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This guide provides an introduction to resources that support research in visual arts. It includes helpful pages and links to connect with contemporary art journals, art databases, exhibition reviews, images, and more!

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Connecting to Library Resources

  • The  icon means this resource is paid for by the libraries and requires UCI authentication. Using campus WiFi, library resources will load an authenticate automatically. Off-campus, you'll need to use the software VPN (virtual private network) on your laptop or device.
  • For help with your VPN connection and more information, click here.

Need Research Help?

You can always make an appointment the visual arts librarian (Jenna Dufour) by clicking here. Appointments can be made virtually or in-person. I'm here to help!

Getting Started in Archives Research

woman wearing a cardigan and polka-dot dress searching in the aisle of archival documents

Primary Sources
Primary source documents in the visual arts research may include: artist interviews, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, pamphlets, oral histories, photographs, artists' journals and/or statements, etc. While these documents can become a treasure trove for original research, they are often difficult to trace. Most archive collections provide finding aids to navigate the scope and context of what exists inside a particular collection. These are especially helpful when collections are not fully (or even partially) digitized or processed.

What is a finding aid?
A finding aid is a tool to enable discovery of information as it places materials in context by consolidating information about the collection, such as acquisition & processing, provenance, administrative history or biographical note, scope of the collection (including size, subjects, media; organization and arrangement) and an inventory of the series and the folders. This page provides helpful tools to browse and discover archival collections in museums and libraries nationally and internationally. If you are new to archival research, please don't hesitate to contact your visual arts librarian!

Archives & Special Collections at UCI Libraries
If you're looking to explore the collections housed locally here at UCI Libraries, please visit the Special Collections & Archives web page.

Tools to Discover Archival Collections

Online Archives

Featured Open Source Archives