Databases - finding History of Art publications

  • You can search these databases to find out what has been written on a particular art history topic. Most of the databases include abstracts or summaries of the publications indexed; some databases include the full text of journal articles; there are also databases which contain pre-twentieth century publications. If you would like further help with using these databases or finding sources for your assignments, contact your History of Art Librarian, Jo Akers, email

    Key databases

    JSTOR - this database provides an archive of full-text articles from a wide range of academic journals, including many key art history journals. JSTOR does not give access to issues which are less than 3-5 years old but is very useful for older journal articles.

    Art full text - includes art and art history ejournal articles from 1997 onwards - it also provides links to other ejournal articles. It is particularly useful for recent journal articles and for journals not covered by JSTOR (for example, Art History and the Journal of the History of Collections). If we have access to ejournal articles via other suppliers, you can use the Full Text Finder service to link from references in Art full text to our other online journals. It is also a good way of looking up articles in journals which are not available online (for example, Apollo, British Art Journal). Art full text has very good coverage for contemporary art. 

    Royal Institute of British Architects' British Architectural Library Catalogue provides references to books and journal articles on architecture.

    Bibliography of the history of art - this free database includes comprehensive references to art history books and journal articles published between 1975 and 2007.

    Other databases 

    Avery index to architectural periodicals - useful for contemporary architecture. 
    History databases  Bibliography of British and Irish History and  Historical abstracts
    Oxford art online
     - contains the online version of the Grove Dictionary of Art. 
    Oxford dictionary of national biography
     - useful for information about British artists, patrons etc. 

    Pre-twentieth century publications

    Historical texts - online access to books and pamphlets in the following collections: Early English Books Online (EEBO), Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) and 19th Century books from the British Library collection.

    Early European Books - Early European Books is a comprehensive digitised collection of works printed in Europe between 1450-1700, with full-colour, facsimile images scanned directly from the original printed sources.

    Internet Archive E-book and Text Archive - a freely available collection of e-books - useful for 19th century publications.

    British periodicals - an archive of hundreds of full text periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, including scholarly journals, reviews and magazines.

    Seventeenth-eighteenth century Burney Collection newspapers - 17th and 18th century pamphlets, proclamations, newsbooks and newspapers published in England, Ireland and Scotland, plus a selection of papers from British colonies in the Americas and Asia. Newspapers include the London Chronicle, the London Morning Penny Post and the British Chronicle.

    The Guardian and The Observer (1791-2003) - the complete digital edition of both newspapers, 1791-2003, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations.

    Nineteenth century British Library newspapers - contains digital editions of a wide variety of national and regional British newspapers from the 19th century.

    Times Digital Archive The complete digital edition of The Times newspaper, 1785-1985, with all articles, advertisements and illustrations.

    British cartoon archive - caricatures and cartoons going back to the 19th century.

    There are links to other useful resources here: Primary sources for History