This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Art History" guide.
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Last Updated: Aug 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Getting Started Print Page

Related Subjects

Classical Studies


Area Studies


Beginnings - Reference Sources

Selecting Sources (2 min video)  

Oxford Art Online
- Dictionary of Art and the Encyclopedia of Esthetics (and two smaller dictionaries) searchable at once.  The major beginning point for art history research.

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 Librarian

Profile Image
Lee Sorensen
Contact Info
104 Lilly Library
Box 90727
919 660-5994

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