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Major Online Reference Resources

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Grove Art Online – A comprehensive illustrated encyclopedia of the history of the visual arts worldwide, including architecture and photography, based on the 36 vol. Dictionary of Art (edited by Jane Turner), and regularly updated. Articles have extensive bibliographies.

Architectural Resources

archINFORM – Focusing primarily on twentieth-century architecture, this database includes information on over over 14,000 built and unrealized projects from various international architects and planners.

The Great Buildings Collection – Architecture reference site that includes documentation on a range of buildings and architecture.

McGraw Hill Construction – Includes the online version of the Sweets product catalog, as well as news and other features.

MAD CAD – Building codes online, including all International Code Council Codes from 2000 to the present, BOCA and UBC codes and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), among others. Click “LOGIN” to access. Limited to two simultaneous users, please remember to log out.

Art History Resources

Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists (active before 1945) – A PDF dictionary of visual artists (excluding architects and photographers) active in Kansas before 1945, prepared by Susan V. Craig.

Census of Antique Art and Architecture Known in the Renaissance – A database recording antique monuments and works of art known to the Renaissance, as well as the Renaissance written and pictorial sources that document these objects. Also includes bibliographic information, location, style, and related details. Based in the Kunsthistorisches Seminar of the Humboldt University of Berlin.

The Dictionary of Art Historians – A biographical dictionary of prominent art historians.

Index of Christian Art (Princeton University) – An iconographic database of Christian art work from apostolic times to the 1400’s. Many of the records include images and bibliographical references.

Specialized Catalogs and Finding Aids

Contemporary Artists Index – From the Cleveland Institute of Art. Indexes artists whose work appears in collective exhibition catalogs published since 1991.

National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUMC)

Smithsonian Institute Research Information System (SIRIS) – Access to Smithsonian collections and specialized bibliographies and databases. Specific resources include: Smithsonian Archives of American Art – Primary source material for the history of American art from colonial times to the present.

Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index (AECI) – From the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

The Print Council Index to Oeuvre-Catalogues of Prints by European and American Artists


Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts (AATA) – Abstracts of International Conservation Literature.

The Bibliographic Database of Conservation Information Network (BCIN) – Described as “the Web’s most complete bibliographic resource for the conservation, preservation and restoration of cultural property.” Part of the Canadian Heritage Information Network. Coverage begins in the mid-1960s.


Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) – The Getty Institute’s structured vocabulary for the description of art and architecture.

Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN) – Lists place names important for the study of the history of art and architecture, includes information on place-type, variant names, and coordinates.
Multilingual Glossary for Art Librarians – A glossary of terms relevant to art librarianship in Dutch, French, English, Italian, Spanish, and Swedish.

Union List of Artists’ Names (ULAN) – A structured vocabulary from the Getty that indicates the preferred forms of artists’ names, along with variants, pseudonymns, etc. Also contains basic biographical and bibliographic information.

Guides to Web Resources

Architecture Internet Resources – An extensive guide to architectural information on the web; covers primarily architecture, building, construction, and AEC sites, and, to a lesser extent, design, real estate, housing, urban, energy, and environment sites; maintained by University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries.

Art and Architecture Source – Internet guide to general resources, programs, bibliographies, etc. in art and architecture; maintained by Interactive Learning Paradigm, Inc.

Art History Resources on the Web – A comprehensive and up-to-date site maintained by Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe, Sweet Briar College.

Intute – A guide out of the United Kingdom that reviews and lists useful websites on a variety of topics including art history and architecture.

The Voice of the Shuttle – A guide to online resources in the humanities, including architecture, art history, and contemporary art, maintained by Alan Liu and the University of California-Santa Barbara English Department.

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