Art and Art History Subject Guide
Humanities Liaison Librarian
Research in art and art history can range from finding an illustration of an artwork to gathering dozens of books and journal articles on a topic.
In many cases, a good place to start your research is with The Grove Dictionary Of Art Online , an encyclopedia of art history. Grove Art will give you a good solid background on an artist, art movement, or technique, and will also provide links to illustrations on the web, as well as a bibliography for further reading.
Searching TIGER by keyword or subject is often the fastest way to find books about your topic.
For books that we don’t own here at Colorado College, or books that are checked our or otherwise unavailable, use Prospector - Colorado Unified Catalog . You’ll find books (and CDs, DVDs, etc.) in libraries across Colorado that you can request and have sent to the Tutt Library circulation desk where you can check them out.
For books not available in TIGER or Prospector, you can request through Interlibrary Loan via WorldCat .
Please ask a librarian if you need help with TIGER, Prospector, or WorldCat.
Books about art are assigned call numbers that start with an N. The usual place in the Tutt Library for N call numbers in the north basement. However, because so many art books are oversized, don’t forget to look in the N call numbers in the oversize section on the third floor.
Here is an overview of the N call numbers:
- N: Visual arts
- NA: Architecture
- NB: Sculpture
- NC: Drawing, Design, Illustration
- ND: Painting
- NE: Print media
- NK: Decorative arts
- NX: Arts in general
The two best sources for finding articles on art and art history are Art & Architecture Complete and Bibliography Of The History Of Art . Students of Asian art will want to try Bibliography Of Asian Studies , as BHA doesn’t cover Asian art.
Complete list of databases for art and art history
- AccuNet/AP Multimedia Archive
- Coverage: 1826 - current
- Over one million photographs provided by the Associated Press.
- Art & Architecture Complete
- Coverage: 1980 - current
- Provides indexing and abstracts for more than 730 academic journals, magazines and trade publications with full text for over 330 periodicals and 215 books, as well as selective coverage for over 70 publications, and an Image Collection of over 64,000 images.
- Art Index Retrospective
- Coverage: 1929 - 1984
- Indexes hundreds of international art journals. See Art & Architecture Complete for more recent articles.
- Coverage: Prehistory - current
- Hundreds of thousands of digital images with descriptive information covering painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, architecture, and design, as well as many other forms of worldwide visual culture. Save groups of images for later use in ARTstor, or download or print to use in class projects, presentations, and papers. First-time users must register for an account from a computer on campus.
- Bibliography Of The History Of Art
- Coverage: 1973 - 2010
- Covers Western art from Antiquity to the present. Indexes more sources than Art Abstracts, but does not cover Asian art, and does not have full text articles. No longer updated.
- Coverage: 1999 - current
- Critical reviews of books, exhibitions, and projects in all areas and periods of art history and visual studies. Published by the College Art Association.
- The Encyclopaedia Of Islam
- Coverage: historical
- Offers basic searching of the full-text of nearly 12,000 pages of volumes I to XI and Supplement (Volume XII) of the print edition.
- Encyclopedia Of Aesthetics
- Provides coverage of historical accounts and critical discussions of aesthetics. Part of Oxford Art Online
- The Grove Dictionary Of Art Online
- Coverage: N/A
- Comprehensive online reference source for all aspects of the visual arts worldwide from prehistory to the present day. The online version of the Grove Dictionary of Art (Tutt Reference, N31.D5 1996). Now part of Oxford Art Online.
- Humanities International Complete
- Coverage: 1929 - current
- A comprehensive humanities database, with almost 500 full text titles and indexing and abstracting for more than 1,700 titles. Subject areas include (but are not limited to) literature, philosophy, the arts, history, culture-oriented and multi-disciplinary humanities titles with some coverage going back as far as 1929. This database replaces Humanities Abstracts.
- Index Islamicus
- Coverage: 1906 - current
- Indexes books, journal articles, conference proceedings about Islam, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Includes the other main Muslim areas of Asia and Africa, plus Muslim minorities elsewhere.
- International Bibliography Of Art (IBA)
- Coverage: 2008-current
- Bibliographic database of international scholarly literature on western art. Subjects include fine arts in all media, decorative arts, museum studies, archaeology, folk art, material culture, classical studies, antiques, and architectural history. IBA is the successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA).
- National Network For Artist Placement
- Over 700 organizations and more than 2,500 current listings, updated monthly, weekly, daily, in every art discipline: arts institutions, dance companies, museums, galleries, filmmakers, theatre companies, and music organizations throughout the nation. This title replaces National Directory of Arts Internships. (See reference librarian for username and password.)
- Oxford Islamic Studies Online
- Coverage: varies
- Collection of authoritative reference works on Islam and global Islamic history, peoples and culture. Includes Quranic studies, timelines, maps, art, and learning resources.
Online journal archives
Unlike the subject-specific article databases, these online journal archives don’t concentrate on any one academic subject. Instead, they take leading journals from many fields, or all the journals from one publisher, and provide extensive archives of the full text of those journals online, usually in the form of PDF files.
- Coverage: varies; usually late 1990's to current
- Searchable collection of full text periodicals. Scholarly sources.
- Coverage: late 1800's - most recent 0-5 years
- Archival access to many scholarly periodicals. Some titles include current issues while others have a moving wall imposed on them.
- Oxford University Press Journals
- Coverage: varies; usually late 1990's - current
- A searchable collection of full text periodicals. Scholarly sources.
Periodicals Archive Online
- Coverage: 1665-2000
- Online periodical archive containing the digitized backfiles of periodicals in the humanities and social sciences.
- Project Muse
- Coverage: varies
- Project Muse Standard Collection of core scholarly titles from John Hopkins University. Offers current and back issues. Please note: we do not subscribe to the Premium Collection. We have access to most, but not all, Project Muse titles.
Finding Art Images
Art research isn’t just about words, of course. When you need to find art images, try one of these sources.
- ARTstor : ARTstor is a great source for art images, especially for older works. Be aware that the size of the image downloaded is limited, and won’t be the full-size, zoomable image you see in ARTstor.
- The Grove Dictionary Of Art Online : You can search directly for images by choosing the image search on the home page, or look for “Image Links” and “Illustrations” links on the pages for individual artists.
- Art History Resources on the Web is a huge list of sites on the free, open web for art and art history, compiled by a professor of art history at Sweet Briar College, VA.
- The Colorado College Art History Image Database is an image database maintained by the Art History Department.
- Scan images from books at the CAT Lab, located in the Learning Commons of Tutt Library.