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Art and Architecture: History of Collecting

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.

Online citation & full-text databases


Auction & sale catalogues


  • 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. People still alive are excluded.


Collectors' marks


  • 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).
  • Country Life Archive  Full text and images (1897 to 2005) of the weekly British culture and lifestyle magazine, Country Life, focusing on fine art and architecture, the great country houses, and rural living. Every page is fully searchable, and reproduced high resolution.
  • Country Life Picture Library Images of country houses and gardens, interiors and architectural details, historic buildings and churches from the photo-archive of Country Life magazine. All images reference the original Country Life articles for which they were commissioned.
  • Index to 19th-Century American Art Periodicals Index to 42 art journals published in the U.S. during the 19th century. Covers articles, art notes and advertisements about artists and illustrators, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, architecture and design, exhibitions and sales, decoration, and also collecting. American and non-American individuals and works, dating from all periods, are covered.
  • WorldCat Massive union catalogue of countless libraries worldwide. Useful for finding books and archival materials beyond Oxford.