Art Library Research

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Art Full Text 1984-
Full text since 1997, with abstracts since 1994, of selected articles from international peer-selected publications in the visual arts. Indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in the indexed periodicals.

Art Index 1984-
Citations to articles from international peer-selected publications in the visual arts, architecture, archaeology, crafts, design, etc. Indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in the covered periodicals.

Art Retrospective 1929-1984
Citations to articles from leading English-Language, French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Dutch periodicals in the visual arts; also selected yearbooks and museum bulletins. Records 55 years of art journalism.

ARTbibliographies Modern 1974-
Abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, reviews, and dissertations on all forms of modern and contemporary art, photography and design.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index 1994-
Art, Dance, Film, Theatre, English, Language & Literature.

Bibliography of the History of Art 1973-
Abstracts of multilingual publications in the visual arts and material culture of Europe and the Americas from late antiquity to the present. Multilingual search interface.

Dictionary of Art Online (Oxford Art Online)
A comprehensive visual arts encyclopedia, with full text of The Dictionary of Art (1996), regularly updated coverage, articles and bibliographies. Searchable art images and maps; links to other art resources; lesson plans, timelines, and thematic guides.

Gale Virtual Reference Library 1993-
Cross-searchable database of over 300 recent reference titles. Contains many multivolume encyclopedias in a variety of subject areas, including the arts.

Humanities Full Text 1984-
Art, Classics, Dance, Drama, Film, Theatre, English, Language & Literature, Media Studies, Philosophy.

JSTOR 1870-
500+ core journals in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Cover-to-cover full-text from a journal's first issue until about five years ago.

New York Times Historical 1851-2004
Full-page and full-article images, with searchable full-text from its first issue. Provides access to every page of the newspaper for the years covered.

Oxford Art Online
Gateway for art research, provides access to Dictionary of Art Online (Grove Art Online), The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.

Oxford Reference Online Premium 2002-
Subject-based encyclopedias and dictionaries in many areas. Includes timelines, thesauri, and English, bilingual, and foreign language dictionaries.


Other Library Catalogs

All Databases


AP Images
Photograph collection from the Associated Press. US domestic, international, financial news, sports and entertainment, in current and historical images, graphics, audio and publicity. Includes searchable Event Calendar.

Digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences, with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and teaching.

NYPL Digital Gallery
Over 600,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.

NYPL Mid-Manhattan Library Picture Collection Online
Over 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923.

Google Images

AltaVista Images

Search Engines

Coming Soon

How to research a work of art

Do First

See the original artwork, if at all possible – view/examine it carefully.
Take notes on your observation. You may wish to pay attention to subject matter, materials and techniques, physical condition, form and style (elements such as line, shape, contrast, color, and their organization in terms of composition, balance, rhythm, proportion, unity, etc.).
If the work is in a public collection, note its identification from the information label, including accession number.
Download an image of the art work or buy reproduction (postcard) in the museum shop if possible.

QC Art Library website

Best: Search by keyword in all fields - e.g. “[artist’s first name] and [last name]”
If the artwork is famous, you may include word(s) from its title - e.g., “manet and olympia”


In Art Library

Art Reference collection: dictionaries, encyclopedias, museum collection catalogs (with accession number, can often search in museum’s published acquisition records)

Circulating collection: includes monographs on artists, catalogs, contextual material

Pamphlet collection: includes many exhibition catalogs; organized by Subject and Artist name (e.g., Art Deco; Rubens; Textiles; Warhol)

Indexes/Abstracts (on Index table) to identify articles, exhibition catalogs, books, dissertations, reviews:
Design & Applied Arts Index 1987-
RAA (Repertoire d'Art et d’Archéologie) 1973-1989
RILA (International Repertory of the Literature of Art) 1975-1989


Digital image collections (most are searchable by artist)

Art Library materials:

Picture Collection: organized by Medium (e.g., Painting) — Country (e.g., United States) — Century (e.g., 20th century)
To locate an artist, look in the wooden drawers on top of cabinet under the artist’s last name

Slide Collection: organized similarly as Pictures
Ask for assistance at Art service desk to allow access

Published indexes to art reproductions (in Art Reference)

Museum catalogs (in Art Reference and circulating collections)

Artist monographs and catalogs (in Art circulating collection)

Additional materials for background and contextual information, if desired, Please see a librarian.


Library Hours

Monday – Thursday
9 AM – 8 PM
Friday 9 AM – 5 PM
Saturday & Sunday
11 AM – 6 PM
Closed all major holidays.
Hours vary around holiday breaks.

QC Libraries hours
QC Art Center

Quick Links


Rosenthal Library
Level Six
65-30 Kissena Blvd.
Flushing, NY 11367
718.997.3770 // tel
718.997.3536 // fax

..Queens College Art Library, 2010.