Art History

Welcome to your Research Guide for Art History

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In the PHC Library catalog, you can search a variety of resources by title, author, keyword, or phrase, linking you to ebooks, print books in the on-campus collection, and journal articles from both general and subject specific databases. The more specific your search terms, the more specific the results will be. 

If you are accessing electronic resources from off-campus and are required to log in, use your student portal user name and password to gain access. If you have difficulty with the website or accessing any resources, please let library staff know by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu or  library@phc.edu. 

Professional library assistance is available on campus, by phone at 540-441-8400, or by email at askalibrarian@phc.edu.

Art history research tips:

  • Keywords: Try different key words in your search. “Contemporary American art” or  “20th century American painting" or “Modern art United States,” may all yield good, but differing, results.
  • Quality: Print publications after 1990 will have a better quality of art reproduction than earlier editions due to improved color printing processes.
  • Do you know which museum holds the art work you are researching? The museum’s website often offers unique information about the work not available from other sources.


On campus and online resources 

Journal articles

  • JSTOR- contains complete articles from over 240 scholarly journals in a wide range of disciplines. Issues from the most recent three to five years for each title may not be included in the collection. If you locate an article that is not available in full-text, check to see if the journal is available on any of PHC's other databases.
  • ProQuest- contains the citations and abstracts of over 1,000 titles in the broad areas of social sciences and law with full-text, images and graphics online. Indexing and full-text coverage begins in the early 1990s for most titles.
  • Academic Search Premier - is an excellent source of articles and is easy to limit articles in specific categories.
  • EBSCO Image Search - Search for articles in EBSCO databases that include images. This type of search will help you locate art criticism.

Internet sites

  • WikiArt is an excellent source of high quality images of classical art pieces.
  • The Metropolitan Museum (Heilbrunn) offers images of all the works in the collection with detailed analysis, art history chronology, and essays on all aspects of art and art history.
  • Banksy includes images of his work, a question and answer section, and his email address.
  • Getty Research Portal provides global access to digitized art history texts.
  • SmArthistory provides authoritative, accessible, and engaging information from hundreds of scholars.
  • Artstor Open Collection search images in the Open Access Collection from Artstor.
  • Many fine resources are linked from the library's Art History section of the Electronic Resources webpage.

Research Tips

  • Search by subject: Once you have located one item in the catalog, you may click on the search term within the record to find other items on the same or similar subjects.
  • Bibliography: Once you locate an appropriate resource, potential valuable resources may be listed in the item's bibliography.
  • Interlibrary loan (ILL): If you are unable to locate an item in the PHC online or on-campus collection, you may request resources through Interlibrary loan. ILL requests may be made directly within the library's online catalog.


Created: N. Grewell/Thornhill, 2022. Updated: Thornhill. 2023

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