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ARTH - Art History and Aesthetics

(ARTH 101, ARTH 151, ARTH 201, ARTH 301, ARTH 601, ARTH 602)

The Art History Research Guide

  • Refer to this guide at any point in your art history appreciation, reading, research papers, reference materials, analyzing individual artworks, or a specific artist, trend, technique, or practice. 
  • Includes sources across information formats from books to periodicals, databases, websites, and image collections. 
  • Read more about writing for art history including artist statements, research papers, analysis, and criticism.
  • Guide curation continually evolves to clearly distinguish art historical time periods, trends, styles, trends, artists, and regions.
  • If you don't see something, contact a librarian for additional support.

Art History Information Resources


  • More than a general encyclopedia, specialized styles or historical encyclopedias include detailed entries on artists, styles, or movements alongside cultural context. In addition, rely on these thoroughly researched bibliographies and reference lists within specialized encyclopedias.
  • Monographs - books dedicated to a single artist or catalog raisonne.
  • Museum and exhibition catalogs
  • Search the Library Catalog to reach eBook collections. Specialized digital collections such as Digital Cicognara Library, and Hathi Trust offer full text search of rare and digitized book collections.

Bibiliographies and Historiographies

Journals & Periodicals

  • Art historical periodicals/journals and magazines provide a forum for contemporary interpretation and critique of artists, individual works, exhibitions, and gallery reviews. Search across 1000s journals using indexed and/or full-text databases. See also, Architecture and Design Databases


  • Art historical websites host information from artists' personal websites, through auction houses, podcasts, video records, museums, archives, and image library collections. Major research portals and museum collectionssuch as the Getty Institute provide all types of collections. Read carefully, to understand the contextual results from your keyword search. Use the website navigation and advanced search tools to locate rare collections. Some collections remain behind a paywall or are limited by local servers due to copyright restrictions. 
  • Trace the history of individual works of art through art sales and provenance research 
  • Video and Documentaries 
  • CARTA - Collaborative Art Archive - preserving born digital art; collections of archived web-based content related to art history and contemporary art practice.

See Also, the Visual Resources Guide


Digital Image Collections

Digital Image Collections

Documentaries & Videos

Film Databases:

Journals & Periodicals

Read your favorites with the Magazine Reader, Browzine App,


OER for Architecture, Art, and Design

Open Textbooks for Art History

Course Materials

Art Market and Art Provenance Research

Art markets persistently influence art historical research. They serve as a place forDrawing of a painting auction by Honore Duamier (1808). identification, evaluation, and contextualization when new works or art collections change hands. Art Markets document and define points in history for works of art, artist, or an artistic movement. When artworks come to market, these become dates in the artwork's provenance history. Auction listings and sales contribute to the story of an artwork. Read more about the art market, or dive into  the market research with these sources,

Image: Board Auction by Daumier, Honoré 2/26/1808, Marseille, France, 19.5 × 29.5 cm, paper, chalk
10.2.1879, Valmondois  - CC0.

Art History at Regional Libraries

OER for Art History Courses

Here are some great resources that can be found through OER!

About: Contains full textbooks and course materials created by scholars and professionals in the field. Recommended to do a search for the term “art history,” to see art history specific resources.

About: Contains open textbooks from a variety of sources on a variety of topics in art history.

About: Includes links to a variety of OER, including resources from the Met, Khan Academy, and edX, to name a few.


About: Founded in 2013, this digital library focuses on original books commissioned by the Art Canada Institute. Artists featured include Walter S. Allward, Molly Lamb Bobak, and Shuvinai Ashoona, to name a few.

About: An Open Educational Resources (OER) platform for Digital Arts and Humanities educators and students. Content on dariahTeach is designed to be asynchronously accessed by both lone learners, especially those who do not have access to digital arts and humanities teaching and training, as well as educators who can embed content into their own course offerings.

About: Created by a collaborative group of more than five hundred art historians, curators, archaeologists, and artists, SmARThistory looks to make art history less colonial and more equitable, and all content on the site has undergone an open peer-review process – plus every essay links to its author and their credentials. They do have a textbook that’s recently been released as an OER, though there are mixed reviews from fellow art library professionals and art historians – main detractors state that it is still a work in progress, and not quite ready for the classroom.

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries

Art History Library Catalogs and Bibliographies

Art & Art History Curation

Art Historians, Curators, and Exhibition Designers collect, interpret, and preserve the Arts. This field has a long history of exclusion and lacking diverse representation. Practitioners in the field have published these guides to move forward with more equitable recognition and collection of artists and their creative works

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