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PL 234: Home

Art Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

PL 234

How to Use this Guide

  • Start with an encyclopedia or dictionary (box at left) to find biographies and dates of artists, definitions of art terms, background on cultures or styles.
  • Use Subject terms and phrases to help you find relevant books in CBBcat. 
  • Search for scholarly articles or newspaper opinion pieces in databases below. In particular: search for artistic movements and for individual artists in Philosophers' Index.
  • Look for more links under the tabs at the top of the screen.


  • Ask a librarian: Margaret Ericson, Arts Librarian ( or Karen Gillum (

Link to general Art Guide

1-Minute Videos on Library Tips and Techniques



Resources for Finding Articles

  • Art Source
    Art Source is international in scope, and is designed for use by a diverse audience, including art scholars, artists, designers, students and general researchers.
  • ARTbibliographies Modern
    Provides abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art. Entries date back as far as the late 1960s.
  • Bibliography of the History of Art
    From the Getty Research Institute, a comprehensive index (1975-2007) to art books, periodical articles, essays on art, conference proceedings, & dissertations. International in scope, covering all historical periods and cultures.
  • International Bibliography of Art
    Successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art, this new database continues indexing and abstracting of scholarly publications (books, articles, essays, etc.) in all the visual arts from all historical periods in an international context.
    JSTOR is an archive of leading scholarly journals across the humanities and social sciences. The entire corpus is full-text searchable, offers search term highlighting, and is interlinked by citations and references. For most titles, holdings do not include the last 5 years.
Search this database with abstract terms, including "art", artistic movements, and individual artists.
ProQuest Newsstand™ offers access to the full text of over 1300 newspapers, news websites and blogs.
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