UCB Libraries

HUMN 3093-001: Modern Media & the Parisian Avant-Garde, 1848-1914

  • 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 Atget's street scenes, I might be interested in how he documents urban life, particularly bars, markets, prostitutes, etc.


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.


Oxford Music Online

Provides access to a number of important reference resources for music, including the Grove Dictionary of Music. Individual entries are written by scholars in the field and typically include a bibliography of relevant resources.


Reference Universe

Indexes reference works such as dictionaries, handbooks, encyclopedias, and web-based reference works on a number of subjects.


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 photography of Atget, my keywords could include:


  • Eugene Atget
  • Paris
  • Third Republic
  • urbanism
  • streetscapes
  • photography
  • documentary photography

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: Paris AND avant garde (must find both terms)

Phrases: “Rue Transnonain” (must find phrase in that order)

OR: prostitute OR cocotte (must find one of the terms)

Synonyms: (prostitute OR cocotte) AND painting

NOT: architecture NOT computing (must find first term and not second term)

Wildcards: homosexual* will find homosexual, homosexuals, homosexuality, 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 Bibliographies Modern
ABM covers journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art, including some coverage for architecture.


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.


Humanities Full Text

Provides access to scholarly articles in many humanities disciplines, including art, music, theater, and literature.


International Index to Music Periodicals

Includes a comprehensive range of subject areas in both scholarly and popular music journals, covering the full spectrum of subjects and all aspects of music.



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


MLA International Bibliography

Provides access to articles on literature, language, drama, theater, and much more.



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.