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Art History

A research guide for students in the field of Art History.

About Background Information Resources

Finding background information at the beginning of your research is important if you are not an expert in the subject area or not sure from what angle to approach your topic.  Background information can provide:

  • A broad overview of the subject
  • Definitions of the topic
  • Introduction to key issues
  • Names of people who are authorities in the subject field
  • Major dates and events
  • Keywords and subject-specific vocabulary terms that can be used for database searches
  • Bibliographies that lead to additional resources

Spend a little time searching in the resources on this page and you'll be better prepared to find pertinent scholarly articles and write a convincing argument. 

Where to Search for Background Information: Art History

Online Reference Databases:

eReference Books:

Print Reference:

Because the field of Art History is so broad, these titles represent only a small sub-set of our collection. Not sure where to start? Ask a librarian for help!


To find biographies of a specific artist or art critic, try a subject search with the individual's Last name, First name. This will work both in the library catalog and in the online research databases.

Some other places to look for biographical information: