Art 103 – History of Art: Prehistoric to Gothic

Wikipedia Creative Commons Assyrian Statue.

About this Guide

This guide provides students with recommended resources for conducting research in Art 103. Use the tabs to navigate through the pages of the guide.

Your Assignment

A research paper on an artist, a work of art, a building/monument, a movement, or topic covered in class.

Need More Help?

If you need more help with research, ask a librarian! Stop by the Reference Desk, or contact a librarian by phone, email, or chat for more help. Find our contact information on the right side of this page.Contact Us

Reference Sources

Reference books and online databases are a great place to begin your research. Just a few examples of reference books and databases related to art & biography are listed below.

Print Sources

These resources are available in the Luria Library Reference section. You can take notes or pages can be photocopied at ten cents a page.

  • Encyclopedia of World Art – R 700 E56 (17 volumes with 4 supplements)
  • Dictionary of Art – R 703 T948d (34 volumes)
  • Oxford Companion to Western Art – R 703 B856o
  • The Oxford dictionary of the Middle Ages – R 909.07 B626o
  • The Oxford encyclopedia of ancient Egypt – R 932 R315o
  • Civilizations of the ancient Near East – R 939 S252c

Online Sources

To access databases from off campus you will need to log-in with your pipeline account number and password.

  • Credo Reference A general reference source featuring a concept map to help identify keywords and broaden or narrow topics.
  • History Reference Center Check here for reference books, periodicals, and primary sources.


Search the Library Catalog (books+) to find books about your topic of research.


Journal and magazine articles usually provide the most current information on a topic. Journal articles are more scholarly while magazine articles tend to be shorter and more general. The databases listed here will contain full-text articles. To access databases from off campus you will need to log-in with your pipeline account number and password.

  • Academic Search Complete Provides full text for more than 8,500 periodicals (magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals), including full text for nearly 7,300 peer-reviewed titles, in all subject areas.
  • ARTstor A digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with a suite of software tools for teaching and research.
  • JSTOR A database of full-text, scholarly articles. Covers a range of subjects, including the arts.
  • Project MUSE A database of full-text, scholarly articles. Covers a range of subjects, including the arts.
  • Google Scholar Google Scholar can provide access to some full-text articles and books.

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan is a free service for students. Students can request copies of articles or borrow books from another library. Students are advised to request loans early in the research process as loans can take three to ten days.

Evaluating Websites

Figuring out whether the information you find online is credible enough for college research can be challenging. Use the P.R.O.V.E.N. Source Evaluation Questions to help you determine whether the sources you find are credible:

  • Purpose: How and why the source was created. Is it intended to educate, inform, persuade, sell, or entertain? Do the authors, publishers, or sponsors state this purpose, or try to disguise it? Why was this information published in this particular type of source (book, article, website, blog, etc.)? Is the source designed for the general public, students, or experts?
  • Relevance: The value of the source for your needs. Does the type of source meet your assignment’s requirements? Does the information answer your question, support your argument, or add something to your knowledge of the topic? Is it too general or too specific? Is it too basic or too advanced?
  • Objectivity: The reasonableness and completeness of the information. Do the authors present the information thoroughly and professionally? Is it fact or opinion? Is it biased? Do the authors use strong, emotional, manipulative, or offensive language? Do they leave out, or make fun of, important facts or alternative perspectives?
  • Verifiability: The accuracy and truthfulness of the information. Do the authors support the information they present with strong factual evidence? Do they cite or provide links to other sources? What do experts say about the topic? Can you verify the information in other credible sources? Does the source contradict itself, include false statements, or misrepresent other sources?
  • Expertise: The authority of the creators of the source. What makes the authors, publishers, or sponsors of the source authorities on the topic? Do they have related education, experience, or other expertise? Do they provide an important alternative perspective? Has the source been reviewed in some way, such as by an editor or through peer review?
  • Newness: The age of the information. Is your topic in an area that requires current information (such as science, technology, or current events), or could information found in older sources still be useful? When was the information presented in the source first published or posted? Are newer sources available that would add important information to your understanding of the topic?

For more help locating reliable information online, see the Finding Credible Web Sources research guide.

The Internet can be a valuable source for supplementing the information you have gathered from books and periodicals. It is important that you evaluate the information you get from the Internet to determine if it is reliable and useful to your research. The internet sites included here have been reviewed by a librarian.

Selected Websites:


Help with Writing

You may want to consult guides to writing about art which are in the Luria Library.

Here is an online writing center at Purdue University.
From the Purdue site, here is a short piece on quoting, summarizing and paraphrasing.

Paper Writing Assistance

How to Cite

This Citation Worksheet is a helpful way to keep track of your sources and all the elements you will need in citing them for your bibliography.

Links to MLA citation format: