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Databases A-Z

Unless otherwise noted, these resources are available at the Art Institute of Chicago, the SAIC campus, or from other locations with an ARTIC username and password.

A freely-available, comprehensive database of over 100,000 abstracts of literature related to the preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage.

Types of material covered: Journal articles and conference proceedings
Dates covered: 1932 to the present

Indexes scholarly and trade articles, many full text, in all academic subjects including: arts & literature, humanities, social sciences, education, computer sciences, language and linguistics, medical sciences, ethnic studies and more.

Types of material covered: Journal articles only.
Dates covered: 1975 to the present.

The AIA Historical Directory of American Architects helps you locate information about U.S. architects from the 19th and 20th centuries in the archives of the American Institute of Architects and elsewhere. The directory includes the names of all national-level AIA members through 1978, as well as non-member architects and firms that appear in the AIA archives and directories.

Types of material covered: Names and biographical information on architects
Dates covered: 1857-1978
Access note: Free Access. Available to everyone.

This international biographical database of artists contains more than a million artist entries. The database covers painters, graphic designers, sculptors, architects, designers, photographers, calligraphers, craftsmen and many more.

Types of material covered: Biographical information on artists

Provides bibliographic access to over 2,000 international, state and local history journals covering the history of the United States and Canada from prehistory to the present. For coverage of world history, excluding the United States and Canada, use Historical Abstracts.

Types of material covered: Journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations.
Dates covered: 1964 to the present.

This biographical resource, compiled by the Society of Architectural Historians, provides biographical sketches of American architects who died between 1897 and 1947 from obituaries printed in American Art Annual and Who's Who in American Art.

Types of material covered: biographical sketches
Dates covered: 1897-1947
Access note: Free Access. Available to everyone.

Contains more than 1,100 historically-significant periodicals published between 1740 and 1900, including special interest and general magazines. Everything is available in full text.

Types of material covered: Full text American historical periodicals
Dates covered: 1740-1900

The largest collection of family history records on the web. 

Types of material covered: Vital records, newspaper articles, and reference publications.
Access note: Reference desk access only.

Combines Anthropological Literature, the citation database of Harvard University's Tozzer Library, with the British Museum's Anthropological Index, providing access to over 2,500 journals and edited works. Useful for African and Native American art.

Types of material covered: Journals, edited works, and monographic series.
Dates covered: Selected late 19th century literature to the present.

A searchable, indexed archive of the interior design magazine Architectural Digest, featuring cover-to-cover access to every issue from 1923 to 2011.

Types of material covered: Magazine articles and photographs
Dates covered: 1923-2011

This union catalog of archival collections is a combination of nearly a million descriptive records for individual collections and the full text of over 48,000 finding aids (detailed collection guides or inventories) from international libraries and archives.

Types of material covered: Includes materials from the Medieval and Renaissance eras to the current day.

The image colleciton contains over 8,000 photographs, sketches, letters, and other documents that have been scanned and individually described.

Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

The Courtauld Institute of Art provides a searchable database of over 40,000 images from the Courtauld, the Conway Library, and independent photographers. 

Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

Provides citations, abstracts, and selected full-text coverage to a wide range of international art journals, giving general coverage of most art topics and periods. In addition, it indexes reproductions of artwork that appear in indexed periodicals.

Types of material covered: Journal articles only.
Dates covered: Indexing coverage begins September 1984; abstracting coverage begins January 1994. Selected full-text coverage begins 1997.

Art Institute Publications

Full text of periodicals and exhibition catalogs published by the museum.

Provides information on case law and related statutes, regulations, and international legislation on the ownership, authenticity, theft, and looting of art objects. A legal glossary is included, as are images of artworks involved in legal disputes.

 

Types of material covered: International legislation overviews on art export and ownership, including full-text legal documents, as well as U.S. case law documents (both litigated cases and out-of-court settlements) on the acquisition and ownership of artworks.
Access note: Reference desk access only

Provides citations and some abstracts for a wide range of international art journals, giving general coverage of most art topics and periods.

