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Last Updated: Nov 18, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Style Guides

The Chicago style is the most commonly used format for Art History research.

Click here for examples of how to cite works of art in Chicago style.

Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age (4th ed.) - Hacker, Diana
Call Number: Reference Desk LB2369 .H33 2006
Diana Hacker's respected guide also has a handy online companion where you can quickly see citations and sample papers in Chicago and other styles.

The Chicago Manual of Style.
Call Number: Reference LB2369 .C57 2010
This is the official style manual. It's not as easy to use as Hacker's online and print guides, but it is comprehensive.
Use it online!


Finding Images

There are a lot of places where you can find images to help with your research. Try ARTstor first, but you can also look at some of the Web Resources listed at the bottom of each page.  Some include image collections.


The place to start when looking for images. Over a million quality images collected from museums, scholars, libraries, and artists. Advanced tools for viewing and organizing images. Check out the Help Topics (including pages on printing and downloading images) and 3-minute tutorial videos on YouTube to help get you started.

Google Image Search

You can find countless images here, but use with caution. The size and quality of the images vary widely. Descriptions may be short, nonexistent, or even downright wrong. The images you find may be under copyright, so their use would be limited.


The databases listed here all have significant Art and Art History components, making them good places to begin looking for articles for your research project.

Note: Images that appear fine in print may not look very good when scanned for electronic versions of articles, or they may not even be included at all. You can check to see if we have a print copy on hand by doing a Journal Title Search.

  • Academic Search Premier
    Here you'll find a large number of scholarly and popular publications covering art news, criticism, history, etc. Use the limit features if you want to narrow your search to scholarly articles.
  • Art Full Text
    Look here for international art journals and magazines. If you’re looking for articles before 1983, check out the print volumes held in the reference collection (Ref. NX 1 .A77)
    Provides access to full-text articles from a few relevant journals, though it does not have recent issues. On the Advanced Search screen, scroll down and select "Art and Art History Journals" to help narrow down your search.
  • Films on Demand
    Over 5,000 videos that can you stream to your computer. The search engine is still a work in progress, so it's best to browse. In the "Humanities & Social Sciences" section, you'll see "Art & Architecture" broken down into subsections such as "Applied Art", "Art History", and more.
  • Find It!
    No full text? Click "Find It" by the article to get it elsewhere, or to order it (learn more).


We've got a large collection of art books in our catalog. You can search for artists' names, movements, regional divisions, mediums, etc. For example:

  • Picasso
  • Impressionism
  • French Art
  • Pencil Drawing

Sometimes you just want to browse the collection. Look for Art books on the Link Level in two different places: the regular Ns towards the back and the Oversize section near the computers. Here's a basic breakdown of the call numbers that are used to organize art books. (You can find a more detailed breakdown here.)

N Visual Arts (General)
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Drawing. Design. Illustration
ND Painting
NE Print media
NK Decorative arts. Applied arts
NX Arts in general


You may also want to consult one of the reference works listed below. Dictionaries and encyclopedias provide concise, detailed, scholarly descriptions of artists, movements, specific works, and more. Use them for background information and to find effective search terms for online databases. Look for these books in the reference section, on the first level of the library by the Research Desk.

Cover Art
Grove Dictionary of Art
Call Number: Reference N31 D5 1996 v.1-34
The most respected, authoritative encyclopedia of art around. It includes detailed entries on all topics, plus bibliographies for further research. Check the index volume, since your topic may be found under a broader subject.

Art Index
Call Number: Reference NX 1 A77 1929-1998
These print volumes index articles in international art journals and magazines from 1929-1998. Ask a librarian to show you how the index works. For a current online version, Art Full Text, walk over to Wilson Library at the U of M.

Cover Art
Atlas of World Art - edited by John Onians
Call Number: Reference N5300 .O9 2004
Useful for placing artists, works, or movements in their geographical and historical contexts. While there is less descriptive content here than other books in this list, there are large maps showing the movement of goods and ideas across regions, detailed maps of cities and architectural sites, and more.

Cover Art
The Oxford Companion to Western Art - edited by Hugh Brigstocke
Call Number: Reference N33 .O923 2001
Covers all facets of Western art: artists, movements and styles, museums, etc. Descriptions are sometimes brief compared to the Grove Dictionary of Art and similar works, but it's all conveniently arranged in one volume.

Cover Art
Encyclopedia of World Art
Call Number: Reference N31 E533 v.1-17
Not the easiest book to use, but it can be a valuable source. Very lengthy and informative articles. Sheer quantity of detail makes up for many shortcomings: poor subdivision, images are separated from text, and confusing bibliographies. Be sure to check the index volume, since your topic may be found under a broader subject.

Cover Art
-isms: Understanding Art - Stephen Little
Call Number: Reference N5302 .L585 2004
An easy-to-use guide to the often-confusing history of art movements like "Cubism" or "Impressionism". Each entry includes definitions, background information, key artists and works, and related topics.

Cover Art
Looking at Prints, Drawings, and Watercolours: A Guide to Technical Terms - Paul Goldman
Call Number: Reference N33 .G65 1988
A handy little guide to art techniques and materials. Brief, easy-to-read descriptions are accompanied by image examples.

Cover Art
The Encyclopedia of Sculpture - Antonia Boström, editor
Call Number: Reference NB198 .E53 2004 v.1-3
An entire encyclopedia devoted to sculpture from all times and places. Detailed entries on sculptors and their works, styles, and more.

Cover Art
The World's Master Paintings: From the Early Renaissance to the Present Day: a Comprehensive Listing of Works by 1,300 Painters and a Complete Guide to Their Locations Worldwide - compiled by Christopher Wright
Call Number: Reference ND40 .W75 1992 v.1-2
Come here to find out where world's most significant paintings are held. Organized by historical period and artist.

Web Resources

  • Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    From the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this is a useful tool for investigating a particular period or fitting a style into its broader historical context. Interactive world maps and timelines. Examples of works of art by time period, region, and theme. Thematic essays, such as one on "Medieval Aquamanilia".
  • Mother of All Art & Art History Links
    A great online resource from the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Links to Art History departments, research resources, specialized online image collections, and even online exhibits.
  • Art History Resources on the Web
    Links and information on art from all areas of the globe from prehistoric times to the twentieth century.
  • Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online
    A controlled vocabulary developed by the Getty Institute. Standardized lists of over 100,000 terms for art objects, architectural styles, and material culture. Includes information on the topics and words used to describe them. A bit complex, but a rewarding place to go for effective search terms in a subject area.
  • the
    Biographical information, pictures, and links about twentieth- and twenty-first century artists.

Citing Works of Art

Works of Art in a Museum

Artists's last name, first name. Title of the Work. Place where found, location of place where found, composition year.

Klimt, Gustav. The Kiss. Oesterreichische Galerie im Belvedere, Vienna, Austria, 1907.

Photographs of Works of Art (i.e., from a book)

Artists's last name, first name. Title of the Work. Place where found, location of place where found, in Author's first and last name, Title of Book in which photograph appears. Place of publication: publisher, year, page number.

Degas, Edgar. Woman With Binoculars. Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden, in Barbara Ehrlich White, Impressionists Side by Side: Their Friendships, Rivalries, and Artistic Exchanges. New York: Knopf, 1996, 192.

Images Found Online

Artists's last name, first name. Title of the Work. Place where found, location of place where found, composition year. Web address (access date).

Klimt, Gustav. The Kiss. Oesterreichische Galerie im Belvedere, Vienna, Austria, 1907. Http:// (accessed September 9, 2009).


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