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Art: reference sources

This is a selective list of reference sources relating to art which are available in the Humanities Reading Room. Electronic resources can be accessed in the Electronic Resources Room in both Humanities 1 and 2. The shelfmark of each item is given at the end of each citation. A separate list of art websites is also available.


Art sales cataloguesLocations and reproductions
Monograms and signatures
Book illustrators and cartoonistsPhotography
CataloguesPicture research
Design and applied artsPrints and drawings
Guides to periodical literatureSculpture, ceramics and metalwork


 General works

Arntzen, E. and Rainwater, R., Guide to the literature of art history. Chicago, 1980.
HLR 709
Art since 1900: modernism, antimodernism, postmodernism. H. Foster et al. London: Thames & Hudson, 2004.
HLR 709.04
Atlas of world art. Edited by J. Onians. London: Laurence King, 2004.
HLL 709
Chilvers, I. and Glaves-Smith, J., A Dictionary of modern and contemporary art. 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
HLR 709.04
Chilvers, I., The Oxford dictionary of art and artists. 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.
HLR 703
Dempsey, Amy, 1963- , Styles, schools and movements: the essential encyclopaedic guide to modern art.  New edition.
London: Thames & Hudson, 2010.  
HLR 709.04
Dictionary of art. Edited by J. Turner. 34 vol. New York: Grove; London: Macmillan, 1996.
HLR 703
Also available online onsite only.
A dictionary of the avant gardes. Edited by Richard Kostelanetz. 2nd ed. New York: Schirmer, 2000.
HLR 700.3
Encyclopedia of world art. 15 vol. New York, 1959-68. Supplement, vol. 16, 17. New York, 1983, 1987.
HLR 703
Gardner's art through the ages. 11th edition. F. S. Kleiner, C. J. Mamiya, R. G. Tansey.
Fort Worth, Tex.; London: Harcourt College Publishers, c2001.
HLR 709
Harris, Jonathan, Art history: the key concepts. London: Routledge, 2006
HLR 709
Honour, H., A world history of art. H. Honour and J. Fleming. 7th edition.London: Laurence King, 2005.
HLR 709
Information sources in art, art history and design. Edited by S. Ford. Munich; Chippenham: K.G. Saur, c2001.
HLR 700.7
Janson, H. W., Janson's history of art: the western tradition. P. J.E. Davies et al. 7th edition.
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, c2007.
HLR 709
Jones, L.S., Art information and the Internet: how to find it, how to use it. Chicago; London: 1999.
HLR 700.9
Nishio, E., 20/21C art books: a bibliography of artists and art movements in the 20th and 21st centuries. Tokyo: Art & Books, 2010.
HLR 709.04
Osborne, H., The Oxford companion to art. Oxford, 1970. (Reprinted 1987)
HLR 703
The Oxford companion to western art. Edited by H. Brigstocke. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.   
HLR 709
Pelican history of art. Harmondsworth, 1953-.
HLR 709.176-709.8
HLR 720.941-735.21
HLR 759.021-759.41
Pooke, Grant, Contemporary British art: an introduction. London: Routledge, c2011.  
HLR 709.41
Room, A., A dictionary of art titles: the origins of the names and titles of 3,000 works of art. Jefferson, N.C.; London: McFarland, 2000.
HLR 703
Victoria & Albert Museum, National Art Library catalogue. 10 vol. Boston, 1972.
HLL 701.6
Also available online.
Wilson, S. and Lack, J., The Tate guide to modern art terms. London: Tate Publishing, 2008.
HLR 709.04

 Art sales catalogues

These can be traced in the catalogue under the name of the auctioneer or vendor or the name of the estate.
Lugt, F., Répertoire des catalogues de ventes publiques. 3 vol. La Haye, 1938-64. Vol. 4. Paris, 1987.
HLL 702.94
Also available online onsite only.

