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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



Oxford Reference Online - Art and Architecture
- group of electronic dictionary sources published by Oxford U Press.  Basically short definitions.

Getty Research Portal - Getty Research Institute's collection of publicly-accessible digitized art history texts in the public domain.

Encyclopedia of World Art - hardcopy only
- older, but longer essays on art topics and issue  + half of every volume is plates, may in color; - older

Pelican History of Art (series) Lilly Reference [various titles depending on period] Lilly N5300.P38
- the standard English-language history of art.  Continuously updated.  + extra images; good beginning bibliography

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

Artists Biographical Dictionaries

Dictionary of Atists "Benezit." [electronic resource] and hardcopy, 14 vols.  Paris: Grund, 2006, N40 .D5213 2006   

Period Dictionaries

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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