Pew Learning Center & Ellison Library

Library Research for Art History

Rene Magritte (The Treason of Images, 1929)

General Background - Artists, Art Terms, Period Styles

  • Oxford Art Online - one of the most comprehensive reference resources for visual art.  
  • Biography in Context - a general biography database;  results will usually include both basic biographies as well as some journal and newspaper articles.
  • Credo Reference - a comprehensive reference resource; this also links to other materials in our catalog and databases.
  •  American National Biography - if your artist is American, this is an additional biography database you can use.   
  • The Heilbrunn of Art History (Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY)
  • Use our catalog to find books & other materials we own.            
  • Use WorldCat to find and request books from other libraries through Interlibrary Loan.

Find Articles for Criticism or Background

Finding an article can involve three steps.

 1. Use Articles & Databases to find articles or citations (see below for suggested databases). If the citation includes the full-text or image, you can get the article right away. If not, go to Step 2.

 2. Use Journal Finder to see if we have the journal you want. Note: this is the step to go to if you *already have a citation* in hand. If we do, get your article from the source. If not, go to Step 3.

 3. Use Interlibrary Loan to request the article from another library. Please allow time.

      Richard Anuszkiewicz (Vital Quadrant, 1965)

Selected Databases for Art History

Image Databases

  • ARTstor - a repository of approximately 300,000 images covering art, architecture and archeology. 
  • CAMIO Art Images - provides rights-cleared, high-quality art images for class projects, art history and studio art programs, course Web sites, lectures, presentations, and research resources.

Internet Sources:


  Suggestions for Citation Management:

   Zotero – this is an excellent citation management tool that functions through Firefox.  Note that you will need to sign up for an account if you intend to use this on public/multiple computers.  Pay careful attention to which version is best for you to download.  This tool integrates into Word or OpenOffice documents, via a plugin available here.

  General Writing & Citation Help:



  • Painless Library Research includes additional information on documentation and plagiarism.                                                  
  • Personal assistance: send me email, call me at ext. 3062, or come see me.                                                                            
  • Tour the library.

   Egon Schiele (Facade of a House, 1914)

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