 Biographical dictionaries of artists

Thieme, U. and Becker, F., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. 37 vol. Zwickau, 1978. [A photographic reprint of the edition of 1907-1950]
HLR 709.22
Vollmer, H., Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler des XX Jahrhunderts. 6 vol. Leipzig, 1953-1962.
HLR 709.22
Thieme-Becker, Vollmer, Gesamtregister. 6 vol. München, 1996-1997.
HLR 709.22
Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon. Leipzig, 1983-.
HLR 709.22
Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs. Nouvelle ed. 14 vol. Paris, 1999.
HLR 709.22
Benezit, E., Dictionary of artists. Paris: Gründ, 2006.
HLR 709.22
Buckman, D., Artists in Britain since 1945. New edition. Bristol: Art Dictionaries Ltd, 2006.
HLR 709.41
Contemporary artists. 4th ed. London, 1996.
HLR 709.22
Dunford, P., A biographical dictionary of women artists in Europe and America since 1850. New York; London: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990.
HLR 704.042
Graves, A.,  The Royal Academy of Arts: a complete dictionary of contributors and their work from its foundation in 1769 to 1904. 8 vol. [in 4]. London, 1905-6. (Reprinted in 4 vol. East Ardsley, 1970).
Continued as: Royal Academy, Royal Academy exhibitors, 1905-1970. 6 vol. East Ardsley, 1973-1982. ([Supplement for 1971-1989]. Calne, 1989.
HLR 707.4
Halsby, Julian, The dictionary of Scottish painters: 1600 to the present / Julian Halsby and Paul Harris. New edition. Edinburgh: Birlinn, 2010.  
HLR 759.411
Jeffares, N., Dictionary of pastellists before 1800. London: Unicorn Press, 2006.
HLR 741.235
Johnson, J. and Greutzner, H., Dictionary of British artists, 1880-1940. Woodbridge, 1976.
HLR 709.41
Mallalieu, H.L., Dictionary of British watercolour artists up to 1920. 3 vol. [Vol. 1 is of the 2nd ed.] Woodbridge, 1986-1990.
HLR 751.422
McEwan, P.J.M., Dictionary of Scottish art and architecture. Woodbridge, 1994.
HLR 709.411
Morgan, A. L., The Oxford dictionary of American art and artists. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
HLR 709.73
Petteys, C., Dictionary of women artists: an international dictionary of women artists born before 1900. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1985.
HLR 704.042
Roscoe, I., A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851. New Haven, Conn; London: Yale University Press, c2009.
HLR 730.922
Spalding, F., 20th century painters and sculptors. Woodbridge, 1990. (Reprinted 1991)
HLR 709.22
Waters, G.M., Dictionary of British artists working 1900-1950. 2 vol. Eastbourne, 1975.
HLR 709.41
Who's who in art: biographies of leading men and women in the world of art today. C. B. de Laperrière, editor. 32nd edition. Calne, Wiltshire: Hilmarton Manor Press, 2006.
HLR 709.22
Wood, C., Dictionary of Victorian painters. 3rd ed. 2 vol. Woodbridge, 1995.
HLR 759.41

 Book illustrators and cartoonists

Bryant, M., Dictionary of British cartoonists and caricaturists, 1730-1980. Compiled by M. Bryant and S. Heneage. Aldershot, Hants, England : Scolar Press ; Brookfield, Vt., USA : Ashgate, c1994.
HLR 741.5
Bryant, M., Dictionary of twentieth century British cartoonists and caricaturists. Aldershot : Ashgate, 2000.
HLR 741.5
Clark, A., Dictionary of British comic artists, writers and editors. London : British Library, 1998.
HUR 741.5
Dugnat, G., Dictionnaire des graveurs, illustrateurs et affichistes français et étrangers (1673-1950).  G. Dugnat et P. Sanchez. Dijon:  Echelle de Jacob, 2001.
HLR 769.922  
Houfe, S., Dictionary of 19th century British book illustrators and caricaturists. Revised ed. of Dictionary of British book illustrators and caricaturists, 1800-1914. Woodbridge, 1996.
HLR 741.64
Horne, A., Dictionary of 20th century British book illustrators. Woodbridge, 1994.
HLR 741.64
Osterwalder, M., Dictionnaire des illustrateurs. Neuchâtel: Ides et calendes, 1989.
HLR 741.6


Catalogue of paintings in British collections: English Heritage: Audley End; Battle Abbey; Boscobel House; Brodsworth Hall; Chiswick House; the Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood; Marble Hill House; Ranger’s House; Walmer Castle, Geffrye Museum, the Guildhall Art Gallery, Royal Holloway College, Thomas Coram Foundation (London). London: Visual Arts Pub., c1993.
HLR 759.94
National Gallery, Complete illustrated catalogue. Compiled by Christopher Baker and Tom Henry with a supplement of new acquisitions and loans 1995-2000. Expanded ed. London : National Gallery, 2001.
HLR 750.74
National Portrait Gallery, Complete illustrated catalogue. Edited by David Saywell and Jacob Simon. London: National Portrait Gallery, 2004.
HLR 704.942
Subject catalogue of paintings in public collections. Vol.1, London: the National Gallery, the Wallace Collection, the Wellington Museum.  London: Visual Arts, c1989.
HLR 759.94
Subject catalogue of paintings in public collections. Vol.2, London: the Tate Gallery, Old Masters Collection.  London: Visual Arts, c1990.
HLR 759.94
Victoria and Albert Museum, British sculpture 1470 to 2000: a concise catalogue of the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Diane Bilbey with Marjorie Trusted. London: V&A Publications, 2002.
HLR 730.941
Wright, Christopher, British and Irish paintings in public collections: an index of British and Irish oil paintings by artists born before 1870 in public and institutional collections in the United Kingdom and Ireland. New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2006.
HLR 759.2

