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Art History

This is a general guide to resources for art history research.

About this Guide

Research Guide for Art History

Self portrait of a youthful Frida Kahlo depicted in front of rolling blue waves in a rust colored velvet wrap with gold designed collar.


Here you will find resources to help you with your art history research. Use the side navigation to find:

  • Resources to find background information on your topic
  • Places to find books in print and online
  • Databases for locating scholarly and peer reviewed journal articles, reviews, and newspaper articles
  • Sources for finding high quality images
  • Resources for citing your sources and writing in architecture

If you need assistance identifying additional resources, search terms or strategies, you can book an appointment at, or email me at

Image: Frida Kahlo, Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress, 1926. Oil on canvas.

Best Bets for Art History Research

Background Resources

Journal Articles


Tips for Beginning your Research

Beginning your Research

If you don't know where to start, or even if you do, it's always a good idea to read some background resources on the topic you wish to write about. Not only can they help you get a broad overview of your topic, but because they often include a bibliography of key resources on the topic to help you build your argument. Resources like Oxford Art Online, and the Metropolitan Museum's Heilbrunn Timeline of the History of Art are excellent sources to consult when because their articles offer encyclopedic, but benefit from the fact that they are written by scholars in the field.


A Note on Wikipedia

Another great resources to keep in mind is Wikipedia. While you can't cite Wikipedia because articles on the platform can edited by anyone and the content always in flux, the quality of Wikipedia articles is comparable to that of many scholarly encyclopedias. Furthermore, Wikipedia provides useful citations and external links that you can cite! Finally, because Wikipedia articles can be edited instantly, you are more likely to find information on research conducted in the last year than you would find in a scholarly encyclopedia that requires a lengthy peer review process to be published.


Museum Collection Databases

Another place to find information about the object your researching are museum collections databases. For many objects they may be the only place that references your particular object. Mining museum databases for information about object's creator, period of creation, and related contextual information can be a great first step to finding keywords to use in your searching. Occasionally these databases even provide further reading.

fragment of a woman's face (sculptural fragment)


Keywords Derived from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Collections Database:

Fragment of a Queen's Face, ca. 1353 - 36 B.C. Yellow jasper. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Artist/Creator: Unknown
Movement/Style/Period: New Kingdom, Amarna Period

Technique: Sculpture
Culture/Religion/Reign: Rein of Akhenaten