Looking for books about drawing? Browse our stacks.  Here are a few suggested call number ranges:
NC50-266 History of drawing
NC703-725 General works
NC760-825 Special subjects
NC845-915 Graphic art materials
NC997-1003 Commercial art. Advertising art
NC1280-1284 Printed ephemera. Imagerie populaire
NC1300-1766 Pictorial humor, caricature, etc.
NC1800-1850 Posters

Be sure to check both the General Stacks and the Oversize section on the 5th floor of the library.

Contact Us

Picture: Jennifer Strickland
Fine Arts Librarian
(607) 274-1199

Primary Sources in Art History

Finding primary sources:
Think generally in terms of time period, region and style.  And remember that accounts from that time may have used different terms than what we use today.  For example, the Civil War was referred to as "War of the Rebellion" by the north, and "War for Southern Independence" by the south at the time. And keep in mind the spelling of names may vary.
Secondary sources are excellent sources in assisting your search for primary sources.  To find names of art critics, or theories of aesthetics, use an advanced search in the library's online catalog, then:
1. type in ART SOURCES
2. limit to SUBJECT

And try the subject heading:
Art Historiography

WorldCat  Find books on your topic from other libraries, then link to Interlibrary Loan to borrow them. If you use this option, make sure you allow enough time for the material to sent to you.

Bridget Bower, the College Archivist has created a guide to primary sources for additional help.


Whether you're writing a paper, or looking for artistic inspiration, below are a few subject headings useful for finding art-related material in our collection.
  • Art --study and teaching.
  • Drawing Or browse through the call number NC on the 5th Floor.
  • Painting This subject area narrows by country and time period.  For further help, talk to someone at the Research Help Desk
For Iconography, see: For Museum Studies, try:

Art by Region

In addition to the databases mentioned in this guide, there are a number art websites sorted by regions of the world:
Asia Art Archive
The Asia Art Archive has been collecting material related to contemporary Asian art since 2000 and holds one of the most comprehensive collections of material in the field..
Japan Foundation
The Japan Foundation carries out arts and cultural exchange programs to enhance mutual understanding among countries throughout the world
MOMA: Survey of Archives of Latino and Latin American Art
This website provides researchers with an overview of each archival collection surveyed and highlights their particular assets in order to facilitate access to materials and promote research on Latino art
Universes in Universe: Worlds of Art Covers visual arts from Africa, Asia, the Americas in the international art context.