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Art : Get Started

Getting Started

Have a topic from your research, but don't know where to start? One strategy is to start by looking up your topic in a general "reference" source and learning the basics. Keep in mind that many of these are not primary/secondary sources, so they are probably not appropriate to cite. Instead, use them to identify key people, terms, and themes that will give you a direction to start with.

Tips for Searching

Try different search terms, and try different combinations!


Older artworks, or those with primary titles in languages other than English, may go by multiple names. Try searching all of them.


Can't find anything on a specific artist? Try searching for research on the movement or period with which they are associated.


In addition to library databases and PowerSearch, check Google Scholar and Wikipedia for citations. Evaluate these sources carefully for authority and accuracy.


If you cannot access something through the Library, request it through Interlibrary Loan for free!

Matthias Strom via Wikimedia Commons / public domain