Visual Resources Library

There are two types of online resources available for art-related research: subscription databases and open-access websites. This document will provide an overview of both the subscription databases available to the University at Albany community as well as some of the more prominent open-access websites for art, art history, and architecture. Keep in mind that many museums and galleries are developing websites and web-based databases that could contribute to your research. If you are looking for digital images please see Sources of Digital Images for Arts Education.



The University at Albany subscribes to a number of art-related databases. The following databases are also available from the Database Finder at the libraries' webpage.

Art Index

Indexes key international English language arts publications. Includes periodicals, yearbooks, museum bulletins, reproductions, book reviews, competition and award notices, exhibition listings, interviews, film reviews, etc. from 1984 to the present.

Artbibliographies Modern

Abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and exhibition reviews. Covers artists and movements beginning with Impressionism up to the late 20th century. Photography is covered from its invention to the present. A particular emphasis is placed upon adding new and lesser-known artists and on the coverage of foreign-language literature. Approximately 13,000 new entries are added each year.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index

Indexes scholarly articles from over 1,000 of the world’s leading arts and humanities journals plus selected relevant items from more than 6,800 major science and social science journals. Contains a total of more than 2.5 million records dating from 1975 to the present.

Bibliography of the History of Art

Citations and abstracts of contemporary publications on European art from the 4th century BCE to the present. Also covers American art since the 15th century. Includes books, periodicals, reviews, conference proceedings, Festschriften, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and electronic publications. Coverage is from 1990 to the present. BHA succeeds RILA (International Repertory of the Literature of Art) and RAA (Répertoir d'Art et d'Archéologie).

The Grove Dictionary of Art

Contains full-text articles, bibliographic references, and images. Covers all aspects of the visual arts including painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic and decorative art, and photography. Also addresses influences on the production of art. Expands upon the print edition with essays, images, and links to Web sites. Contains 41,000 full text articles, 500,000 bibliographic references, and more than 8,700 images.

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Art History - General
Art History - Classics and Non-Western Art
Art History - Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary Art
Art History - American Art
Dictionaries & Indexes

Art History - General

The Art Deadlines List (

International directory of arts competitions, calls for entries/papers, grants, scholarships, jobs, and the like.

ArtsJournal: The Daily Digest of Arts & Culture Journalism (

Daily compilation from newspapers, magazines, and publications about art and culture from around the world.

The Book Arts Web (

Large collection of links related to the book arts.

Dictionary of Art Historians (

Biographical dictionary of art historians, museum directors, and scholars of art.

Getty Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) (

Website providing the authoritative spelling of an artist’s name, the birth and death dates, the artist’s nationality, and the artist’s role (painter, sculptor, photographer, etc.). ULAN also provides a browsable index organized by surname, and the ability to search for artist by role or nationality.

J. Paul Getty Trust (

Provides access to all departments of the Getty Center, including the Museum, Research Institute, Conservation Institute, Grant Program, and Leadership Institute. The Explore Art section has access to works of art (including digital images), biographies, glossary definitions, and over 200 video clips.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Timeline of Art History (

Chronological, geographical, and thematic exploration of art history from around the world as illustrated by the Museum’s collection. Timeline provides access to over 5000 images and consists of over 20,000 pages, including around 300 chronological narratives and 750 special topic essays. Supplemented by maps, comparative works of art, and site photography. Offers comprehensive indexes organized by subject, special topic, artist, or accession number.

SIRIS: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (

Specialized art databases and photograph collections maintained by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The “Art Exhibition Catalog Index” has descriptive information on nearly 360,000 art works shown in over 1,000 exhibitions held in North America through 1876.

A Treasury of World's Fair Art & Architecture (

Provides access to art and architecture-related images, virtual museum-like curated tours, and contextual essays covering a broad number of international fairs, selected from the rich World's Fair Collection at the Architecture Library, University of Maryland (UM).

Voice of the Shuttle - Art and Art History Resources - UCSB (

An extensive list of links to art and art history resources from many countries and time periods. Some of the sites include high-resolution images for download.

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Classics and Non-Western Art

ArtServe: Art & Architecture (

Visual history of art and architecture mainly from the Mediterranean Basin, Japan and India. Images available for download.

The Perseus Digital Library (

A large collection of humanities texts and some images. The collection includes material from Greek, Latin, and Egyptian Papyri, much of it translated into English. Several Classics-related multimedia exhibits are also available.

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Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary Art (

Extended database of 20th Century and contemporary visual artists represented with their portrait, dates and places of birth and death, and links to other Internet-based resources.

ArtNet (

Resource for images, artist biographies, auction results, art books for sale, galleries and museum exhibitions, and art research resources with a focus on contemporary art and artists.

World Wide Arts Resources (

Profiles 22,000 contributors to the visual arts. The largest site for contemporary art, art news, art history, contemporary artist and gallery portfolios.

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American Art

AskART (

Extensive directory of information about 42,000 American Artists searchable by surname or browsable through an alphabetical index. Each entry provides an “Artist’s Summary Page” which contains information such as a biography, artworks for sale, museums for the artist, books on the artist, upcoming auctions, etc. Also offers directories of museums, dealers, professional organizations, and indexes artists by categories of interest.

The Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture (

Provides electronic resources with a focus on the decorative arts, particularly Early American. Contains e-text, journals, image databases, and more.

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Dictionaries & Indexes

Art History Resources on the Web (

Chronologically and geographically organized collection of Art History links. Provides a straightforward taxonomy through time, place, and types of artistic expression.

Artcyclopedia: The Guide to Museum-Quality Art on the Internet (

Index of over 2,300 arts websites offering access to 180,000 historic and contemporary great works through searches by artist name, artworks by title, or art museums by name or location. Also offers site browsing of artists by name, medium, subject, nationality, gender, or art movement.

ArtLex Art Dictionary (

Provides definitions for more than 3,600 cross-referenced art-related terms with supporting images and pronunciation notes.

ArtSource (

Portal for selective Internet resources for Art and Architecture.

History of Art Virtual Library (

An extensive collection of Art History links that includes computer applications.

Index of Art History Departments' Websites Around the World (

Index maintained by the Department of Art History at the University of Quebec which provides a list of university and college art departments around the world.

International Directory of Art Libraries (

Directory to nearly 3,000 libraries and library departments with specialized holdings in art, architecture, and archaeology throughout the world. Maintained by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.

Mother of All Art History Links Page (

Comprehensive compilation of links maintained by the University of Michigan Department of Art History. Gateway to art history departments, research resources, resources for visual collections, image collections and online art, online exhibitions, fine art schools and departments, art museums, textual and linguistic resources, and new media art resources. An excellent resource, and a good place to start for research projects. The Flash plugin is required to view this page.

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Visual Resource Library
Department of Art
College of Arts and Sciences
Fine Arts 121
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222


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