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This page highlights key resources for conducting effective research in theatre

Online Image Resources

Large repositories of art images

Select museum collections

Digital museum collections are a great place to find high-quality reproductions of works of art, as well as all the information you need to properly caption your images. Below you will find a selection of museums (and a couple of libraries too), which have strong digital collections online. 

References for Art

These other research guides by Barnard Librarians have more information on research in the arts and archives


These online reference works contain both information about artists and artworks, as well as further resources

On-Campus Image Resources

Avery Library

Columbia's Avery Art & Architecture Library has over 625,000 volumes of art and art-related books. None of Avery's books are allowed to be checked out, which means they'll generally be easily available to browse. Search for Avery's books in CLIO, or browse their stacks

photograph of the front of the Avery library

Interior of Avery library


Searching CLIO and Browsing the Stacks


CLIO (Columbia Libraries Information Online) is the online catalog of the Columbia University Libraries, including Barnard Library, but excluding Teachers College and the Law Library.

Catalog Search Tips:
  • Use catalog records to identify useful subject headings such as Illustrated books or Pictures
  • Substitute different century numbers, country names, or art movement as needed
  • Remember you can limit search results to items physically held at Barnard or Avery
  • Use keyword searches to locate items, and then go to the stacks and browse those items as well as the ones nearby
Browse the stacks using the Library of Congress call number ranges:
  • GT Manners and customs (including Costume, Dress, and Fashion)
  • N Fine Arts
  • NA Architecture
  • NB Sculpture
  • NC Drawing, design, and illustration
  • ND Painting
  • NE Print Media
  • NK Decorative Arts
  • NX Arts in general
  • TR Photography
  • TT Handicrafts, arts and crafts