Art Subject Guide - Library & Learning Resources - City College of San Francisco
Go to the CCSF library's main page Find Books using the library's Catalog Find Articles in periodical & reference databases Search the web Library information, frequently asked questions Go to main CCSF web page

Finding Books

Reserve Books

Subject Headings

Reference Sources

Finding Articles

Web Resources

Evaluating Sources

Citing Sources

Additional Help


Arts Subject Guide

Subject guides are designed to help students begin the research process, find reputable sources, and save time.

Searching the Library Catalog for Books & Other Materials

To locate books and other materials in CCSF Libraries, select the Library Catalog from the Library's Homepage. You will notice many ways to search, such as Title, Author, Subject, Subject Keyword, etc.

Art related subject headings include: African American Art; Art History; Ceramics; Drawing; Mural Paintings and Decorations--20th Century--Mexico; Jewelry; Painting, Chinese; Painting, French; Painting; Italitan; Sculpture, Greek; Harlem Renaissance--Exhibitions; Indians of Central America--Arts, and many more.

Reserve Materials

Reserve Materials include books, sample tests, class notes, and other items that instructors put at the library for class use. The check out time is shorter than regular circulating books.

To search for a book on reserve in the Library Catalog, select either Reserves by Course or Reserves by Instructor.

When you have located the materials, write down the Call Number and Title and present this to a staff person at the Circulation Desk.


Browsing the Library Collection

Materials in the Library are shelved by call number according to the Library of Congress classification system. Books are arranged on the shelves by subject. Relevant areas in the collection to find materials on art include:

African American Art N6538.N5
Art History N5300-N7418
Visual Arts N1-9211
Architecture NA1-9428
Sculpture NB1-1952
Drawing. Design. Illustration NC1-1940
Painting ND25-3416
Print Media NE1-3200
Decorative Art NK1-9990
Arts in general NX1-820


Using Key Reference Sources

Reference books provide background information and overviews on a given topic. Some relevant reference books in art include:

Contemporary Artists.
Joann Cerrito. New York: St. James Press, 1996, 4th ed.
N690 .C6567 1996 Rosenberg Reference

Ten Thousand Years of Pottery.
Emmanuel Cooper. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2000.
NK3780 .C66 2000 Rosenberg

A Biographical Dictionary of Artists
Sir Lawrence Gowing, New York: Facts on File, 1995.
N40 .B53 1995 Rosenberg Reference

Art Information and the Internet: How to Find It, How to Use It
Lois Swan Jones. Phoenix, AZ.: Oryx Press, 1999.
N59 J66 1999 Rosenberg Reference

Art Information, Research Methods and Resources
Lois Swan Jones. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt: 1990
N85 .J64 1990 Rosenberg Reference

Chinese Painting: Leading Masters and Principles
Osvald Siren, New York: Hacker Art Books, 1973.
ND 1040 .S49 1973 Rosenberg Reference

St. James Guide to Hispanic Artists
Thomas Riggs. New York: St. James Press, 2002.
N6538 .H58 S7 2002Rosenberg Reference

Art History
Marilyn Stokstad. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1995.
N5300 ,S923 1995 Rosenberg Reference

The Dictionary of Art
Jane Turner. New York: Grive, 1996
N59 .J66 1999 Rosenberg Reference


Searching for Articles in Periodical Databases

Periodical databases group together journal, magazine, and newspaper articles by subject. They also usually provide abstracts (brief summaries) and the full text of the articles. Do you need help identifying the differences between scholarly journal v. popular magazine articles?

Note: Most periodical databases are part of the private, passworded Web, so you will need to have a current CCSF ID card with a barcode to access those that CCSF subscribes to. You get the free barcode from the Library either in person or online.

Infotrac Web
Infotrac is a brand name for several databases with coverage from 1980 to the present. Most useful for art topics are the InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAPand the Business INdex ASAP. These databases let you limit your results to articles only from scholarly journals by checking the box "Refereed titles."

Proquest Newspapers
Provides full text indexing of the Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street journal, and Washington Post -- Time periods vary.

Ethnic Newswatch
Comprised of newspapers, magazines and journals of the ethnic, minority and native press in America, this unique body of materials covers a wide range of current topics and countless other social, political and educational subjects. More than 200 publications covering 1995 to the present are represented, and searchable in both English and Spanish.

SFPL - Electronic Resources, Magazines, and Newspapers
San Francisco Public Library subscribes to many periodical and reference databases. You must have a San Francisco Public Library card number to access them. Once you have entered your barcode number, select the subject - Art.


Web Resources

Below are some examples of academic/scholarly web sites pertaining to art and art history. If you use a search engine, such as Google, remember to evaluate the quality of the results.

Art History Resources
An award winning art history site with hundreds of links to excellent sites on all aspects of world art history.

Good site to search for fina arts images, beginning ion the Byzantine era.

ArtLex, Art Dictionary
An online dictionary containing art terminology.

Digital Images and Copyright
A guide developed by 2Learn which instructs in the use of digital images.

Finding Images on the Web
"Finding Images on the Web" is a tutorial offered through Networked Information Services, Office of Information Technology, Boston University.

ImageBase, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco
Select ImageBase from the lefthand sidebar to enter the image database and find holdings with over 82,000 images. Use very simple language to search the database. - sometimes one word searches are best. Images may be viewed in great detail.

ImageFinder, Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE
Access to a collection of image databases, mostly photography databases, including the collections of the Library of Congress, the Smithonian Institution, and the National Library of Australia. Also find an architectural image database.

Local Museums

National and International Museums Top

Need More Assistance?

Librarians welcome your questions and can help you with your research. For additional help you may go to the Reference Desk at any of the 5 CCSF campus libraries or telephone:

  • Rosenberg Library: 415-452-5543
  • Alice Statler Library: 415-239-3460
  • John Adams Library: 415-561-1946
  • Southeast Campus Library: 415-550-4353
  • Downtown Campus library: 415-267-6513
Electronic Reference Service to CCSF students, faculty, staff and registered community users. Use this service when you are NOT in a CCSF library.

Library and Web Research Workshops
FIfty minute workshops are given throughout the semester on effective methods in searching for books, articles and information on the Internet.

Evaluating and Citing Information Sources
Several useful sources for evaluating the quality of web pages, how to prepare citations for a "Bibliography" or "Works Cited" list, and how to avoid plagiarism.

Purdue's Online Writing Lab
One of the most thorough and easy to navigate writing labs avaialble!

A+ Research and Writing
Hosted by the Internet Public Library.

Writing Process @ CSU
Colorado State University developed these guides which "focus on a range of composing processes as well as issues related to the situations in which writers find themselves."

Send comments or suggestions to:

Kate Connell
Subject Selector
(415) 452-5546


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Last updated September 3, 2003