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Art History: Getting Started

Research Guide for Art History and Visual Studies


Rubenstein Riches

Duke's Rare Book, Manuscript and Special Collections Library has untold unique resources.  Because of the nature of its collections, its riches are not as discernable through the Duke catalog as other material.  In addition to doing a search limited to Rubenstein Library, email or query a special collections librarian for a consult on what may be of interest.  RUBENSTEIN SEARCH

Beginnings - Reference Sources

  • Getty Research Portal - Getty Research Institute's collection of digitized art history texts.
  • Encyclopedia of World Art - (hardcopy) - older, but longer essays on art topics and issue, half of every volume is plates, may in color
  • Pelican History of Art series, Lilly Reference Room, N5300.P38  - the standard English-language history of art. Good beginning source, bibliography for more information

Specialized Reference

Keep in mind that specialized Dictionaries can answer many simple art questions.

Symbol Dictionaries

Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art by Hall, James. (Boulder : Westview Press, c2008.)Lilly Library Ready Reference N7560.H34 2008

Period Dictionaries - Classical

The Grove encyclopedia of classical art & architecture [electronic resource and book]

Decorative Arts

Grove encyclopedia of decorative arts  [electronic resource and book]

Visual Studies Libraran

Lee Sorensen
Box 90727
Lilly Library
Website / Blog Page

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