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Fine Art

Why Consult a Reference Resource?

Reference resources are a good place to begin your research.  They can help you: 

  • Obtain a broad overview on your topic.
  • Clarify and define concepts.
  • Find key dates and events.
  • Identify who are authorities in the field.
  • Find bibliographical references that lead to additional resources.
  • Find relevant keywords for further research for books, articles, and websites.

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

Known as Grove Art Online, formerly in print as The Dictionary of Art (N31 .D5 1996t, 33 vols. Stauffer Library - Compact Shelving), now incorporated and updated in Oxford Art Online.

Oxford Reference Online - Art and Architecture

Art and architecture component of more than 120 full-text Oxford University Press dictionaries, companions, and subject reference books. Browse or search for keywords within a subject area or within a specific book. Includes The Oxford dictionary of art and artists and A dictionary of modern and contemporary art.

Biographical index of artists in Canada (McMann) Canadian resource
N6548 .M29 2003 (SL Reference Collection; also available electronically)

Contemporary art : a very short introduction - e-book

Contemporary art : the essential guide to 200 groundbreaking artists
N7438 .B59 2013 (Art Collection) 

Contemporary Canadian artistsCanadian resource
N6548 .M65 1997t (Art Collection)

Contemporary women artists (Hillstrom)
N8354 .C66 1999 (SL Reference Collection)

A Dictionary of twentieth-century art (Chilvers)
N6490 .C53 1998t (Art Collection)

Dictionary of women artists (Gaze)
N8354 .D53 1997 2 vols. (SL Reference Collection)

First Nations artists in Canada Canadian resource
E98 .A7 A16t 2001 (SL Reference)

The new A to Z of Canadian art (B. McKendry) Canadian resource
N6540 .M155 2001 (Art Collection non-circulating)

North American women artists of the twentieth century : a biographical dictionary (Heller)
N6503 .N67 1995 (SL Reference Collection)


Essential Reference

Artstor (digital image library for educational and scholarly uses. To use ARTstor to its full advantage (both on or off campus), you must first become a "registered user")

Oxford Art Online

A comprehensive encyclopaedia for the history of the visual arts, including bio-bibliographical information and images.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Cassius Clay, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 1220×1015 mm, 1982; © The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.


Important archive of medieval iconography, from Princeton University. Formerly known as Index of Christian Art.

Dictionary of subjects and symbols in art. (Hall)
N7560 .H34 2008. 2nd ed. (Art Collection non-circulating)