UCB Libraries

ARTH 1300: World Art I

  • Starting Your Research
  • Books
  • Articles
  • Images
  • Evaluate & Cite Your Sources


Getting Started

Once you have a topic for your paper or presentation, take some time to think about what you find interesting or compelling about the work.


For example, if I were working on the Riace bronzes (c.455-450 BCE), I might be interested in how they exemplify Classical Greek sculpture, their idealized yet naturalistic bodies, and their contrapposto-like poses.


If you would like to learn more about an artist or particular work, you may want to do a bit of preliminary reading before you begin working on your presentation.


Finding Basic Information in Reference Sources

Reference sources such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are a valuable tool for learning more about the work or the artist(s) you have chosen. These sources can provide basic information to place your topic in a larger historical, theoretical, or formal context.


Oxford Art Online

Provides access to the Grove Dictionary of Art, the most important reference work for art history. Individual entries are written by scholars in the field and typically include a bibliography of relevant resources.


The Art & Architecture Reference Collection contains a number of specialized dictionaries and encylopedias. Please feel free to browse the collection to see what is available. Examples of the kinds of works you will find include:


Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art & Architecture

Art & Arch REF N5610 .G76 2007


Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean art

Art & Arch REF N6502 .E53 1999


Grove encyclopedia of Islamic art and architecture

Art & Arch REF N6260 .G75 2009 [3 volumes]


Dictionary of South and Southeast Asian Art

Art & Arch REF N7300 .C475 2004


Developing Keywords

In order to find books and articles for your presentation, you will need to develop keywords that describe your topic. Keywords are nouns or phrases you can use while searching.


For my paper about the Riace bronzes, my keywords could include:


  • Riace
  • nudes
  • warriors
  • bronze
  • sculpture
  • Classical Greece
  • lost-wax technique
  • contrapposto

When you are searching, you will want to try different combinations of keywords. Don't just perform one search! Research is an iterative process that takes time. You might even change the focus of your presentation after finding more information.




Chinook is the catalog for materials owned by the CU Libraries. You can do a title search for a specific book, or a keyword search if you are looking for books on a particular topic. You can also use MyChinook to manage your library account (including renewals, holds, recalls, saved searches, etc.)

Chinook Catalog

When searching Chinook, you can connect your keywords using terms like AND, OR, NOT. You can also used parentheses, quotation marks, and asterisks.




AND: classical AND Greece (must find both terms)

Phrases: “classical sculpture” (must find phrase in that order)

OR: warrior OR soldier (must find one of the terms)

Synonyms: (warrior OR soldier) AND bronze

NOT: classical NOT music (must find first term and not second term)

Wildcards: classic* will find classical, classicism, classicizing, etc.


If you search Chinook and find that the CU Libraries do not have the item you are looking for (or if the item you are looking for is checked out), you can search Prospector, which is a combined library catalog of 23 libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. CU students, staff and faculty can request materials through Prospector, and the items will generally be delivered to Norlin within a few business days.


Interlibrary Loan
If the item you are looking for is not in Chinook or Prospector, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Generally, an ILL request will take longer to be delivered than material requested through Prospector.



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.


Choosing a Database

You will not find articles in Chinook. In order to find individual articles on your topic, you will need to use a database. The library provides access to hundreds of databases, and many of them focus on a particular discipline such art or art history.


The Find Articles & More page provides access to all of these resources and arranges them by topic. To see databases for art and art history, click on the plus sign next to "Art & Art History."


Relevant Databases for Your Research

Art Full Text
An excellent general resource for art, art history, architecture, and related topics. Covers a range of media in all periods, with publications going back to 1929.


Avery Index

The most important resource for articles on architectural history.



A full-text archive of important publications in the humanities and social sciences.


For more databases for Art & Art History, check out the Find Articles & More page.



Over one million images of visual and material culture, covering all geographic areas and historical periods. ARTstor is the best resource for finding high-quality images of art.


Maintained by the Department of Art & Art History Visual Resources Collection.  Provides access to a growing collection of high-quality digital images.


Provides access to Associated Press photos. Particularly useful for images of architecture, public spaces, archaeological sites, etc.



Scholarly vs. Popular Sources





Original research presented with evidence, critical arguments, and other material.

Discussion includes personal opinions, and typically focuses on material for entertainment or leisure.


Author's credentials are given, usually a scholar with subject expertise.

Author may or may not be named; often a professional writer; may or may not have subject expertise.


Editorial board is listed on cover or near the Table of Contents. Some publications may also note that articles are refereed by peer reviewers.

No editors listed and no referee process described.


Scholars, researchers, students.

General public; the interested non-specialist.


May use specialized terminology.

Vocabulary in general usage; understandable to most readers.

References (Endnotes, Footnotes, etc)

Required. All quotes and facts can be verified. A bibliography is also usually included.

Rare. Little, if any, information about sources.


Contribute to your understanding of the text; could include diagrams, charts, or other technical material.

Often merely provide pleasing visual content rather than support for assertions in the text.

Example Publication

Art in America

American Artist



Citation Styles & Management

For information about citing print and electronic sources in a range of styles, see “How to Cite a Source.” Using Chicago Style?  Check out the Chicago Style Quick Guide. Using MLA Style?  Check out our MLA Style Quick Guide [PDF] or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.


Want to make formatting bibliographies easier? Writing a longer paper and need to keep track of citations? RefWorks is 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.


Need More Help?

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.