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LIBRARY GUIDE TO Art and Art History Pathfinder

Reference books
Literati is a library guide that cites information-- biographies ,history,famous works,styles,genres--from the Credo reference books.This is an important source because of the nunmber of books it uses and its organization.

Adeline's Art Dictionary. (Ref. N 33 .A223 1967)
Includes illustrations and a supplement which brings the book up to date. This edition also includes terms from F.W. Fairholt's Dictionary of Terms in Art.

Key Art Terms for Beginners. (Ref. N 34 .Y46 1995)
Introduces novices to terms used in art galleries and museums.  

Dictionary of Art & Artists. (Ref. N 31 .M8 1965)
Includes terms from the visual arts, ceramics and architecture; excludes terms from theatre, cinema and dance.  

Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms. (Ref. N 33 .L75 2004)
Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. (Ref. N 33 .C575 2001)

Critical Terms for Art History

Art Index. (Index Ref. N 1 .A1 A78; 1929-1984; 1985 online)
Indexes about 200 journals in the fields of archaeology, architecture, art history, arts and crafts, city planning, fine arts, graphic arts, industrial design; arranged by subject. Indexes book reviews and lists reproductions. Searchable online. Click on Art Abstracts.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index.
A "multi-disciplinary index to the journal literature of the arts and humanities," AHCI indexes about 900 journals. Its scope includes articles, letters, editorials, notes, meetings, abstracts, discussions and other aspects of the journals.

Index to Art Periodicals. (Ref. N 1 .A1 C55)
This 11-volume set is a photographic reproduction of the Ryerson (Chicago) Library's card file. Alphabetically arranged by subject. Does not include material appearing in Art Index.  

International Repertory of the Literature of Art (RILA). ( Ref. N 1 .R5; 1975-89)
An "abstracting and indexing service for current publications in the history of art," RILA was published until 1989. It is superseded by BHA, listed below. RILA covered post-classical European and post-Colombian American art. Author, subject and journal indexes included. 

Bibliography of the History of Art: BHA. ( Ref. N 1 .R51; 1991-99)
The successor to RILA (above), BHA "covers the current literature of European art from late Antiquity to the present and American art from the European discoveries to the present.  

Index to Reproductions of American Paintings. (Ref. ND 205 .S575)
Arranged by artist and subject. A typical citation lists the artist, his/her painting, the institution which owns the painting, and abbreviations for the book where the reproduction can be found.

Illustration Index. 3rd - 8th eds. (Ref. N 7525 .I558)
Special emphasis given to costumes, fashion design, and theatrical stage settings. References are also given for geographical entities such as rivers, lakes and oceans and political entities such as countries and states. Excludes ads. Kresge also owns previous editions.

Index to Nineteenth Century American Art Periodicals. (Ref. N 1 .A1 S35 1999)

Humanities Full Text - (Index to journal articles in the humanities)

JSTOR - Full text scholarly articles.

Project MUSE - Indexes 110 full text journals in the humanities.

Art Full Text  Provides access to a wide range of bibliographies, notices of competitions and awards, reports of conferences, exhibition listings, review articles, interviews, and film reviews.
Internet Sites

Internet Public Library: Visual Arts.
Covers drawing, painting, photography and sculpture.

Yahoo's: Arts

Top Categories
Additional Categories

Mother of All Art and Art History Links Pages.
  Some of its links include resourses for visual collections, textual and linguistic resources, image collections, and on-line exhibits.

Voice of the Shuttle: Art (Modern and Contemporary)
Covers these areas:

• General Art Resources
• Modern and Contemporary Art by Artists and/or Movements
• Art History
• Museums, Galleries, Institutes, & Centers
• Auctions
• Art Theory & Politics
• Design
• Art & Technology
• Net Art
• Image Copyright & Intellectual Property Issues
• Journals
• Academic Departments & Programs
• Course Syllabi & Teaching Resources
• Art Therapy


Archives of American Art
" Since 1954, the Archives has collected roughly 16 million letters, photographs, diaries, sketches, scrapbooks, business records, and other documentation that supports the study of the history of the visual arts in America." Here are some links:

  • Collections A-Z
  • Oral History Interviews
  • Finding Aids
  • Special Focus Guides
  • Digital Collections
  • Search Catalogs
  • Recent Acquisitions
  • Exhibits

Art History Network.
This site is good for artists and historical eras.

Provides an index to sites that hold images or information relating to 5,000 artists.

Art History Resources on the Web
This is a great site for regions, time periods and art galleries.

Use this site for on-line journals, image banks, and art movements.

Arts in Victorian Britain
Sites on painting, sculpture, criticism.

Covers the following subjects:

  • Architecture Resources
  • Art and Architecture Programs
  • Art and Architecture Libraries
  • Art Journals Online
  • Artists's Projects
  • Electronic Exhibitions
  • Events
  • General Resources
  • Image Collections
  • Museum Information
  • New Media
  • Organizations
  • Vendor Information
  • The Virtual Ceramics Exhibit

Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Mark Harden's ArtchiveThe archive is arranged by school, such as Impressionism. There are also links to criticisms and galleries.

The Varo Registry of Women Artists

Web Gallery of Art
Contains about 14,000 reproductions.

World Wide Art Resources
Good for movements and biography.

Art Images for College Teaching

WWW Virtual Library: History of Art
This is meta site and covers these topics:

If you have a general interest in art history and would like to find images online or learn more about particular artists, the sites below will be of most use to you. (Note specialist suppliers sell books, prints and posters and the online teaching section also includes some material suitable for younger children.)

