Shatford Library

Shatford Library

Art History

1. Library Catalog - Find Books, Media and Pamphlets

The Library Catalog is a database of books, media, pamphlets and course reserves located in the library's collection. To find resources in the library by subject, you will need a call number which is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification System and leads you to the specific item on the shelf. To find the call number, use the library catalog.  It is helpful to know the Dewey Decimal Classification numbers for art.

700s  The Arts                  740   Drawing
709    Art History              750   Painting
720    Architecture            760   Prints
730    Sculpture                770   Photography

Basic Search

Use the Basic Search to look for an item using keyword anywhere or in a specific field (eg. title field or subject field).

To find information about a person, use the Subject tab and type the person’s name (last name, first). 
To find information on a topic, you can use your keyword search results to identify library subject headings or you can select the Subject tab and type in a library subject heading.

Examples of subject headings:

  • Art -- History
  • Art, Modern -- 20th century -- History
  • Art, Renaissance
  • Art, Ancient
  • Art, Greek -- History

Check related subjects too:

  • Classical antiquities
  • Architecture
  • Sculpture
  • Pottery
  • Bass-relief
  • Michelangelo, Buonorrotti, 1475-1564


To search for a title you have two options: 1. select title from the drop down menu (to search by title keyword) or 2. select from the drop down menu title browse, to search by exact title wording. (Skip the first word of the title if it is an article, e.g. 'a', 'an' or 'the').

To search by author, select the Author tab, then type in the author's last name, then first name, e.g. 'Gardner, Helen'.

Advanced Search

Advanced Search is used to combine topics, select search fields, and use other limitors to narrow a search.    You may want to search for an item using part of a title and selecting the title field from the drop down menu.  Another option is to search by ISBN.

To search by keyword, type in the words you want to search for then select from the menu whether you want to search for all of these, any of these (e.g., Greek OR Greece), or as a phrase (e.g., pop art).

Examples of combined searches:

Search for: greece greek
[any of these words],
Search in:
[ Keyword Anywhere]
Search for: sculpture vases [any of these words],
Search in:
[Keyword Anywhere]

Search for: pop art [as a phrase], Search in: [Keyword Anywhere]
Search for: 1960s sixties
[any of these],
Search in:
[Author Name]

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2. Reference Books

Basically, there are two kinds of reference books: general resources, which are broad in scope and deal with all fields; and specialized resources, which deal with specific disciplines such as Art History. The titles cited below are only a representative sample of many specialized reference books that are available in the library.

Specialized Encyclopedias

  • Atlas of Western Art History    REF 700.223 S 1
  • The Bulfinch Guide to Art History    REF 703 B 3
  • Dictionary of the Arts: Movements, Terms, People    REF 703 D 1
  • The Dictionary of Art     REF 703 D 2
  • Encyclopedia of World Art    REF 703 E 1
  • McGraw Hill Dictionary of Art    REF 703 M 4
  • The Oxford Companion to Western Art    REF 703 O 1-3
  • Art : the World of Art, From Aboriginal to American Pop, Renaissance Masters to Postmodernism REF 709 A 8
  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture   REF 709.38 G 1
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3. Databases and Indexes - Find Articles

  • Start by selecting Databases by Subject and clicking on the "Art and Music" category.
  • ArtStor  More than 300,000 digital images covering many time periods and cultures. Documents the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design.
  • Oxford Art Online Reference resource for all aspects of the visual arts from prehistory to the 1990s.
  • JStor JSTOR Arts & Sciences III is a full text database focused on the arts and humanities. It includes titles from language, literature, music, film studies, folklore, performing arts, religion, and the history and study of art and architecture.  Journal titles include: American Art, Art Bulletin, Art Journal, Burlington Magazine, Leonardo, Master Drawings, Metropolitan Museum Journal, Oxford Art Journal, etc.

    Use Advanced Search option to limit by discipline.. choose Art and Art History

  • Proquest  click on the link "Databases Selected", clear all databases, then select:  Arts Module.  In the Advanced Search (more options section) you may want to select "document type" arts/exhibits review.    Titles include. American Artist, Art in America, Art Journal, Art Forum, etc.
  • Biography in Context  This database includes biographical articles from reference books and periodicals.   Search by artist name or use biographical facts search and select occupation - artist, painter, sculptor, etc.
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4. Resources on the World Wide Web

Finding reliable information on the web can be difficult.
Use the ipl2 site or see recommended websites below.

Art History Resources on the Web
Exploring Themes in American Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

National Gallery of Art
The Artchive

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last updated: 11/18/2010 by P. Johnson revision #2