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Tutt Library Research Guides


Art History Thesis: Art History Databases

Search Strategies

You can't always use the same search strategies with different catalogs and databases.

A library catalog like Tiger typically just contains titles, authors, and subject headings.

For catalogs:

  • think broad subject terms for keywords or subject searches
  • find one good books and then browse the shelves when possible
Library databases demand different kinds of strategies depending on what they index.
Most databases only include limited information about the article: title, author, journal or book/collection title, subject headings or keywords, and – if you are lucky – an abstract (summary).
  • try combining the title of an artwork and a keyword relating to a theme or subject
  • add keywords to get fewer results
  • remove keywords (perhaps just use the title of the work?) or try a broader keyword (the artist rather than the title of the work?)
For full-text databases, most notably JSTOR, you will have more success if you use more keywords, since you are searching the full text of the articles.

Get started finding articles

The databases below are great places to start looking for art history and criticism, book reviews, gallery reviews, and interviews with artists. Use the "Find Articles" section of this guide for many more suggestions of where and how to search.

Art criticism and other articles

Humanities Librarian

Steve Lawson's picture
Steve Lawson
1021 N. Cascade Ave.
Colorado Springs CO 80903
Tutt Library, Colorado College      Research Help Desk: 719-389-6662, Texting: 719-387-5441, E-mail: