary art and new art initiatives.

Classical Art Research Centre and The Beazley Archive (University of Oxford)
Searchable collection of Classical art and artifacts, including pottery, gems, sculpture, and more.

Chinese Ceramics (Pacific Asia Museum)
Learn about Chinese ceramics and their place in China's cultural history. Includes fact sheets on dynasties, symbolism, kinds of ceramics, and "ceramic secrets."

Discovering Buddhist Art (Seattle Art Museum)
Photos, text, and videos of art and artifacts related to Buddhism. Objects are organized in categories (animals, buddhas, manuscripts, etc.). Also includes an interactive map of Buddhist migration.

Pre-Raphaelite Online Resources (Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery)
View pre-Raphaelite art, searchable by artist, title, and date. Works include annotations and information about the artist.

Vincent van Gogh: The Letters (Van Gogh Museum)
Online edition of letters to and from van Gogh. Search by date, correspondent, place, and even see letters with sketches. Includes an image of each letter, a transcription of the text, and translation into English, as well as contextual information.

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating Sources (R-MC)

Is it POPULAR or is it SCHOLARLY? (R-MC)

Critical Evaluation of Resources on the Internet (University of Alberta Libraries)

Citing Sources

The Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab)
Includes information and examples for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.

Citing Full-Text from Library Databases (R-MC)

KnightCite (Calvin College)
Automatically formats citation information according to MLA, APA, or Chicago styles.


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