Fall 2011

Listed in: , as EUST-246  |  German, as GERM-366; Karen R. Koehler (Section 01)

Questions about research in this course? Contact Michael Kasper.

  • Overview
  • Databases
  • Reference
  • Web Resources


One of the best places to start research is in the Five-College Library Catalog. All books are listed by their AUTHORS, TITLES, and SUBJECTS, and you can also use the KEYWORD function to search.
To track down books about particular artists, use both AUTHOR and SUBJECT searching.
To identify books that contextualize your artist, try KEYWORD searching, but keep in mind that it's not likely to yield a complete, or completely relevant, list of locally-owned books on any particular topic. Start your KEYWORD search by typing in a common language characterization of your topic, say "bauhaus weaving", then select titles from the resulting list that interest you, note which official subject headings are assigned to those titles, then click on them to do a more thorough SUBJECT search. SUBJECT searching, as such, requires that you use the exact words or phrases libraries have chosen to describe your topic; for example, libraries list books about weaving at the Bauhaus (and more broadly) under "Hand weaving -- History -- 20th century"; note the way the subject heading is subdivided. Ask at the Reference Desk if you're not sure what words or phrases to use.

Databases: Find articles, book chapters, e-books

Art Abstracts (1984 to present)
Index to leading English-language publications in the world of the arts.

Art Index Retrospective (1929-1984)
Index to leading English-language publications in the world of the arts.

ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) (1974 to present)
Citations to and abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art; some entries date back as far as the late 1960s.

BHA: Bibliography of the History of Art (1973 to present)
Bilingual database on the history of post-classical western art. Also includes RAA (Repertoire d'Art et d'Archeologie) from 1973 to 1989 and RILA (International Repertory of the Literature of Art) from 1975 to 1989.

Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) (1973 to present)
Covers both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts since the mid-19th century.

Historical Abstracts with Full Text (1955 to present)
Scholarly literature about world history since 1450 (excluding the United States and Canada).

International Bibliography of Art (IBA) (1973 to present)
Covers scholarly literature on western art including traditional visual arts as well as new media, architectural history, museum studies and conservation, archaeology, and classical studies.

Performing Arts Periodicals Database (1864 to present)
Covers a broad spectrum of the arts and entertainment industry - including dance, drama, theater, opera, film, television and more.


Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon / Artists of the World
Authoritative, up-to-date biographical information on more than 1 million artists.

Encyclopedia Britannica
Standard general encyclopedia.

Oxford Art Online
Oxford Art Online is the access point for Grove Art Online, and other Oxford art reference works covering all forms of the visual arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic and decorative arts, and photography from prehistory to the present.

Print-Format Reference Works

The Design Encyclopedia. London & N.Y., Laurence King/MoMA, 2004.
A one-volume encyclopedia with brief treatments of individual artists and design groups of the past 130 years or so, focusing on product design; each entry has a short list of further readings. (Ref NK 1370 B93 2004)

The Encyclopedia of Sculpture. N.Y. & London, Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004. 3 vols.
Alphabetically-arranged entries on sculptors, techniques, materials, movements, themes, etc. throughout art history. Most entries have little bibliographies. (Ref NB 198 E53 2004)

Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Architecture. N.Y. & London, Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004. 3 vols.
Similar to The Encyclopedia of Sculpture, covering recent architecture. (Ref NA 680 E495 2004)

Encyclopedia of 20th-Century Photography. N.Y. & London, Routledge, 2006. 3 vols.
Also similar to The Encyclopedia of Sculpture, covering recent photography. (Ref TR 642 E5 2006)

Action Art: A Bibliography of Artists' Performance from Futurism to Fluxus and Beyond. Westport CT, Greenwood, 1993.
Nearly 300 pages of citations to books and articles, organized chronologically, with indexes of artists' names and subjects, including movements like Bauhaus. (Ref NX 456.5 F55 G73 1993)

Art in the Modern Era: A Guide to Styles, Schools, and Movements. N.Y., Abrams, 2002.
Succinct account of dozens of modernist movements, some of which - Dada, De Stijl, Constructivism, and Surrealism, for example - were contemporaneous with and related to Bauhaus work. (Ref N 6490 D415 2002)

Dictionary of the Avant-Gardes. N.Y., Schirmer, 2000. 2nd edition.
Short, quirky, but fascinating entries on experimental, lesser-known artists and movements of the past hundred years. (Ref NX 456 K67 2000)

Web Resources

A couple of potentially useful sites on the World Wide Web are: Bauhaus-Archiv Museum of Art and The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.
Remember that the Web, unlike most Library resources, is largely un-refereed, that is, the information mounted may or may not be legitimate. Be skeptical, and read critically. Always look for explicit signs of authorship, institutional affiliation, and date.