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Art & Art History Research Guide


Welcome to the Art & Art History Research Guide.
Encyclopedias & Dictionaries: for background information
  • Oxford Art Online
    • Online access to four Art Reference works: Grove Art Online; The Oxford Companion to Western Art; Encyclopedia of Aesthetics; & The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Entries are detailed and extensive. There are also many images here.
  • Credo Reference
    • Online access to several Art reference works including: The Bloomsbury Guide to Art; The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art & Artists; and the Bridgeman Art Library Archive. Entries are mostly brief overviews. Some images included. Choose "Art" from the drop down menu on the first page to limit your search.
  • Dictionary of Art Historians
    • A scholarly online database designed to give researchers a beginning point to learning the background of major art historians of western art history.
  • Encyclopedia of Artists [In Print: Reference 709.22 EN 19 Vols. 1-6]
    • Published in 2000, this 6 volume encyclopedia provides detailed biographies of hundreds of artists from all over the world and throughout time.
  • Larousse Encyclopedias of Art [in Print. Published in the 1960s)
    • Modern: 3rd Floor, Berman Books: 709.034 H985
    • Renaissance and Baroque: 3rd Floor, Berman Books: 709.03 H895
    • Byzantine and Medieval: 3rd Floor, Berman Books: 709.02 H996

Art 160 Resources: Print Mythology & Biblical Reference Sources

  • Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend [Reference 291.13 M534 2004]
  • The Macmillan Illustrated Encyclopedia of Myths & Legends [Reference 291.13 C827 M]
  • Mythology: A Visual Encyclopedia [2nd Floor Folio 291.13 F779]
  • An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Mythology [2nd Floor Folio 291.13 IL, 1984]
  • International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [Reference 220.3 1979, 4 Volumes]
  • The New Encyclopedia of Christian Martyrs [Reference 272 N42]
  • Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art [Reference 704.903 EN 19]
  • Anchor Bible Dictionary [Reference 220.3 AN21 -- 6 Volumes]
  • Facts on File Dictionary of Classical, Biblical and Literary Allusions [Reference 803 L336]
  • Atlas of the Bible [Reference 220.93 G895]

Books: for images and scholarly research

Use the Library Catalog to search for books on a particular Art related topic, starting with a general "Words or Phrase" search to see what you can find. Make sure to note which location the book is found in. Art Books in Myrin Library are located in three main areas:

  • The Art Folio room on the 3rd Floor
  • The Berman Books collection, which is in the Quiet Study Area on the 3rd Floor
  • the Main Stacks on the third floor.

If you are not having much luck with the keyword search, you can use a "Subject" search by choosing that tag from the drop down menu on the main search page to hone in on a specific topic. This can be tricky, but here are some examples of what you can use (the links will take you directly into the catalog with the search results for these subject terms):

To search by Time Period or Location, Using the Subject Headings, try things like this:

For Photography, try:

Browsing

You can certainly browse online, but sometimes going up to the stacks can yield some surprises. Art books are located at call numbers in the 700s. If you want to browse in the three areas for Art Books in the Library, the 750s are specific to painting; the 740s are specific to drawing; and the 730s are specific to sculpture. It's best to look up books in the catalog first so that you can then browse around next to the specific call number for that book to find more like it.

Photography books are found in the 770s.


Journal Articles: for scholarly research

Perhaps the most important resource Art History majors need are scholarly (and often peer-reviewed) journal articles. These can be difficult to find, especially if you rely on the open web. Instead, start in some of these databases to find art-related journal articles. If you find a record for something that isn't full text, you'll need to use InterLibrary Loan to request it.

  • Academic OneFile
    • The best place to start to look for scholarly journal articles and popular magazine articles on art-related topics. Not everything is full text so you will need to InterLibrary Loan what you can't get here. Full-text Art Journals included in this database are:
      • Art Bulletin (1994 - present)
      • Art in American (1993 - present)
      • Art Journal (1993 - present)
      • Parachute: Contemporary Art Magazine (1996-2006)
      • C: International Contemporary Art (1996-present)
  • Art Index
    • The most comprehensive resource to search for Art related topics, this database includes records for all art-related journals. This database is NOT full-text, however.
  • Lexis-Nexis
    • This database includes hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles that will give you information on exhibitions and contemporary artists. Coverage is generally back to the 1980s and is ALL full-text.
  • JSTOR
    • Our current collection of JSTOR journals does not include very many Art journals. However, it is still worth searching in here to see what is available, as it is all Full-Text and all scholarly.
  • Project Muse
    • Contains the journal Leonardo from 2001-present

Online Sites: for images (mostly)
  • ARTstor [Ursinus Only]]
    • ARTstor is a digital library of nearly 1 million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities and social sciences. Artwork from all time periods and from all over the world is included. To see all the collections, use the "Browse by Collections" feature inside the database.
  • Oxford Art Online [Ursinus Only]
    • Online access to four Art Reference works: Grove Art Online; The Oxford Companion to Western Art; Encyclopedia of Aesthetics; & The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Entries are detailed and extensive. Many images are included here.
  • Berman Museum of Art: Angles on Art [free browse]
    • A selection of digitized images from the Berman Museum's collection. You can browse the images without logging in. If you log in with your Ursinus user name and password, you can create online exhibitions of your own.
  • MoMA: The Museum of Modern Art [free]
    • Website of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
      Founded in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art "is dedicated to being the foremost museum of modern art in the world."
    • The Dadabase is the MoMA's online catalog.
  • Whitney Museum of American Art [free]
    • World renowned museum in New York focusing on 20th-century American art.
  • Tate Online [free]
    • British and International modern and contemporary art. Over 65,000 works online.
    • Click here for the research services offered by the museum.
  • American Association of Museums
    • A directory of links to museums around the country for various types of art, art history and new media resources.
  • Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists [free]
    • Unabridged English translations of Vasari's biographies of Renaissance artists.

Contemporary Art and New Media resources

  • Professor Scranton's de.licio.us page of links tagged with "Art."
  • PBS's "art:21 -- Art in the 21st Century Series" [free]
    • Companion website to PBS's art:21 series which focuses on contemporary artists in the U.S. Intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work.
  • Studio 360 [free]
    • Companion website to "Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen" from WNYC's public radio station. A guide to what's happening in pop culture and the arts.
  • UbuWeb [free]
    • UbuWeb is a completely independent resource dedicated to all strains of the avant-garde, ethnopoetics, and outsider arts.
  • Dia Art Foundation [free]
    • The Dia Art Foundation initiates, supports, presents and preserves art projects. Its collections include works from the 1960s through the present.
  • New Museum of Contemporary Art [free]
    • New art, new ideas.

Citations

The Art Department requires that all students cite their resources.

Here's a guide to using the MLA style. Note that you must provide citations also for images!

Here's a guide to using the Chicago style, which uses footnotes.

Both the MLA style guide and the Chicago style guide are on reserve at the Circulation desk in Myrin Library.


Grad School/Career Resources
  • College Art Association
    • The College Art Association supports all practitioners and interpreters of visual art and culture, including artists and scholars, who join together to cultivate the ongoing understanding of art as a fundamental form of human expression. Representing its members’ professional needs, CAA is committed to the highest professional and ethical standards of scholarship, creativity, connoisseurship, criticism, and teaching.

Updated February 2009