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Art and Architecture: Classical & Ancient Near Eastern

The Sackler Library is the premier research library for the study of art and architecture at the University of Oxford. It incorporates the libraries formerly housed at the History of Art Department and the Ashmolean Museum.

Training documents & further information

Oxford images

The Capitol from the Forum

John Ruskin The Capitol from the Forum (1841)
( )
© University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum

Print of the Decoration on a Greek Cylix, showing Triptolemus

Print of the Decoration on a Greek Cylix, showing Triptolemus
© University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum

Marco Ricci (1676 - 1730), Classical Ruins with a Column rising in front on left, and a Statue on right, seen through an Arch (Click for larger version of this image)

Marco Ricci Classical Ruins with a Column rising in front on left, and a Statue on right, seen through an Arch
Ashmolean Museum, Western Art Print Room (WA1920.49)
© University of Oxford - Ashmolean Museum

Online catalogues, & citation, full-text & image databases

Bibliographic resources

  • Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon: International Database of Artists
    Online successor to "Thieme-Becker", with broader coverage. Information on visual artists from A as in ANDERS A. to Z as in ZZÜRCHER, from the classical era up to the present, and from every country in the world. Covers painters, graphic designers, sculptors, architects, designers, photographers, calligraphers, craftsmen, etc.
    (1) You need to search under the German spelling of the artist – e.g., Tizian, NOT Titian, Dürer, NOT Durer.
    (2) Entries may be in English or German.

    Art Full Text (including Art Abstracts)
    Covers publications 1984 – present. Abstracts available from 1994. Full text coverage varies with journal title. Wide-ranging index to Western-language journal articles, book reviews and images in mainstream archaeology, architecture, conservation and  "fine" and "decorative" arts periodicals. All geographical areas and all periods (ancient – contemporary).
    Associazione Internazionale di Archeologia Classica
    Organisation and information collecting point focusing primarily on Roman archaeology. Index to Western-language journal articles and book/exhibition catalogue reviews on architecture, historic preservation and urban design. Covers publications 1830s - present.
    Dictionary of National Biography (DNB)
    Full-text extended essays not only on British people but also non-Brits. who spent time in the UK. Excellent resource for finding biographical information on artists, art historians, archaeologists, patrons, collectors and dealers. People still alive are excluded.
    Dyabola (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut [DAI])
    NOTE: Password-protected version. Request login & password (Oxford University researchers only).
    See Dyabola ZENON
    (link below) for open-access version.
    Comprehensive index to books, journal articles, essays in collected works, monographs, and book reviews for the ancient world. The focus is on Classical art and archaeology. Covers publications 1956 - present.
    Dyabola: What you need to know (see Training . . . box, left)
    Dyabola training video (Courtesy of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University)
    Dyabola ZENON - DAI (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut [DAI])
    Archaeological Bibliography Open-access and less-comprehensive version of Dyabola. In addition to containing records for materials held in the nine libraries of the German Archaeological Institute, ZENON DAI indexes journals, Festschriften and conference proceedings. It covers Greek and Roman material culture as well as Greek and Roman history, epigraphy, and numismatics.
    Dyabola: What you need to know (see Training . . . box, left)
    Electronic tools & Ancient Near East archives. Includes Abzu, the guide to networked open access data on the Ancient Near East & the Ancient Mediterranean world.
  • The New Pauly/Der Neue Pauly Online access to the multivolume encyclopedia of antiquity, providing comprehensive coverage of the ancient world from the prehistory of the Aegean (2nd millennium BCE) to late antiquity (600–800 CE). A special section of the encyclopedia is devoted to the history of ancient world awareness and scholarship through later ages up to the present day.
    Oxford-Grove Dictionary of Art (Oxford Art Online)
    Full-text extended essays (and bibliographies) on most aspects of the art world. Frequent updates. All geographical areas and all periods.
    Perseus Digital Library
    Includes full-texts of Classical Greek and Roman authors (from Aeschines to Xenophon).
    Massive union catalogue of countless libraries worldwide. Useful for finding books and archival materials beyond Oxford.


  • Arachne
    Object database of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne.
    Includes iDAI.images/Arachne.
    Arachne Images: Complete Table of Database Contents (see Training . . . box, left)
    Union collection of image collections worldwide. Approaching 1,000,000 images covering all periods, all geographic areas and all types of art, architecture and archaeology as well as other subject areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Hisitory of Medicine and Science. Contributing collections include libraries, museums and archives, including the Bodleian’s Western Manuscripts and Incunabula collection. All periods, all geographic areas.
    NOTE: You may be asked to confirm this as a Trusted Site. Click the  "YES" button several times to confirm access.
    ARTstor for Archaeologists: getting started (see Training . . . box, left)
    Beazley Archive (Oxford University)
    Provides bibliographic references and allows for iconographic searching on Classical vases. Based on J.D. Beazley,s Attic black-figure vase-painters and Attic red-figure vase painters.
    Bridgeman Education
    300,000+ images of objects from museums, galleries and private collections, as well as buildings and monuments. Images cover visual culture worldwide, from pre-History to the present day. Media covered include photography, fine art, engravings, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, artefacts and applied arts. It addresses the interests of such disciplines as art, architecture, archaeology, anthropology, & ethnography, history, science & medicine. All periods, all geographic areas.
    Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum
    Online Major research resource for vases in museum collections worldwide. Circa 250 digitised museum catalogues with illustrations. NOTE: The most recent volumes/fascicules are not available online.
  • Digital Nineveh Archives
    Field records from the University of California at Berkeley Expedition to Nineveh 1987, 1989 and 1990. Now includes information from other relevant sources.