Types of material covered: Journal Articles
Dates covered: 1929-1984

Digitized copies of selected art sales catalogues from 1600-1900. Art Sales Catalogues Online also includes the complete Lugt's Répertoire online database. Catalogues can be searched by Lugt number, date, place, provenance, auction house, and existing copy. The text of the digitized catalogues is also searchable.

Types of material covered: Over 65,000 art sales catalogues
Dates covered: 1600-1900

Searches over 1,380 auction houses for auction information, including lot number, date, and sale price. Our subscription provides unlimited searches.

Types of material covered: Auction activity for houses covered.
Dates covered: 1922-current year
Access note: Access for up to two simultaneous users.

An online dictionary of artist signatures, which includes photographs of signatures from works of art. Through a unique partnership with police authorities around the world Art Signature Dictionary also is the world's only database of art forgery. Also includes biographies for some artists. Free access to signatures and biographies; auction results require a subscription.

Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

A comprehensive survey of current publications in the fields of visual and applied arts; includes the indexes ARTbibliographies Modern (covering modern and contemporary art), Design and Applied Arts Index (for all aspects of design and crafts) and the International Bibliography of Art (covering scholarship on Western art history), together with a complementary collection of current full-text journals, Arts and Humanities Full Text. 

Types of material covered: Books, dissertations, exhibition catalogs, essays within collected works, and articles from current journals.
Dates covered: 1974 to present.

Provides annotated citations on modern and contemporary art from the 19th century to the present, including photography, performance art and installation works, video art, computer and electronic art, body art, artists' books, jewelry, as well as the traditional fine arts of painting, printmaking, sculpture, and drawing.

Types of material covered: Books, dissertations, exhibition catalogs, essays within collected works, and articles from current journals.
Dates covered: 1974 to the present.

Artifex Press publishes digital catalogues raisonnés, focusing on artists active in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Current publications include catalogues for Chuck Close, Jim Dine, Tim Hawkinson, Agnes Martin, and James Siena.

Types of material covered: Catalogues raisonnés

Allows one to see hand-copied signatures by artist name or do reverse look-ups by initials or monograms. Incorporates the contents of all 10 of John Castagno's signature books as well as additional corrections and unprinted research.

Types of material covered: Artists' signatures
Dates covered: Provides signatures for artists working from 1400 to the present. International in scope.

Contains over 4 million auction entries from over 2,900 auction houses worldwide. The database includes all auction listings regardless of attribution and price.

Types of material covered: Auction activity for houses covered.
Dates covered: Sales back to 1987.
Access note: Reference desk access only.

Covers more than 100 journals and yearbooks, including important titles that have not been indexed or abstracted before. It provides information about more than 8,000 designers and design-related organizations that were influential in the 20th century world of design, including over 1,000 female designers.

Types of material covered: Profiles of designers and design organizations
Dates covered: 1894-1986

Allows user to search across three major art, architecture, and design databases resources: Arts+Architecture ProFiles (biograpical dictionary of designers, craftspeople, artists, and architects), Design Abstracts Retrospective, and Designinform ReView (19th and 20th century art journals).

Dates covered: 19th and 20th century

Includes an Image Gallery, a growing survey of major works of art, as well as specialized image collections such as The Illustrated Bartsch and the Digital Design Collection from the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Architecture and Design.

Types of material covered: Images of paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, photographs, and decorative arts from around the world.
Dates covered: Art from all eras.
Technical tip: ARTstor works best with the Safari browser.

Provides biographical and professional data on over 120,000 American artists from the early 16th century through the present.

Types of material covered: Images, biographies, and auction records

An index to journal articles on architectural design, history and practice, landscape architecture, historic preservation, interior design, and urban planning. More than 2,800 current and ceased US and foreign journal titles are indexed. In 2004 journal citations from the 10 volume Burnham Index to Architectural Literature were added. Monographic, AIC scrapbook, and Burnham Library Architectural Archives microfilm (Microfilm 1973 1) references from the Burnham Index are not included in Avery.

Types of material covered: Journal articles only.
Dates covered: 1930s to the present; selective coverage dating back to the 1860s.