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Biography

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.

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

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.

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

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

Benezit is one of the most comprehensive biographical dictionaries in the field of art history, including coverage of artists across all media, from painters and sculptors to calligraphers, ceramicists, illustrators, installation artists, and performance artists. It includes over 190,000 entries from the first English print edition (2006), plus revisions and new biographies exclusively available online.

Also included are artists' signatures, monograms, stamps of sale, detailed museum listings, bibliographies, exhibition information, and auction records

Benezit is updated three times per year to reflect new scholarship, additions to the bibliographies, and corrections. It is bundled with other Oxford databases, like Grove Art, and can be searched in conjunction or on its own.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts' database is a unique interactive database containing authoritative information on 18,000 women visual artists of all time periods and nationalities. 

Types of material covered: Full-text biographical information and some images.
Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

The Social Security Death Index is a freely available resource that provides death dates for Americans who had social security numbers. Another source is Ancestry.com, which the Ryerson librarians can search for you.

Types of material covered: Death dates

A searchable biographical dictionary of major art historians of western art. This source is intended as a beginning point for learning the background of each art historian included. Each entry includes a bibliography.

Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

A premier collection of original US military records, including many from the US National Archives. The database also includes almost 100 Chicago city directories dating back to the late 19th century.

Types of material covered: Military records and city directories.
Access note: Reference desk access only.

This database provides biographical information for over 400 women artists who worked throughout Illinois between 1840 and 1940. Users can search by keyword or browse by name.

Dates covered: 1840-1940
Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

Full-text access to a broad range of sources covering news, business, legal, medical, and general reference research.

Types of material covered: Approximately 5,000 resources, including regional, national, and international newspapers, wire services, magazines, almanacs, biographical dictionaries, etc.
Dates covered: Dates of coverage vary from source to source. Newspaper coverage ranges from current year to 20+ years. Wire services and newspapers updated daily.

Provides access to The Grove Dictionary of Art, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Oxford's Encyclopedia of AestheticsThe Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, and The Benezit Dictionary of Artists. These can all be searched simultaneously or separately.

Types of material covered: Encyclopedic coverage of all aspects of fine and applied arts and architecture. Also included are biographies, images, and dictionary entries.
Dates covered: All eras
Technical tip: When emailing an article from Oxford Art Online, first save it as a pdf on your desktop and then attach the pdf to your email.

The Netherlands Institute for Art History's (Rijksbureau V. Kunsthistorische Documentatie/RKD) artist database contains information on more than 360,000 artists. The majority of artists included are Dutch.

Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

The Getty's structured vocabulary includes almost 300,000 name entries, including a wealth of variant names, pseudonyms, and language variants. Each entry includes biographical and bibliographic information.

Types of material covered: Biographical and bibliographic information.
Dates covered: All periods covered.
Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.