Finding your materials, part 6:
............Consult Bibliographies

Bibliographies will point you toward "standard" works in the field you're researching. And skimming through a good bibliography will also give you a sense of who are reputable publishers--so you'll be better able to evaluate books you encounter outside of the context of a bibliography..

  • Gardner's Art Through the Ages a well-known art history survey textbook, has in its last pages a splendid bibliography that's organized by chapter / period. You may be confident that any work listed in this bibliography is a solid source. Especially if you're an art major, note that this book is long-term resource that's well worth getting in hard copy: E-book subscriptions expire rather quickly. If you don't have your own copy, check the Library--especially books put on reserve by art history faculty.
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  • Most art history textbooks have a bibliography in their final pages, and--once again--you may be confident that the works listed are solid. Be sure to check this as well.
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  • Use the annotated bibliographies in our Library collection, being sure to check more than one so that you'll cover a wide date range. And note that the Marmor bibliography is a continuation of the Arntzen / Rainwater one. Inevitably these will not list the most recent books, but you'll be able to find the recent ones easily.

Arntzen, Etta and Robert Rainwater. Guide to the Literature of Art History 1 . . .WorldCat listing. Chicago: American Library Association, 1980

Eresmann, Donald L. Fine arts: a bibliographic guide (. . .WorldCat listing ) Littleton, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 1975

Marmor, Max. Guide to the Literature of Art History 2 (. . . Worldcat listing ) Chicago: American Library Association, ca. 2005. Covers works published from around 1985.

  • Another useful bibliography is:


Tobey, Jeremy. History of Ideas: A Bibliographical Introduction, 2 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: Clio Books, c. 1975.

..............Volume 1: History of Ideas: Classical Antiquity ... World Cat listing
..............Volume 2: History of Ideas: Medieval & Early Modern Europe . . . World Cat listing

© Jan Mainzer