The largest collection of documents on the history of the visual arts in the United States. Collections include the papers of artists, dealers, critics, art historians, curators, and administrators; also the records of art dealers, museums, and other art-related businesses, institutions, and organizations. Documents on microfilm are often available for interlibrary loan. Increasingly, documents are being digitized and are freely available online.
International index to articles in fine arts journals, book reviews, and articles in museum bulletins. Covers all periods, places, and genres of art, from classical antiquity to the present. Archaeology, architectural history, museum studies, and the decorative arts are also included.
Coverage: 1984 to the present. (See Art Index Retrospective for coverage from 1929 – 1984.)
Index to articles in fine arts journals, book reviews, and museum bulletins. Covers all periods, places, and genres of art, from classical antiquity to the present. Archaeology, architectural history, museum studies, and the decorative arts are also included.
Coverage: 1929 to 1984. (See Art Abstracts for coverage from 1984 to the present.)
Abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews. Covers modern and contemporary arts from the late 19th century onwards. Includes traditional media such as illustration, painting, printmaking, sculpture, and drawing; also includes photography since its invention, performance art and installation works, video art, artists books, and other areas of contemporary art.
Coverage: 1960 to the present.
Comprehensive database of fine art AND decorative art auction sale results worldwide from 500+ international auction houses. Fine-art search is by artist's name; decorative arts can be searched by object type and description. Information given for each work includes artist, title, year, medium, dimensions, auction house and date of sale, estimated price and sale price. Includes color images of many works.
Access to ArtNet is available on the Clark campus only.
Coverage: 1985 to the present
ARTstor contains curated collections of art images and associated cataloging data contributed by member libraries and museums, the tools to store and display images, and a 'restricted usage environment that seeks to balance the rights of content providers with the needs and interests of content users.' Access is by IP address, but each Clark user must register individually. Talk to a librarian about off-campus use.
Still the most scholarly and comprehensive database for post-classical art of the western world up until 2008, when it lost funding. Index to journal articles, exhibition catalogs, book and exhibition reviews, dissertations, and individual chapters in books.
Coverage: 1973 - 2008.
See OpenBibArt for coverage 1910 - 2007 (and a vastly better search engine)
See International Bibliography of Art (below) for 2008 forward.
Index to and database of masters’ theses and PhD theses in all subject areas, granted by universities in North America, Canada, Britain, and Europe. Most dissertations added after 1997 are available as full-text.
Coverage: 1861 to the present. Abstracts from 1980.
Indexes books, journal articles, and dissertations on world history (excluding the U.S. and Canada) from 1420 to the present. Does not include book reviews. See America History and Life for coverage of the U.S. and Canada.
Coverage: 1955 to the present.
Indexes 'nearly all' art journals published in the U.S. during the 19th century. Each issue is indexed in its entirety, including articles, art notes, illustrations, stories, poems, and advertisements. Citations, with some abstracts.
International Bibliography of Art, successor to Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), provides authoritative coverage of international art historical scholarship including European art from late antiquity to the present, American art from the colonial era to the present, and global art since 1945. Indexes 600+ core journals; includes detailed coverage of monographs, essay collections, conference proceedings and exhibition catalogues.
Coverage: 2008 to the present.
Full text of core journals in all disciplines, especially math, general science, social sciences, religion, language, and philosophy. Some titles go back to the 19th century. Search by browsing, or search full text.
Coverage: From the inception of the journal to 1-6 years ago depending on title.
The result of a collaboration between the Getty Research Institute, the Institut national d’histoire de l’art , and the Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique of the CNRS, OpenBibArt expands the venerable Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) and gives it a vastly better search engine, making available almost a century of scholarly bibliography on the history of American and European art.
Search in French or English to discover a wide range of citations to journal articles, books, and exhibition and auction sales catalogues published between 1910 and 2007 on topics in the arts and archeology from late Antiquity to the mid-2000s.
See also: Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)
See also: International Bibliography of the History of Art
Citation index to general-interest and popular magazines in all subject categories.
Coverage: 1984 to the present. (See Readers' Guide Retrospective for earlier coverage. For coverage of scholarly periodicals see Humanities Index, Social Sciences Abstracts, and General Science Abstracts.)
Citation index to a wide variety of U.S. and Canadian general-interest periodicals and popular, non-technical magazines, a rich source of American cultural history. After 1904 does not include book reviews.
Coverage: 1890 – 1984. (For current coverage, see Reader's Guide Abstracts)
Williams College Libraries integrated library catalog. Use the Browse search to find specific titles/authors in the library's collection. Use the default search to find books, articles, newspapers, dictionary and encyclopedia articles, dissertations, and other materials, many of them full-text.
An alternative search engine to WorldCat FirstSearch, simpler to use but with fewer search capabilities. Unlike FirstSearch, Discovery can be used to request materials via ILL if you are not in the Clark IP range (if you have a Clark ILL account). Otherwise it is the same shared online catalog of the holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide, including records for books, journals, electronic resources, visual materials, musical scores, maps, and archival collections. Also allows searching of other databases to find journal and newspaper articles and other materials.
Union catalog provides access to the holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide: academic and research libraries, public libraries, national and regional libraries, special (law, art, music, corporate, medical, etc.) libraries, and K-12 libraries. Includes records for books, journals, electronic resources, visual materials, musical scores, maps, and archival collections.
New / Trial Databases
The following databases are newly acquired or being evaluated for a future subscription.
Emblems are potent combinations of texts and images that invite, and require, decoding. In a concise format, they reveal the mentalities and attitudes of the period from c. 1500-1800 in an assemblage of texts and images.
Emblematica Online draws from the most important collections of emblematica worldwide. It is hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and its founding partner is the Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel. Contributing libraries include Glasgow University Library, Utrecht University, the Getty Research Institute Library, and Duke University Library.
The Collection Online, launched in February 2020, is still in its early stages and consists of object records for a part of the collection. Currently (in 2023), all the Italian drawings, as well as those by Rembrandt and his circle held by the Fondation Custodia are available to search in the online collection database. This concerns over 700 objects. In the upcoming years, the database will be updated with other works of art on an ongoing basis. At the moment publication is being prepared of the Rembrandt etchings, Flemish and Dutch Old Master paintings, French 19th century drawings, and part of the collection of artists’ letters and manuscripts (French autographs 14th-17th century).
Iconclass, a hierarchical classification system designed for art and iconography, is used by museums and art institutions around the world to describe and retrieve subjects represented in images (works of art, book illustrations, reproductions, photographs, etc.) For access to images, create a free account.
The Iconclass system has a history reaching back into the 1940’s when Henri van de Waal began to develop ideas for a universal classification for the subject matter of works of art. The classification itself went through several phases, after its first edition as part of the Decimal Index of Art of the Low Countries or D.I.A.L., in 1968.
In its completed form it was published as a printed publication in 17 volumes between 1973 and 1985 (in the library, see call number NE90 B3).
In its digital format it was included in the HIDA-MIDAS database management system of the Marburger Index in the 1980's.
This third version of the Iconclass browser is different from its predecessors in that it offers a large corpus of classified images to be used for comparison and inspiration.