Research Sources & Tips
BReserves and Books (monographical works and essays)
Definitions and Overviews
Course Reserves (textbooks/readings)
The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture. N7830 .M87 1996
Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art. N7560 .H34 2008
Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography. N7560 .E53 1998
The Dent Dictionary of Symbols in Christian Art. N7825 .S68 1994
Symbolism in Liturgical Art. N7825 .A7
A. Note concepts, people, event, etc.; look up the bibliographies discovered in these sources.
B. Search further on those authors discovered the above mentioned bibliographies;
C. Search further in journals mentioned in these bibliographies for more current scholarship when relevant.
Books and journals with color plates, photographs, and other visuals are excellent sources; these illustrations are usually done professionally and/or are commissioned works serving as the official records of the built works.
Courtauld Institute Illustration Archives
Oversize: NA5461 .C75.
More searches in the Catalog:
A. Use Library Catalogs for Reserves and Books
B. Sample Searches:
(note the search pattern; modify to your own needs)
3. WorldCat (beyond Tufts)
Path of Discovery in the Catalog
1. Find a title/author (assigned readings/Course Reserves);
2. Note the descriptive language of the Catalog record.
3. Use that language in further searches
e.g. Click on subject/author in the record to see further results and related topics.
Notre Dame, Cathedral of Amiens: the Power of Change in Gothic.
Cambridge [England]; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Some subject browses related to readings on Reserves:
Appendix I. A Few Primary Sources at Tisch
Early Medieval Art, 300-1150; Sources and Documents. / [compiled by] Caecilia Davis-Weyer.
Oversize: N5975 .D3
This anthology collects sources relevant to an understanding of early medieval art: description of lost monuments, theoretical, technical, and other texts that reveal intentions of particular patrons and artists or esthetic attitudes of the literate public. It also contains a number of liturgical texts, describing ritual use of medieval artifacts.
Horn, Walter William and Ernest Born. The Plan of St. Gall: a Study of the Architecture & Economy of & Life in a Aaradigmatic Carolingian Monastery.
(foreword by Wolfgang Braunfels; a translation into English by Charles W. Jones of the Directives of Adalhard, 753-826, the Ninth Abbot of Corbie; and with a note by A. Hunter Dupree on the Significance of the Plan of St. Gall to the history of measurement.)
Special Colletions: BX2659.S32 H67
Inventory of the Historical Monuments in London. [DA675 .A3]
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments (England). Some plates printed on both sides.
v. 1. Westminster Abbey -- v. 2. West London -- v. 3. Roman London -- v. 4. The City -- v. 5. East London.
Sample Search One:
1. Include name and location of the building when searching the Catalog, e.g., Notre Dame at Amiens in France:
2. Among the search results, a monograph on the building,
Notre Dame, Cathedral of Amiens: the Power of Change in Gothic by Stephen Murray.
3. Using the method as described in the left column, I follow the subject heading Architecture, Gothic in the book.
One result is a thematic study (a book of chapters or essays related to each other with a sustained argument), Artistic Integration in Gothic Buildings, which relates my building to others of its type/style with shared thematic Issues.
Sample Search Two:
Focusing on some architectural details:
Discover more subject headings:
More keyword searches:
If the sculpture, Luxuria in the Abbaye St-Pierre de Moissac interests me, I will explore all possible angles such as:
1. the symbolic significance of the animals, especially toads and snakes, e.g.,
2. compare with tamer luxuria images in Last Judgment scenes, as in the tympani of St. Foy and Santiago de Compostela, e.g.
3. contextualize the work within the larger sculptural program of the cathedral, e.g.,
4. Consider gender theory, regarding gender ambiguity, e.g.,
Sample Search Three:
If my initial interest is about “the Great Mosque at Cordoba”, I might expand or focus my research this way:
1. Start with a simple keyword search on a specific building:
2. Relate my building to others of its type—the architecture of mosques in Spain or in Spanish style:
3. The Great Mosque at Cordoba (Spain) represents a synthesis of cultures, architectural styles and religious iconography, so I will explore the interaction of Muslims/Islam and the Christians /Christianity:
A. Subject Databases for Journal Articles
B. Research Tips"
C. Finding Full Text
1. and 2.
Two favorite collections of core journals of all disciplines.
3. Architecture (the Avery Index)
5. Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Science)
7. International Medieval Bibliography (400-1500).
8. Iter: Gateway to the Middle Ages & Renaissance (400 - 1700)
9. Index Islamicus (Islamic Studies)
11. When use GoogleScholar, set your Library Links to access Tufts full texts.
1. Search for Review Articles:
Review of books and other types of review articles in some major journals in a discipline summarize current state of research on a topic.
Examples of reviews of books and bibliographical essays:
Thurlby, Malcolm. "The Formation of English Gothic: Architecture and Identity." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 66:4 (2007), 527-528.
Anderson, G. K. "Designed for Prayer: A bibliographical Essay on Medieval Monasticism for Contemporary Designers and Gardeners." Cistercian Studies Quarterly 36: 4 (2001), 457-471.
Use review of books to discover the debates in the field that the reviewers identify.
Your specific topic may not be addressed in a specific book review. For example, if you chose to work on Michelangelo's Sistine Ceiling, you might not be able to find a review on this work. Hence, you might look for articles that review books more generally in 16th-century Italian art, that cover patronage in Rome during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, that deal with influential Italian artists through history, etc. That is to say, work from the specific search on your topic to the more general areas of the field. This will make finding a book review easier.
2. More Articles like this "perfect" one
Search, in Arts and Humanities Citation Index, for the article you have read.
Sponsler, Claire. "On the Threshold of the Flamboyant- the 2nd Campaign of Construction of Saint-Urbain, Troyes." CLIO 21: 3 (1992), 265-283.
References: 23 Times Cited: 5
You can, then, look up, in the record, the 23 references that Sponsler cited for her article and, in turn, 5 articles that cited hers. The assumption is that these articles address related issues.
1. Click on the button in your search results screen to a window of three sequential options:
a. link to the digital full text when available;
b. link to a Library Catalog search for the print journal;
c. link to ILliad for requesting the article when the above two options are negative.
2. Search for a journal directly here:
a. Tufts Library Catalog (including e-journals)
c. Use ILliad to request your article, if Tufts does not have your journal.
IV. Writing and Citing
A Short Guide to Writing about Art by Sylvan Barnet
Writing about Art & Art History (The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Tufts Academic Resources Center -- Writing Tutors