Subject Guide for Visual and Performing Arts
Databases and Online Resources for Researching in the Arts
Library Online Catalog Search for print and e-books within our holdings!
WorldCat Connecting thousands of libraries’ collections in one place, WorldCat.org makes it easy for you to browse the world’s libraries from one easy search box!
ARTstor More than 2 million high-quality images for education and research from a wide variety of contributors around the world.
Grove Art Online (Oxford Art Online) Foremost scholarly art encyclopedia, covering both Western and non-Western art. It contains over 45,000 articles visual arts, over 21,000 bibliographies, and thousands of images.
JSTOR Articles from a range of subject areas, including language and literature, philosophy, African American studies, and classical studies.
EBSCO EBSCO is a vendor that provides many of the databases used at Landman Library. Using this link will search across all our resources with EBSCO (includes Academic Search Ultimate, Sociology Source Ultimate, and Art Index)
EBook Central Browse and access thousands of ebook titles.
The New York Times The library has a subscription to The New York Times website.
Wiley Online Library Wiley offers an exceptional portfolio of over 1,600 journals covering the full spectrum of life, health and physical sciences, social science and the humanities, and includes many titles ranked at the forefront of their field.
OpenBibArt reviews the literature on arts from Late Antiquity to the present day, providing access to close to 1.2 million of bibliographic records of periodicals, books, exhibition and auction catalogues, published between 1910 and 2007
Conducting Art Research
Types of Resources in Art Research
- Primary Resources: writings from / by the source: statements, articles, manifestos, etc.
- Scholarly Journals, Trade Magazines, Newspapers
- Film Quarterly; Sight and Sound; Wall Street Journal
- Books (and some eBooks; many useful books are found in print, so come browse the stacks!)
- Exhibition Catalogs, Catalog Raisonnés
- Open Access (free) and Online Special Collections
- The Internet Archive; Museum, Special Collections and Artist websites
- OpenBibArt reviews the literature on arts from Late Antiquity to the present day, providing access to close to 1.2 million of bibliographic records of periodicals, books, exhibition and auction catalogues, published between 1910 and 2007
Keys to Successful Research… and Papers
- Start Early, Gather Lots: make sure you have a solid topic, and lots of good sources
- Search Terms: keep a running list, including narrower, broader, and related terms
- Scale Your Search: zoom in, out, and look to both sides of your research topic
- Look in a lot of places: library catalogs, article databases, and Google
- Citations: keep ‘em: use some type of management process or tool (Zotero; RefWorks)
- Find the In-Print Version: go to the library and browse the shelves
- Consider The Source: know where the information that you digest comes from
Evaluating Your Sources
Ask yourself: who wrote this, and what research and sources went into this article or book?
- Read the preface--What does the author want to accomplish? Browse through the table of contents and the index. This will give you an overview of the source. Is your topic covered in enough depth to be helpful? If you don't find your topic discussed, try searching for some synonyms in the index.
- Check for a list of references or other citations that look as if they will lead you to related material that would be good sources.
- Determine the intended audience. Are you the intended audience? Consider the tone, style, level of information, and assumptions the author makes about the reader. Are they appropriate for your needs?
- Try to determine if the content of the source is fact, opinion, or propaganda. If you think the source is offering facts, are the sources for those facts clearly indicated?
- Do you think there's enough evidence offered? Is the coverage comprehensive? (As you learn more and more about your topic, you will notice that this gets easier as you become more of an expert.)
- Is the language objective or emotional?
- Are there broad generalizations that overstate or oversimplify the matter?
- Does the author use a good mix of primary and secondary sources for information?
- If the source is opinion, does the author offer sound reasons for adopting that stance? (Consider again those questions about the author. Is this person reputable?)
- Check for accuracy.
- How timely is the source? Is the source twenty years out of date? Some information becomes dated when new research is available, but other older sources of information can be quite sound fifty or a hundred years later.
- Do some cross-checking. Can you find some of the same information given elsewhere?
- How credible is the author? If the document is anonymous, what do you know about the organization?
- Are there vague or sweeping generalizations that aren't backed up with evidence?
- Are arguments very one-sided with no acknowledgment of other viewpoints?