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Key Resources for Library Research
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This guide will help you find resources for research in Art and Architecture. It aims to point you to the most useful starting points for your research.
If you have any questions about doing basic or in-depth research relating to Art and Architecture, please contact Brooke Henderson, Art Librarian, at 781.283.3258 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Consult bibliographies or footnotes at the end of books and articles
- Email citations to yourself to save time and to stay organized.
- Remember to note the location of any books you find in the catalog. Your research may be interdisciplinary and you may find useful books both in Clapp Library and in the Art Library.
- using truncation symbols (i.e. asterisk*) will work in most databases
- Newspapers (i.e. New York Times) are great places to find information on exhibitions and artist biographical info.
- Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory (either search as ‘title’ in the catalog or you can find this on the Databases A-Z page) is a great place to check where specific journals are indexed. For example, if you know that there is a terrific article in Renaissance Quarterly, but you have no idea what is the issue or date, you can look up Renaissance Quarterly in Ulrich’s; then click on the “Abstracting/Indexing & Article Access” tab to see where the journal is indexed. Then search for the article in any of those indexes to which we subscribe (ie. BHA, Historical Abstracts, Academic Search Complete, etc).
Critically evaluate what you find
Criteria to keep in mind when choosing and using both print and online sources:
- Accuracy - What is the purpose of the document and why was it produced? Does the author cite her/his sources and are they legitimate?
- Authority - Who wrote the source? Is the author credible? What are the author's credentials (educational background, past writing, experience) in this area? Have you seen the author's name cited in other sources or bibliographies? Respected authors are cited frequently by other scholars. For this reason, always note names that appear in many different sources. Who published the source? Is the publisher scholarly (university press, scholarly associations)? Commercial? Government agency? Self (“vanity”) press? For online information, check the domain of the document - what institution publishes this document?
- Objectivity - Does the author have a bias, political or commercial or persuasive?
- Currency - Is this information new or based on outdated sources? Can you tell how current it is? How up-to-date are the links (if any)?
- Audience - who is the information written for: a specific readership, level of expertise or age/grade level? Is the audience focus appropriate for a research paper?
Art Library Locations
Art Books: lower floor
Art Periodicals: main floor
Art Reference: main floor
Art Video: lower floor
Art Case: main floor
DVD/VHS players: lower floor
Printer/Photocopier/Scanner: main floor
Thesis Carrels: lower floor