UCB Libraries

Tyree Guyton - Open House

WRTG 3007- Writing for the Visual Arts (Fall 2008)

Using the Library to Research Art, Film, Photography, etc.

Norlin Library and the Art & Architecture Collection house valuable resources that will enhance your studies in the Visual Arts. This guide will show you step-by-step how to research art, film, and photography.

Book list: pdf | xls


Overview of the Libraries

The University Libraries System
The Art & Architecture Collection


Beginning your research
Explore your topic and develop a strategy for finding information. What are the most important aspects? These ideas become your 'keywords' to search with. For researching an artist, the artist's name is your keyword. For researching a film start with the name of the film and look at the Internet Movie Database-IMDB for more information.


1. Begin with Chinook and search for books

2. Look for articles on your topic

3. Search newspapers for reviews

4. Locate images

5. Search the Internet for additional information

6. Cite your sources


1. Searching Chinook, the online library catalog for CU Boulder
Chinook provides access to the millions of holdings in Norlin Library and the five branch libraries (Business, Earth Sciences, Engineering, Math/Physics, Music). It includes books, periodicals, maps, compact disks, electronic databases, e-books, and more. For assistance see How Do I...Find Books?


Basic Searching


Keyword is the easiest and most flexible way to search Chinook. It searches words in all fields of the catalog record: title, author, publisher, notes, etc.

Word searching combines words using connectors such as and , or , or and not . Note: If you do not use a connector in a keyword search, the words are searched as an exact phrase. Use the * as a wild card. In the example below, photo* will find records with photo, photos, photograph, photographer, etc. For more examples see SEARCH TIPS.


Keyword: Mapplethorpe

Title: Second Sight

Advanced Searching

KEYWORD warhol AND photo**
KEYWORD (art or architecture) AND manifesto
How do I ...Use RefWorks: Importing Records from Chinook, CU's Library Catalog


2. Find Articles and More
For the most recent information on your topic, look for journal articles. These can be found in the periodical databases covering your subject. For more databases, see Find Articles and More and browse the alphabetical and subject listings. Subjects you may want to search include Art and Art History, Film Studies, and Theatre and Dance. For assistance visit How do I...find Articles?


For Off-campus Access be sure to download the VPN client.

Academic Search Premier (Film, Art, Photography)
Provides full text articles from scholarly, trade, and general-interest publications for nearly all academic areas of study.

"run lola run" in Default Fields LIMIT TO - Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals

Art Full Text and Art Retrospective (Art, Photography)
Art Index is a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from periodicals published throughout the world. Periodical coverage includes English-language periodicals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins, as well as periodicals published in French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish. In addition to articles, Art Index indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed periodicals. Some articles are available Full-Text.

tyree guyton as All-Smart Search

Provides full abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern (late 19th century) and contemporary art, including photography since its invention. Entries date back as far as the late 1960s. The coverage of ABM is wide-ranging and includes performance art and installation works, video art, computer and electronic art, body art, graffiti, artists' books, theatre arts, conservation, crafts, ceramic and glass art, ethnic arts, graphic and museum design, fashion, and calligraphy, as well as traditional media including illustration, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and drawing.

piercing* as Keywords, KW=

Film and Television Literature Index (Film)
A comprehensive bibliographic database covering the entire spectrum of television and film writing. It has been designed for use by a diverse audience that includes film scholars, college students, and general viewers. Subject coverage includes film & television theory, preservation & restoration, writing, production, cinematography, technical aspects, and reviews.

Motorcycle Diaries in TX All Text

A print resource for film. REF INDEX PN1995 .F4593

Search by Film Title -- provides full film reviews.

Humanities Abstracts/Full Text (Film, Art, Photography)
Indexes, abstracts and delivers the full text of feature articles, interviews, obituaries, bibliographies, original works of fiction, drama, and poetry, book reviews, and reviews of ballets, dance programs, motion pictures, musicals, operas, plays, radio and television programs, art, and more.

"new media" AND art as ALL-Smart Search


LexisNexis Academic

Provides access to full-text news, business, and legal publications, using a variety of flexible search options. One of the most heavily used databases in higher education.


Oxford Dictionary of Art
An online encyclopedia of art and art related items. It is particularly useful for finding a definition of a particular style or movement or for finding biographical information on an artist. Entries are created by scholars and include a bibliography.


Periodicals Archive Online (PAO)
an archive of hundreds of digitized journals published in the arts, humanities and social sciences. It provides researchers with access to more than 200 years of scholarship, spread across a wide variety of subject areas.


3. Locating Reviews and Newspaper Articles

LexisNexis Academic

Newspapers are often the best source of information for contemporary artists. Like with the other databases, use the name of your artist as your keyword. Be careful when searching for films, you will yield mostly reviews.


1. Enter Search Terms - keywords, artists name

2. Search Within - Major US and World Publications

3. Specify Date - automatic default is 2 years, change to All Available Dates if 2 years does not yield results


4. Locating Images

AP Images
Provides a sensory journey of photographs, audio sound bites, graphics and text spanning over 160 years of history.


Digital image collection of over 500,000 images of art, architecture, and related visual culture .


For best results put the name of the artist in "quotations".


Offers three different image search engines. Click on "Art Image Collections" and search each for your artist, creator, or topic.


5. Web Resources

Art Source

Created by an art librarian as a resource for art related topics on the web.



Includes information on exhibitions from over 1,300 galleries, as well as artists biographies and news.



Search for an artist in “quotation marks” for best results. Often you can find a contemporary artist's home page and/or contact information.


A major academic resource for Film Studies with links to relevant web sites. From the left-hand column, select Media Studies, then Film/Video. Using the search engine accesses other interesting areas.


6. Citing Your Sources

Turabian Style (PDF)
A form of Chicago Style.


A web-based tool that allows users to create personalized databases of citations from which you can create bibliographies and format papers in hundreds of different citation styles in seconds. CU students, staff and faculty can create a free RefWorks account that will allow access to their personal database from anywhere with an Internet connection. For help with using RefWorks visit How do I use RefWorks?


Need Additional Assistance?

Alexander Watkins, Research & Instruction / Art Collection, 303-492-3966

This guide originally designed and developed by Jennifer Parker.