UCB Libraries

ARTS 6939 - Graduate Seminar: Degas

Need additional assistance? Ask a Librarian right now, or Schedule a Research Consulation with the Art & Architecture Librarian.


  • Reference
  • Books & Exhibition Catalogs
  • Articles & Magazines
  • Images
  • Cite

Finding Reference Sources

Reference sources such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are a great tool to get acquainted with many topics quickly and often contain artist biographies.
They will give you a basic overview of a person's life and often include a bibliography, which will point you to the most important sources and give you a sense of the scholarship surrounding a subject.
Sources for Biographies

Oxford Art Online

Includes extensive biographies on artists and other encyclopedia entries. The premiere art history encycopedia. This source has entries from several different publications, the best items are from the Grove Encyclopedia.


Gale Virtual Reference

An collection of online encylopedias, good for looking up background information on history or other topics outside of art.


Reference Universe

Searches across the Library's print and e-book reference sources. Good place to go if the others fail you.



Go on to finding books and exhibition catalogs >>


Finding Books

Books are still one of the key ways art historical scholarship is communicated. Art Books come in many types, and what type of information you are looking for will determine which type of book is the best source.
Library Catalogs


Chinook is the catalog for books and other materials owned by the CU Libraries.You'll find collected works, exhibition catalogs, catalogs raisonne, and traditional monographs, but individual Articles are not in Chinook



Worldcat will search most American libraries and some foreign libraries. If the book exists you'll most likely find it here. It'll be important for you to do research beyond the collection that CU owns, Worldcat is the place to find those items. You can request books via Interlibrary Loan (ILL), there will be a link in the Worldcat to "Request from ILLiad."


Google Books

Allows you to search within a book for content. This is important if you want to go deeper than the title or subject descriptors. Use this to find out if books mention a very specfic subject or idea. Once you find a book, check our library to see if we own that book.


Go on to Finding Articles and Magazines >>



Finding Articles

The nitty gritty of scholarship goes on in articles. They make specfic arguements and examine specific works of art.


Articles are searchable via Indexes, which gather some portion of the literature and makes it searchable. Depending on which index you pick, different articles can be found.


Be sure to pay attention to the scope of the database, that is what subject it covers, and the coverage that is how many articles are in it.

Article Indexes

ArtBibliographies Modern

Art History Index that focusing only on articles on Modern art since the mid 19th century and photography since its inception. Covers both scholarly and popular periodicals.


Art Full Text

The standard art history index that includes all periods of art worldwide covering 700 periodicals, with indexing beginning in the 1920's


Bibliography of the History of Art

The most comprehensive art database covering over a thousand scholarly journals from the 70's through 2007. To search the recent indexing go to the International Bibliography of Art.



A full-text archive of important scholarly publications in the humanities and social sciences. It covers far fewer journals and so is best used when you need to be able to search the full-text of articles. It often lacks the most recent five years of a journal.



Does your paper intersect with topics beyond Art, Anthopology or Latin American Studies?


Check out all our databases organized by subject here.



Accessing Resources from Off Campus
In order to use the databases listed below (and any other licensed resources provided by the library), you MUST download, install, and run VPN software. For more information about VPN, please see the library's page on Off Campus Access.



Go on to Finding Images >>



Finding Images

Images are important to both illustrate your points and as primary sources to be analysed. Using high-quality images and finding details can be vital to performing a visual analysis.


The VRC offers many important services for images, as well as guides for finding images in the deep web. They will also help you make high quality scans from books. The VRC has prepared an image guide for your class here.


Use our How do I Find Images Guide for many more image resources.

Image Databases


Over one million images of visual and material culture, ARTstor is the best resource for finding high-quality images of art. Best used for more mainstream architects.


CU Digital Library

Images digitized by the University Library and Visual Resources centers. The architecture and planning collection contains 100,000 images.


Google Image Search

Use advanced search options to limit to large size image.


Go on to citing your sources >>


Chicago Style

Chicago Style is the standard for Art History. You can use its footnotes to comment on your sources or to insert information that would otherwise break the flow of your essay.


You can use the OWL online guide to Chicago Style to help you format your bibliography. The library also has access to the official Online Chicago Manual

Automate your Bibliography

There are several programs available that allow you to save citations you find on the web and automaticaly generate bibliographies. Using them at the outset of your research means you won't have to go back. These are huge time savers!
Citation Managers


A web-based citation management tool that allows you to save citations and retrieve them later using "Find it at CU" buttons. Citations from most databases can be easily exported directly to RefWorks. It also creates and formats bibliographies automatically using the citations you store in it.



A Firefox plugin that easily captures citations from library catalogs and article databases. Integrates with Microsoft Word and OpenOffice to generate bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations. Allows annotation and the generation of annotated bibliographies



Stand alone software that allows you to organize your citations, add pdf's, and annotate. Integrates with word processing software.