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Art History and Studio Arts

Researching Art History and Studio Arts.

Avenues to Finding Books

Use OASys (the library catalog) to search for books at Oxy. Keyword, Author, Title and Subject searches are effective for different types of tasks depending on what you are looking for, and what you already know.

Subject Searching can be extremely effective, but is often ignored in favor of Keyword Searching. Try exploring subject headings on your topic to find more relevant results. See more about subject headings in the next box.

Browse the shelves in the library (called "the stacks"). Once you get a call number from a record, and find your way to that area, you are set up to explore other relevant materials shelved around it. General call number ranges and their topics are listed at right.

Oxy can't own everything, so expand your search to look for books held in other libraries. WorldCat (and Link+) are catalogs that search libraries beyond Oxy. Libraries that belong to Link+ or Camino will lend to Oxy students, and requests arrive in 2-5 days. Other libraries may lend you books through Interlibrary Loan but it can take a lot longer for those to arrive (sometimes months).

Search with Subject Headings

Keyword searches often retrieve too many results, including materials that are irrelevant to your topic. Meanwhile, Title searches can be too narrow and leave you with no results. The answer is an approach that figures somewhere in the middle: Subject Headings. Subject headings are terms (topics, proper names, geographic regions, etc.) that indicate the scope of a book or other resource. 

Try it yourself: you can copy and paste these example headings right into a catalog search for LC Subjects.

Aesthetics, Modern
Anatomy, Artistic
Architecture Mexico History
Drawing, Renaissance Exhibitions
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969
Judgment Day in art
Photography History 20th Century
Technology and the arts

Wander the Bookshelves

BH 1-301 Aesthetics 1st floor, Old Wing
N 1-9211 Visual arts 3rd floor, Old Wing
N 81-390 Study and teaching (Visual arts) 3rd floor, Old Wing
NA 1-9428 Architecture 3rd floor, Old Wing
NB 1-1952 Sculpture 3rd floor, Old Wing
NC 1-1940 Drawing. Design. Ilustration 3rd floor, Old Wing
ND 25-3416 Painting 3rd floor, Old Wing
NE 1-3002 Print media 3rd floor, Old Wing
NX 1-820 Arts in general 3rd floor, Old Wing
TR 1-1050 Photography Tier 5
TR 845-1050 Cinematography. Motion pictures Tier 5