 Design and applied arts

Bayley, S., Design: intelligence made visible / S. Bayley and T. Conran. London: Conran Octopus, 2007.
HLR 745.203
Byars, M., The design encyclopedia.  London: Laurence King, 2004.
HLR 745.203
Contemporary designers. Editor: C. Naylor. 2nd edition.  Chicago; London: St. James, 1990.
HLR 745.449
Coulson, A. J., A bibliography of design in Britain, 1851-1970. London: Design Council, 1979.
HLR 745.449
Design dictionary: perspectives on design terminology / M. Erlhoff, T. Marshall (editors.).  Basel: Birkhäuser, c2008.
HLR 745.403
Ehresmann, D. L., Applied and decorative arts: a bibliographic guide.  2nd edition. Englewood, Colo.: Libraries Unlimited, 1993.
HLR 745.016
Encyclopedia of interior design / editor, J. Banham. London: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, c1997.
HLR 747.03
The Grove encyclopedia of decorative arts. Edited by G. Campbell. Oxford: Oxford University Press, c2006.
HLR 745.03
In an influential fashion: an encyclopedia of nineteenth-and twentieth-century fashion designers and retailers who transformed dress / A. T. Kellogg. Westport, CT; London: Greenwood Press, 2002.
HLR 746.92
Julier, G., The Thames & Hudson dictionary of design since 1900.2nd edition. London: Thames & Hudson, 2004.
HLR 745.444
McDermott, C., Design: the key concepts.  London: Routledge, c2007.
HLR 745.4
Osborne, H., The Oxford companion to the decorative arts. Oxford, 1975.
Woodham, J. M., A dictionary of modern design. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 
HLR 745.444

 Guides to periodical literature

Art index. New York, 1929-
HUR 701.6
Also available on CD-ROM and online onsite only.
Comité international d'histoire de l'art, Répertoire d'art et d'archéologie. Nouvelle série. Paris, 1965-1989.
HUR 701.6
RILA: international repertory of the literature of art. London, 1975-1989.
HUR 701.6
Both the above were superseded by:
BHA: bibliography of the history of art. Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, 1991-.
HUR 701.6
Also available online from the Getty Institute.
Union list of periodicals on art and related subject fields. London, 1978.
HUR Enquiry Desk 705
Also available online as Arlis: Union list of art, architecture and design serials.


Bibliographie zur Symbolik, Ikonographie und Mythologie. Baden-Baden, 1968-.
HLR 398.042
Friedman J.B. and Wegmann, J.M., Medieval iconography: a research guide. New York; London, 1998.
HLR 704.948
The Index of Christian art available online onsite only.
Réau, L., Iconographie de l'art chrétien. 3 vol. [in 6]. Paris, 1955-1959.
HLR 704.948
Roberts, H.E.(ed.), Encyclopedia of comparative iconography: themes depicted in works of art. 2 vol. Chicago; London, 1998.
HLR 704.903
Schiller, G, .Iconography of Christian art. 2 vol. London, 1971-9172.
HLR 704.948
Waal, H. van der, Iconclass: an iconographic classification system. Amsterdam, 1973-1985.
HLR 025.467
Warburg Institute, Catalog of the Warburg Institute Library. 12 vol. Boston, 1967. First supplement, 1971.
HLL 017.21WIL

 Locations and reproductions

Havlice, P.P., World painting index. 2 vol. Metuchen, N.J., 1977.
HLR 750.16
Monro, I.S. and K.M., Index to reproductions of European paintings. New York, 1956.
HLR 759.4
Parry, P.J., Contemporary art and artists: an index to reproductions. Connecticut, 1978.
HLR 709.04
Wright, C., British and Irish paintings in public collections: an index of British and Irish oil paintings by artists born before 1870 in public and institutional collections in the United Kingdom and Ireland. New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, 2006.
HLR 759.2
Wright, C., Old master paintings in Britain. London, 1976.
HLR 759.94
Wright, C., The World's master paintings: from the early Renaissance to the present day. 2 vol. London and New York, 1992.
HLR 750.16

