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Art and Architecture: C19th & C20th

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.


Artists’ Papers Register (UK & Ireland) 
Index to the locations of the papers of artists, designers and craftspeople held in publicly accessible collections in the United Kingdom and Ireland. NOTE: Architects’ papers are not included. 
National Register of Archives (UK) 
Register of archival materials in the UK. Many art-related people (e.g. artists, dealers, collectors, etc.) are covered.

Oxford images

Above: Enrico Cavacchioli & F.T. Marinetti Le ranocchie turchine: col Manifesto del Futurismo (Milano: Edizioni di "Poesia", 1909 [Taylor Institution Library])


Above: John Ruskin Study of Dawn: purple Clouds (March 1868) Ashmolean Museum (


Above: William Henry Hunt Grapes and a Yellow Snail-Shell, c. 1850 (Ashmolean Museum

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

Text-based research resources

  • 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).
  • ArtBibliographies Modern
    Covers publications 1974 – present. Index to Western-language journal articles, essays, books, exhibition catalogues and dissertations on modern art and photography. All geographical areas.

  • Biographical Dictionary of Sculptors in Britain 1660-1851 (Henry Moore Institute, Leeds)
    Database originating with the 2009 publication. Updated to include new sculptors, additional biographical information, new works & and updated bibliography.

  • Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI)
    Covers publications 1973 - present. Subjects include industrial design, vehicle design, architecture, interior design, environmental design, computer aided design, furniture design, ceramics, glass, jewellery, metalsmithing, silversmithing, goldsmithing, fashion design, textile design, embroidery, graphic design, typography, multimedia design, illustration, book design, photography, advertising, marketing, retail design, packaging, exhibition design, theatre design, design and craft history, design and craft theory, ergonomics, design for disability, design for the elderly, design and craft education and design management.

  • 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, patrons, collectors and dealers.
    NOTE: People still alive are excluded.

  • Museum of Modern Art Library & Archive (MoMA)
    The collections support in-depth research on painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photography, architecture, design, performance, video, film, and emerging art forms from 1880 to the present. Important artists' files include rarely collected ephemeral materials.

  • 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.

  • Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center (US)
    Access to 2 million+ museum, archive, library and research holdings and collections across the Smithsonian's various sub-entities. Includes: Archives of American Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of the American Indian, National Portrait Gallery, and Smithsonian American Art Museum.

  • Tate Library (London)
    Holdings of the Tate's Library & Archives include British & international art & artists (British: all periods; internationa;: 1900-present). Particularly stron in exhibition & collection catalogues, & artists' books.

  • WorldCat
    Massive union catalogue of countless libraries worldwide. Useful for finding books and archival materials beyond Oxford.



  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC, Washington, DC)
    Catalogue records and digital images of still pictures held by the Library’s Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units. Includes  photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United State and its inhabitants.

  • Life Photo Archive
    Images from the archive of Life magazine. Major areas covered: People, Places, Events, Sports and Culture.

  • NYPL’s Digital Gallery
    700,000+ images digitized from New York Public Library's vast collections; includes illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, photographs, etc.

  • Photographic Portraits of American Artists (Smithsonian Institution, US)
    4,700 photographs of artists working in the United States during the first three quarters of the twentieth century. Created by the fine art photography firm Peter A. Juley & Son (active 1896-1975). Includes portraits of individual artists as well as group photos taken at the National Academy of Design, the Art Students League and at various artists’ colonies.

  • VADS (Visual Arts Data Service)
    Union collection of UK-based image collections (although not all the objects are British). Contributing collections include libraries, museums and archives, including the Bodleian’s John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. Periods covered: Medieval – Modern.