UCB Libraries

HUMN4093: Politics and the Arts in the Information Age

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


  • Biography
  • Books & Exhibitions
  • Articles & Magazines
  • Images & Media
  • Cite


Your Assignment

You'll be writing a paper on the artist of your choice as well as curating an exhibit on several Artists' books.

Finding Biographies

The biographies of artists are key in doing art historical research, as well as to crafting and presenting an exhibit.
These sources will give you a basic overview of the artists' life and often include a bibliography for further research.
Sources for Biographies

Oxford art online

Includes extensive biographies on artists and other encyclopedia entries. If your artist is well known and established, they will probably have a biography here.


Marquis Who's Who on the Web

Includes Who's Who in American Art. A great source for the basic info on even obscure American Artists, includes lists of exhibitions, museums that have collected the artist, and contact information.


Biography index

Brings together articles in magazines of a biographical nature.



Its extensive nature and frequent updating make Wikipedia one of the only places for information about some obscure and current artists.



Go on to finding books and exhibition catalogs >>



Finding Books & Exhibition Catalogs

Well known artists will often be the subject of a book. More obscure or very recent artists may not have an entire book written about them, but they may be included in a book or exhibition of many artists.
Library Catalogs


Chinook is the catalog for books and other materials owned by the CU Libraries. Articles are not in Chinook


Contemporary Artists Index

When you search by artist it will list all the exhibition catalogs that include them. A great source for hard-to-find artists. Search for the books you find in Chinook or Worldcat.


Google Books

Allows you to search within a book for content. This is important for contemporary artists as they might be mentioned in Biennals or Exhibition Catalogs, but not be a main focus of the book. Once you find a book, check our library to see if we own it.



Worldcat will search most American libraries and some foreign libraries. If there is a book published on your artist or group you would find it here. You can request books via Interlibrary Loan (ILL), there will be a link in the Worldcat to "Request from ILLiad."


Finding Topical Books

You may want to learn about curation or artists' books in general to prepare for creating an exhibition, look in the library catalog under these subject headings:
Museums -- Curatorship
"Artists' Books"


Go on to Finding Articles and Magazines >>



Finding Articles & News

Finding articles in journals & magazines requires using an Index, which brings together the individual titles from multiple magazines and makes them searchable. Indexes are often focused on a specific subject. Articles are not in Chinook.

Article Indexes

ArtBibliographies Modern
Covers both scholarly and popular art magazines. You can find interviews, articles, exhibition reviews and more here.

Scope: Art since the 19th century, photography since its invention

Coverage: Journal articles coming from coverage of over 400 periodicals, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art dating back to 1960


ProQuest Historical Newspapers

Newspaper articles from the major U.S. newspapers streching back through the 20th century.



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.

Scope: Not defined

Coverage: Core journals from many disciplines covering their entire publishing history. Includes about 190 art history journals.



Does your paper intersect with topics beyond Art?

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.


Need Help Furthering your Research?

Want to speak with a librarian right now? You can contact us in person, via the phone, or even over IM. Use the Ask Us page to chat with a librarian even if you're away from campus.


Schedule a Research Consultation with a librarian to get in-depth help and guidance. I can help you overcome a roadblock in your research or with developing excellent keywords and search strategies.



Go on to Finding Images & Media >>



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.


Images are key to a successful presentation. Using high quality images that capture exactly what you are talking about make presentations both more engaging and more enlightening.


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 artists, independent or very new artists are unlikely to be represented.


Google Image Search

Use advanced search options to limit to large size image.



A place to find crowd-sourced images of artists' exhibitions or outdoor installations.


Creative Commons

From here you can search many different online image resources (such as Flickr or Google) for pictures you can freely use, change, or re-mix.


Finding Multi-Media


The library owns many sound recordings and DVD's, which you can find via ChinookUse the facets to limit your search to either Sound Recordings or Video Recording


UbuWeb has thousands of art films and sound files.

Use the Libraries' How Do I Find Videos and DVD guide to find both CU owned content and Web content.


Go on to citing your sources >>



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.


Have a strange source you're not sure how to cite? Check out our MLA Style Quick Guide [PDF] or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.