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Art & Art History: Navigating the Internet

A research guide to finding books, articles, and other resources in Art and Art History

Evaluating Websites

Criteria for evaluating websites include:

  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Coverage
  • Currency
  • Objectivity

Remember to examine websites carefully before using them for research purposes.  If you still aren't sure, ask a librarian or your professor for assistance.

Using Virtual Libraries

Virtual libraries . . .

♦  Provide directories of carefully selected Web resources.

♦  Include annotations (summaries) of the selected websites.

♦  Are usually maintained by librarians or other information specialists.

♦  Furnish the quality control that is lacking in web search engines.

Users can usually browse by subject or search.  For example, see:

Finding Dulcinea: Librarian of the Internet. (If the search feature does not work, try this link.)

See also the Library of Congress's Virtual Reference Shelf, which includes "selected online resources for research," and Alcove Nine: An Annotated List of Reference Websites.

Citing Your Sources

While writing research papers, you may need to:

  List your sources in bibliographies or works cited, and

♦  Provide either footnotes or endnotes.

Here is a link to the UMW Libraries' Guide to Citing Resources.

Navigation Menu

When looking for web resources related to any of the following topics, either click on these links or scroll down:

Directories and Guides

Glossaries, Dictionaries, and Databases

Artists and Museums

Periods

Images

Art Values

Architecture

Themes

News

Google Tricks

Directories and Guides

A comprehensive directory covering dozens of art subjects and historical eras from prehistoric times to the present.
 
A directory of resources compiled by librarians at the Internet Public Library.
 
A directory of resources compiled by librarians at the Internet Public Library.
 
An extensive, annotated subject guide.

Glossaries, Dictionaries, and Databases

This controlled vocabulary database comprises more than 130,000 words, phrases, and related information that researchers in art and art history can use as "preferred" or "authority" terms to describe art and material culture dating from antiquity to the present.
 
These databases aid in determining the owners' names, auction sales, and current location of paintings and other works of art.
 
Comprises more than 1,000,000 names of continents, nations, cities, historical places, and other geographic areas.
 
Provides biographical information and bibliographical references for some 300,000 artists and architects from antiquity to the present.

Artists and Museums

"A comprehensive index of every artist represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives, and other online resources."
 
Provides biographical information on more than 52,000 American artists from the 16th century to the present.
 
Furnishes information on the collections, services, and exhibits of some 200 fine arts museums around the globe. 
 
The Cary collection, at the Rochester Institute of Technology, is "one of the country's premier libraries on graphic communication and history."
 
Includes high-quality art reproductions from worldwide museums and archives.
 
This database of directory listings enables users to find museum galleries and their exhibits in cities around the world.

Winterthur
Website of the "premier museum of decorative arts."  Click here to search the museum's collections.

Images

Provides "images of art and architectural works in the public domain on a free-access, free-use basis."
 
A collection of some 300,000 images that documents numerous artistic traditions and cultures from around the world. (UMW subscribes to this resource; it is not part of the free Web.)

Find Images: Selected Online Museum Collections
"These museums have been selected for the quality and scope of their online collections."
 
A guide prepared by IPL2 librarians.
 
Documents more than 1,000 worldwide structures and their architects with photos, descriptions, commentaries, and bibliographies.
 
Includes images from the collections of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Winterthur
Website of the "premier museum of decorative arts."  Click here to search the museum's collections.
 
A collection of more than 100,000 slides devoted to art history.

Art Values

Find the Value of a Work of Art
Maintained by the Art Institute of Chicago.  Includes a link to the free Blouin Art Sales Index.

Researching Your Art
Maintained by the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  Includes a link to FindArtInfo.com.

Value My Stuff: Expertise for Everyone

Architecture

A collection of digitized images "drawn from across time and throughout the world."
 
Includes some 1,500 images, plus explanatory material.
 
 
A collection of historic American buildings--such as those designed by Frank Lloyd Wright--and engineering structures from the collection of the Library of Congress. Covers 1933 to the present.
 
A collection of resources maintained by librarians at the Internet Public Library
 
Attempts to improve the "knowledge and the safeguard of the techniques and manufactured articles made of plaster, mortar, and artificial stone." The site's headings are: Census, Essay, Glossary, Bibliography, and Forum.
 
Includes images covering "world architecture of all periods together with related subjects such as interior design, landscape, topography, planning, construction and the decorative arts."

 

Themes

Themes include African-American artists, children, Art Institute Icons, portraits, mythology, and artists in Chicago.

News

The "Art Museum Network News" section of this website provides current news from the world's leading art museums.
 
Summarizes articles from more than 200 English-language magazines, newspapers, and other publications.  

Google Tricks

  • Use quotation marks for exact words or phrases.
    • For example, “global warming” (to search global warming as a phrase rather than two separate words).
  • Use an asterisk as a wildcard or a placeholder. 
    • For example, universit* (for university or universities); “a * saved is a * earned”
  • Use OR to search for one word or the other.  Useful for synonyms. 
    • For example, attorneys OR lawyers
  • Use site: to search within a site or domain (no space after colon).
    • For example, “global warming” site:nytimes.com; climatology site:.gov
  • Use a dash to exclude a word or phrase from a search. 
    •  For example, cougar speed –car; “global warming” –site:wikipedia.org
  • Use allintitle: to show results with word(s) in the title (no space after colon).
    • For example, allintitle:“global warming”
      • You can also use allinurl to find websites with words in the URL.
  • Use related: to search for sites similar to ones you know (no space after colon).
    • For example, related:nbc.com
  • Use link: to find sites linked to a particular web page (no space after colon).
    • For example, link:freelancestar.com; link:pbs.org
  •  Use filetype: to restrict results to certain file type (no space after colon).
    • For example, climatology filetype:pdf
  • Use two periods without spaces to search for a number range, such as dates, prices, and measurements.
    • For example, “test scores” 2013..2014; microwaves $100..$300