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Art & the History of Art Research Guide

Reference Sources

Below are links to reference sources and collections that are most useful for these subjects:

Print Reference Sources

The Hutchinson Dictionary of Symbols in Art
Brief entries on secular and religious symbols

Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography: Themes Depicted in Works of Art
Themes from biblical, mythical & literary narratives. Substantial entries include selected examples of art work and further reading

The Aam Guide to Provenance Research
Authoritative resource for tracing the ownership history of works of art

Tip: What are reference sources, and why would I use them?

Reference sources can include encyclopedias, bibliographies, dictionaries, handbooks, and atlases

  • They provide overviews of and background information on a topic
  • They help you identify or refine your topic 
  • They provide quick, reliable facts  
  • They include bibliographies that will lead you to additional sources of information on your topic

You can find the Library's collection of reference books on Floor 1 of Frost. We also have many online databases that include collections of edited scholarly encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference sources.