Humanities - Art

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This guide presents the major reference books and searching tools that are used to gather information in the Salmon Library on art and art history topics. For assistance in library research please ask at the Reference Desk.

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries & Chronologies

Use these reference resources first for background/general information on your topic.

The Dictionary of Art           Reference N31 .D5 1996

Turner, Jane, ed. The Dictionary of Art. New York: Grove's Dictionaries, 1996.

This new set of 34 volumes, including Index, contain articles with bibliography and cross-references concerning fine arts, decorative arts, and contemporary art forms.

Encyclopedia of World Art    Reference N31 .E533

Myers, Bernard Samuel, ed. Encyclopedia of World Art. New York: McGraw-Hill, [1959-c1983].

Use this reliable source for historical, theoretical, and geographical articles about art, including a bibliography after each article. Black and white photographs are provided for many of the entries.

A Companion to Aesthetics     Reference BH56 .C65 1992

Cooper, David E. A Companion to Aesthetics. Oxford, UK; Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell, 1992.

Confused about all of those "isms"? Use this guide to find more than 130 signed articles and essays on concepts and individuals significant to the study of the philosophy of art. Bibliography included after each article.

Biographical Dictionaries       Reference

Biographical dictionaries located primarily in the reference collection include both prominent and less well know artists. In addition to brief discussion of lives and accomplishments, they can establish dates, list works attributed to the artist, and name schools or movements associated with the artist. Listed below are just a few of the artist dictionaries found in reference:

  • Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists N6536 .C8
  • Who's Who in American Art N6536 .W5
  • International Dictionary of Art and Artists N7425 .I67

Historical Tables                Reference D11 .S83 1973

Steinberg, S. H. Historical Tables, 58 B.C.-A.D. 1972. New York, St. Martin's Press [1973].

What was happening in the world when your artist was creating a masterpiece? For interdisciplinary information about concurrent events in history, consult a chronology. Historical Tables is a chronology of world history arranged in columns to present events in constitutional history, economic history and natural science, and cultural life according to geographical divisions of the world.

The People's Chronology        Reference D11 .T83 1992

Trager, James. The People's Chronology: A Year-by-Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. New York: H. Holt, c1992.

Entries in this chronology are grouped by category. Symbols identify categories of human experience, ranging from political events to artistic achievements.

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Use the Salmon Library catalog ( to find books in the library. A keyword search using geographical locations, such as Italy and Art, or period categories, such as Impressionism, will give call numbers for books in the library. When researching an artist, consider the following examples for library catalog searching and try similar sub-headings for your artist or topic.

  • Art-Renaissance
  • Art-Renaissance--History
  • Art-Renaissance-Italy
  • Art-Renaissance-Italy--History

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Periodical Indexes

Start here to find a scholarly journal article about art. Remember that it will be necessary to check the library catalog to see if journal is held at UAH Salmon Library. Ask a Librarian if you need help!

Expanded Academic Index   Online Database

A multidisciplinary index to more than 1,500 scholarly and popular journals (abstracts and some full text). Approximately 24 art and architecture periodicals are available full text.

Art Index                       Reference N1 .A78

Citations from 268 American and foreign periodicals in the fields of archaeology, architecture, art history, city planning, crafts, graphic arts, industrial design, interior design, landscape architecture, museology, photography & films, & other related subjects.

BHA - Bibliography of the History of Art
Online -  1990-present        
Print - Reference N7510 .B5

Citations and brief abstracts from the current literature of European art from late Antiquity to the present and American art from the European discoveries to the present. The 1990 volume of BHA continues the indexing efforts of RILA (below).

Online - 1975-1989     
Print - N1 Journal area: 1975-1989

The International Repertory of the Literature of Art (RILA), published between 1975 and 1989, abstracts worldwide literature on Western art in all media from late antiquity (4th c.) to the present. Abstracted materials include books, periodical articles, conference proceedings, Festschriften, collected essays, exhibition catalogues, museum publications, and doctoral dissertations.

International Medieval Bibliography Reference D111 .I5

Citations to all aspects of medieval studies from 450-1500. General index lists personal names, place-names, subjects, manuscripts & texts.

Humanities Index                       Reference AI3. H85

Use this index to expand a topic associated with art. Subject fields indexed include archaeology and classical studies, area studies, folklore, history, language and literature, performing arts, philosophy, religion and theology, and related subjects.

Blackwell Synergy                      Online Database

The multidisciplinary online journals service from Blackwell Publishing. It holds the content for over 700 of Blackwell's journals, the majority of which are published on behalf of international scholarly and professional societies. Under "All Journals by Subject", click on "The Arts" to see appropriate journals.

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Illustration Indexes

Quality illustrations enable you to analyze the primary work of an artist. Illustrations may be found in exhibition catalogs or museum catalogs or catalogues raisonne for an individual artist or a period. Search for exhibition catalogs in the library catalog, for example:

  • Chinese painting and exhibitions
  • Impressionism and exhibitions

or use name of museum as an author/name:

  • Museum of Modern Art

or use artist name and exhibitions or catalogues raisonne in keyword:

  • picasso and (exhibitions or catalogue raisonne)

Specific illustrations may also be located through the following indexes:

Illustration Index 5 vols. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1984. REF N7525 .A66 1984 -- Location: S1
These volumes are organized by subject, and can be used to locate pictures in magazines, such as National Geographic or Natural History.

Index to Illustrations of the Natural World: Where to Find Pictures of the Living Things of North America. QL151 .T47 1977-- Location: N3
Use this index to locate pictures of birds, plants, and animals. A scientific name index is included at the back of the book.

Index to Reproductions of American Paintings 3 vols. by Smith and Dustin. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow, 1977. REF ND205 .S575 -- Location: S1
References books and catalogs. Index to artists, works of art, and broad subjects.

Index to Reproductions of European Paintings: A Guide to Pictures in More than Three Hundred Books. REF ND45 .M6 -- Location: S1
Index to artists, titles of works of art, and broad subjects.

Index to Two-Dimensional Art Works, Vol. 1, 2.
REF N7525 .K67 -- Location: S1
References to 250 books published between 1960 and 1977. Vol. 1: Artist Index. Vol. 2: Title-Subject Index

World Painting Index
Metuchen: Scarecrow, 2003 (third supplement). REF ND45 .H38 -- Location: S1
This book, plus the 1977 original work and 1980-1989 second supplement, references books and catalogs published between 1940 and 1999. Includes Paintings by Unknown Artists, arranged by title.

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Super Search

Super Search searches up to 15 different databases and hundreds of online resources from the UAH Library at one time with just one search. As a federated search feature, it provides the user with one interface which serves as a bridge to all the other available information sources (magazine/journal databases, library catalogs, encyclopedias, etc.)

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