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Graduate students' guide to resources in art history: Finding books

Research guide for graduate students in art history lists core resources, print and electronic.

Search Clark/Williams collections

Use the Clark online catalog to access the Clark library’s collection, which is rich in all areas of art theory, history, methodology, and philosophy.  The Clark library’s collection development mission (in a nutshell) is to collect materials in all languages on Western art and on art history, from the Renaissance to the present.  Several years ago, as the result of a grant to the Research and Academic Program to bring in scholars studying non-Western art, the Clark library expanded its collection development policy to collect material on contemporary African, Asian, Eastern European, and Latin American art as well. 



Search the Williams College Library’s online catalog to access Sawyer Library’s stronger collections on architecture, on Ancient and Medieval art, and on non-Western art.

Search libraries worldwide


Arguably the most important item in any researcher's toolkit, WorldCat is a vast database that represents the holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide, including every academic and research library in the United States, many libraries in Britain and Europe, and increasingly libraries in Asia, Australia, and Africa.

Worldcat is accessible through the Clark library’s Electronic Resources page and the Williams College Library website. WorldCat’s member libraries include every type of library: public, academic, research, special, and K-12 school libraries. 

Click here to access the Clark library's WorldCat, which offers more robust search capabilites and links to the Clark interlibrary loan service.

Click here to access Williams WorldCat, which links to the Williams College interlibrary loan service.

If you do not have access to either campus or to the Williams proxy server, search the free Internet interface:


Art Discovery Group Catalogue

Launched in May 2014, the Art Discovery Group Catalogue (ADGC) allows users to search a vast trove of art-historical literature, held in an ever-increasing number of the world's finest art libraries, within the OCLC WorldCat environment.  The art library records are searchable alongside additional content from a multitude of sources in the large metadata pool derived from thousands of commercial and freely-accessible collections, portals, and repositories.

Thanks to the development of the ADGC, bibliographic records from a number of art libraries previously not in OCLC are now discoverable in the ADGC as well as in the general WorldCat.  In addition, unique and important art-historical citation resources such as kubikat are now integrated within the ADGC, with others to follow including the legacy files of the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA).

Interlibrary Loan

Students in the Clark/Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art may request materials not held in either library through the Interlibrary Loan programs of EITHER the Williams College library or the Clark library. The general rule of thumb is:

  • Request non-art materials through Williams.  If available through the consortium they will arrive more quickly, and you can check them out and take them anywhere you customarily study.
  • Request art-related materials (especially those available in only a few libraries) through the Clark.  Materials received through ILL@TheClark are in-library use only and must be kept in your carrel, but because of consortial agreements the Clark can often get things that art libraries would not normally loan.

Click here for access to your Clark ILL account.