 Monograms and signatures

Goldstein, F., Monogramm-Lexikon: internationales Verzeichnis der Monogramme bildender Künstler seit 1850. Berlin, 1964.
HLR 702.78
Jackson, R., The visual index of artists' signatures and monograms. Rev. and extended ed. London : Foulsham, c1991.
HLR 702.78
Nagler, G.K., Die Monogrammisten. 5 vol. München, 1857-1879.
HLR 702.78
Pfisterer, P.(ed.), Monogrammlexikon 2: internationales Verzeichnis der Monogramme bildender Künstler des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Berlin, 1995.
HLR 702.78
Pfisterer, P., Signaturenlexikon = Dictionary of signatures. Berlin : W. de Gruyter, 1999.
HLR 702.28
Signatures & monogrammes d’artistes des XIXe et XXe siècles.  Paris; Editions Van Wilder, c1999.
HLR 702.78


Browne, T., Macmillan biographical encyclopedia of photographic artists & innovators / T. Browne, E. Partnow.  New York: Macmillan; London: Collier Macmillan, c1983.
HLR 770.922
Contemporary photographers. 3rd edition. Executive editor, M. M. Evans. New York; London: St. James Press, c1995.
HLR 770.922
Encyclopedia of nineteenth-century photography / J. Hannavy, editor. New York; London: Routledge, c2008.
HLR 770.9
Encyclopedia of twentieth-century photography / L. Warren, editor. New York; London: Routledge, 2006.
HLR 770.9
McDarrah, G. S.,The photography encyclopedia / G. S. McDarrah, F. W. McDarrah, and T. S. McDarrah.  New York: Schirmer Books, c1999.
HLR 770.3
Roosens, L. History of photography: a bibliography of books / L. Roosens and L. Salu.  London: Mansell, 1989-1999.
HLR 770.9

 Picture research

The British Library has its own Picture Library at Images Online.
Eakins, R. (ed.), Picture sources UK. London, 1985.
HLR Enquiry Desk 026.7
Evans, H., Practical picture research: a guide to current practice, procedure, techniques and resources. London, 1992.
HLR 750.72
Evans, H. and M., Picture researcher's handbook: an international guide to picture sources and how to use them. 6th ed. London, 1966.
HLR 026.7
HLR Enquiry Desk 026.7
Wall, J., Directory of British photographic collections. London, 1977.
HLR 026.779
HLR Enquiry Desk 026.779

 Prints and drawings

The British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings gives access to the Museum's collections of graphic art in Europe from the fifteenth century to the present. There is no comprehensive catalogue of the holdings, although the following guides and specialist catalogues are available:
British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, The Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: user's guide. [By] A. Griffiths and R. Williams. London, 1987.
HLR Enquiry Desk 760.074
British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, Catalogue of engraved British portraits preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum. By F. O'Donoghue and H.M. Hake. 6 vol. London, 1908-1925.
HLR 769.42
British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings, Catalogue of political and personal satires. 11 vol. Vol. 1-4 by F.G. Stephens, vol. 5-11 by M.D. George. London, 1978, 1952, 1954. [Vol. 1-9 are reprints of the edition of 1870-1949].
HLR 769.5
See also: *English cartoons and satirical prints, 1320-1832, in the British Museum. [Microfilm].
Howe, E.R.J.G., Catalogue of British and American bookplates bequeathed to the Trustees of the British Museum by Sir A.W. Franks. 3 vol. London, 1903-1904.
HLR 769.52
Illustrated Bartsch. New York, 1978-
HLR 769.074

 Sculpture, ceramics and metalwork

A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851 / I. Roscoe, E. Hardy, and M.G. Sullivan.  New Haven, Conn.; London: Yale University Press, c2009.
HLR 730.922
British sculptors of the twentieth century / edited by A. Windsor. Aldershot: Ashgate, c2003.
HLR 730.922
The encyclopedia of sculpture / A. Boström, editor. New York; London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2004.
HLR 730.3
Godden, G. A., Encyclopaedia of British pottery and porcelain marks. London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1988.
HLR 738.027
Jackson’s silver & gold marks of England, Scotland & Ireland. 3rd revised and enlarged edition / edited by I. Pickford.  Woodbridge: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1994.   
HLR 739.2
Roscoe, Ingrid, A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain, 1660-1851. New Haven, Conn; London: Yale University Press, c2009.
HLR 730.922
Stará, D., Pewter marks of the world. London: Hamlyn, 1977.
HLR 739.533
Wilkinson, Vega, A dictionary of ceramic artists.  Newcastle, Staffordshire: A. F. Wilkinson & Associates, c2007.  
HLR 738.092

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