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Art History  

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Dive In Print Page

E-brary e-books

Enter  topics,  keywords, authors or titles.

Gale Virtual Reference Library

Searches here may lead you to encyclopedia articles with some mention of your topic or artwork.


Search Tips

When searching for information on specific artworks or artists:

  • It is quite possible that at least one journal article has been written about your specific artwork; try a search combining the artist's name and the name of the artwork.
  • If this is unsuccessful, try searching just for the artist's name, then review the resulting articles. Perhaps your artwork is known by more than one name or spelling.
  • When you find an article you like, look for a link that says "Find it" or "Check for availability" to learn whether we have the journal at the library (full text either online or in print).

Particularly Helpful For ...

While this guide can prove useful for any investigation into art history, Cal Poly Art and Design  students looking for material related to Buddhist Art, particular designers, typographers or typography will be particularly well served.


    Search In Your Discipline

    Find Scholarly Articles & Books in Art and Design

    Once you run a search here you can narrow it even more by checking "topics" boxes in left column.

    Start Here - Search Many Databases at Once

    • EBSCO - Choose ALL their databases
      This link will take you to EBSCO's Academic Search Premier. Above the search boxes in the upper left corner, where it says "choose databases" click and then select all databases. Again, best results come when you select full text and peer-reviewed. However, if you want MORE results you should not limit to these.
    • Articles and Books (BETA)
      Preselected for scholarly content and full-text, this searches for books and articles at once. After a keyword search, you can widen or narrow the limits as you see fit (eg, date-range, format, topic).
    • Proquest - Choose ALL their Databases
      This link will take you to Proquest's ABI/Inform database. In the upper left hand corner, where it says "searching 1 database" click and then select ALL the databases. The best results come when you then select peer-reviewed and full text.

    Find Old Reviews of Art shows/Artists

    Through Proquest Historical Newspapers you can search the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, going way, way back to the nineteenth century! 

    Good Databases to Search One at a Time

    If you're off campus, don't forget to log into your portal before searching the library's databases.

    • Art and Architecture Complete
      Lots of full text and some images for art, architecture, and can help with history or theater and dance.
    • Project Muse
      Project MUSE was launched in 1995 by the Johns Hopkins University Press, to offer the full text of JHUP scholarly journals via the world wide web. In 1999, MUSE published online 46 JHUP titles in the humanities, social sciences.
    • JSTOR
      JSTOR is a full-text database of back issues for more than 130 scholarly journals primarily in the social sciences and humanities. The coverage for each journal begins with volume 1. Because JSTOR is an archival database, issues are not available for the latest 3-5 years.
    • Academic Search Premier
      Many full-text articles, some from core scholarly journals, but others from popular magazines in a wide variety of subject areas.
    • Academic OneFile
      Access scholarly journals, news magazines, and newspapers across a breadth of disciplines.
    • Gale Virtual Reference Library
      Searches many online encyclopedias and reference works at once.

    Getty Bibliography of History of Art

    Beginning April 1, 2010, the Getty Museum offers the online database, Bibliography of the History of Art, for free access.  Formerly a subscribed resource, it is now freely available through their website.

    Subject Guide

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    Brett Bodemer
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    College of Liberal Arts Librarian
    Reference Coordinator

    Robert E. Kennedy Library
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