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Art History

This guide provides an introduction to resources that support research in the field of art history. You'll find helpful tips and tools to find and access art journals, films, images, exhibition catalogs and reviews, and more!

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Research Resources

Bibliographies & encyclopedia entries are excellent starting points to (a) generate ideas and (b) find further scholarship in a particular area. Below are just a few resources to get you started from Oxford Bibliographies, which provides readers with a seamless pathway to the most accurate and reliable resources for a variety of academic topics. Written and reviewed by academic experts,  these easy to understand articles are authoritative guides to the current scholarship, containing original commentary and annotations.

In addition to Library Search and Melvyl, try searching the tools listed on this page. Included are just a few print books in UCI Libraries related to your course content. Try to include a variety of voices by including monographs, edited volumes, as well as exhibition catalogs.

Remember: You don't have to read the book cover to cover! You can select relevant chapters, trace the footnotes to identify the main scholars in the area you're reading about, and then look for those citations to follow the scholarly dialogue. 


Below are just a few titles to get you thinking. You can always email me for help to find books on your area of interest. I love to help!

The databases below serve as starting points to look for journal articles and scholarship in your area of interest. For assistance narrowing down and finding relevant articles to topic or to explore other databases and resources, you can always make an appointment for more help.

It can be helpful to identify journals within a specific subfield or discipline because you can browse the contents, create alerts for new issues to read, or run keyword searches of a specific journal in many library databases. Here are a few journals to consider:

Ancient Asia

The scope of Ancient Asia is the Journal of the Society of South Asian Archaeology. Its scope is vast: from Stone Age to the Modern times, including archaeology, history, anthropology, art, architecture, iconography, ethnography, and theoretical and methodological issues

Archives of Asian Art

Archives of Asian Art has been devoted to publishing new scholarship on the art and architecture of South, Southeast, Central, and East Asia. Articles discuss premodern and contemporary visual arts, archaeology, architecture, and the history of collecting. 

History and Sociology of South Asia

History and Sociology of South Asia provides a forum for scholarly interrogations of significant moments in the transformation of the social, economic and political fabric of South Asian societies. 

Journal of Asian Studies

The Journal of Asian Studies is a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Association for Asian Studies, covering Asian studies, ranging from history, the arts, social sciences, to philosophy and cultural studies of East, South, Inner, and Southeast Asia. 

South Asian History and Culture

South Asian History and Culture (SAHC) is a multidisciplinary journal that provides an integrated perspective on the field of South Asian studies. T

Search Strategies

Art -- India – Exhibitions
Art, Indic – Exhibitions
Art, Indic
Architecture – India
Jaina art -- Exhibitions
Jaina temples -- India
Jaina architecture – India
Architecture – Gupta
Sculpture, Gupta
Hindu temples
Architecture, Gupta
Hindu sculpture
Sculpture, Gupta
Art, Indic
Architecture -- India

Keyword and subject searching methods are two widely used ways to effectively find books. There are important advantages to both methods; knowing how to use them and how they differ from each other will help you retrieve better, more accurate results.

What is keyword searching?

  • Keyword searching uses any words you can think of that best describe your topic (i.e. your natural language)
  •  Keyword searches will be broad: title, source and contents of each item will be searched for your keyword(s).
  • This is the reason your searches may retrieve too many, too few, or completely irrelevant items, but can be a good method for starting your research

Example: India AND temples (169 results in Library Search)

What is subject searching?

  • Subject searching uses subject headings that come from a predetermined list of possible terms
  • Most academic libraries use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) for Subject Search of their online catalogs.
  • Subject searches will be very specific: it looks in only one field of each record - the subject field, which can help you narrow your search to more relevant results

Example:  Temples -- India (87 results in Library Search)

Having trouble finding resources?

Start with these guiding questions to generate keywords as a starting point:

  • Can you find information about the medium or technique used to make the piece?
  • Can you find information about the historical context in which it was produced?
  • Does this work belong to a particular style of art-making or class of objects?