  • Large Image Collections
  • A-Z Sites devoted to Artists, Schools, Periods, Themes etc.
  • Indexes & Large Collections of Art History Resources

Students of art history should find the sites above useful, but in addition to these, a wide range of more specialised material is available online:

  • University Departments
  • Art History Discussion Lists
  • Libraries
  • Art History Organisations
  • Reference Sites
  • Online Publications
  • Research Tools & Directories
  • Conferences & Events
  • Online Teaching Resources
  • Imaging and Digitization
  • Interdisciplinary Collections
  • Specialist Suppliers
Thematic Essays
The Art Lover's Almanac: Serious Trivia for the Novice and the Connoisseur. (Ref. N 31 .H86 2003)
Signatures and Monograms

American Artists: Signatures & Monograms, 1890-1989. (Ref. N 45 .C37 1990)

Artists' Monograms and Indiscernible Signatures. (Ref. N 45 .C374 1991)

European Artists: Signatures & Monograms, 1800-1990. (Ref. N 45 .C38 1990)

Dictionary of Signatures & Monograms of American Artists. (Ref. N 45 .F35 1988)

The Classified Directory of Artists' Signatures, Symbols & Monograms.    (Ref. N 45 .C36 1976b)

Old Masters:  Signatures and Monograms, 1400-born 1800.   (Ref. N 45 .C39 1996)

Arts in America: A Bibliography. (Ref. NX 503 .A1 A1 A77)
Volumes 1, 2, and 3 are arranged by subject, and volume 4 is an index. Entries are arranged by author and have excellent annotations.  

Fine Arts; A Bibliographic Guide to Basic Reference Works, Histories and Handbooks.    (Ref. N 5300 .A1 E47 1990) 3rd ed.
The scope of this book includes reference books, such as bibliographies and encyclopedias, and the art literature of foreign cultures, including non-western. Each citation is critically annotated. Includes author, title and subject index.  

American Painting; A Guide to Information Sources. (Ref. ND 201 .A1 K4)
Scope is limited to American painters. Organized chronologically and then by individual painters. Entries are annotated.


Career Opportunities in Art. (N 6505 .H35 2001)
Lists the career opportunities that a person with a art education might pursue. Each career lists salary, job prospects, work and promotion prospects.

The Artist's Resource Handbook. (N 6505 .G72 1994)
Chapter One covers career assistance.

A.L.A. Portrait Index. (Ref. N 7620 .A2 1964)
Reprint of 1906 edition, 3 volumes. Indexes 120,000 portraits of 49,000 people. Provides dates of birth and death, and volume and page where the portrait can be found. Excludes portraits in local histories and genealogies.  

Portrait Register. (Ref. N 7620 .L4)
Lists 8,000 portraits with indications of private or institutional ownership in the U.S. Arranged by subject and painter. 

Index to Reproductions of American Paintings. (Ref. ND 205 .S575)
Arranged by artist and subject. A typical citation lists the artist, his/her paintings, the institutions which own the paintings, and abbreviations for the books in which the reproductions can be found. 

Who's Who in Art. 1968-1977 (Ref. N 40 .W6)
This book is "principally concerned with British artists" and includes "only a representative selection of the most outstanding contemporaries." Also lists academies, groups and societies, signatures and monograms, and obituaries.

Who's Who in American Art. 1962-1992 (Ref. N 6536 .W5)
"Profiles 10,700 contributors to the visual arts field in the U.S., Canada and Mexico." There is also a Professional Classification Index and a Necrology.

Biographical Dictionary of Artists
Covers all major western artists.

The Bloomsbury Guide to Art
Also good for subjects

Contemporary Artists. (Ref. N 6490 .C6567 1983)
International in scope. Entries lists a short biography, individual exhibitors and publications by and about the artist.

World Artists, 1950-1980 & World Artists, 1980-1990. (Ref. N 6489 .M37 1984 & Ref. N 6489 .W67 1991)
Valuable for their currency and for the long narratives that they provide, entries also list exhibitions, collections and bibliographies for additional reading.

Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers. (Ref. N 6536 .F5 1986)
A newly-revised, enlarged and updated edition of Mantle Fielding's original 1926 publication.  

Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists. 6th edition. (Ref. N 6512 .C854 1994)
Listing of artists including such information as where they studies, with whom, teaching experience and more. 

North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. (Ref. N 6503 .N67 1995)
Includes women artists from about 1960 on who made a "serious professional commitment to the visual arts." Includes 100 illustrations of art works.  

Lives of the Great Twentieth Century Artists. (Ref. N 6489 .L83 1999)
Arranged by subject, e.g., Cubism, and then by artist, e.g., Picasso. Entries are 3-4 pages.  

Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart.    (Ref. N 40 .T4)
This set is allegedly the most complete dictionary of sculptors, engravers, painters and architects. Entries in German, vary from a half-page to several pages. Includes bibliographies.

Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs de Tous les Temps . . .  (Ref. N 40 .B47 1976)
Covers artists from 5th century B.C. to the mid-twentieth century. Includes both Eastern and Western art. Entries vary in length from a few lines to several columns. In French.

Prestel Dictionary of Art and Artists in the Twentieth Century.   (Ref. N 33 .P75 2000)

Artists from Latin American Cultures. (Ref. N 6502.5 .C657 2002)

A to Z of American Women in the Visual Arts. (Ref. N 6505 .K59 2002)


The American Art Directory. (Ref. N 50 .A54)
Scope includes museums, libraries and associations in the U.S. and Canada; national and regional organizations in U.S. and Canada; art schools (U.S. & Canada) and "Art Information" listing art magazines and art schools abroad.

Guide to Art Museums. (Ref. N 510.5 .M5 B4)
Kresge Library owns the Midwest edition. Provides information on addresses, survey of holdings, and dates open.

ARTstor - A nonprofit digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences with a suite of software tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes.

Bridgeman Art Library Archive

Dan Ring
Dan Ring The content of this guide was originally curated by Dan Ring.


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