Art & Design

Olson Library provides many resources for your use, including its own catalog of materials, as well as access to other electronic databases in which you can find journal articles, image collections, and reference resources. You can have access to all of these resources anywhere you have an internet connection. If required to log-in just use your network ID and password.

Search OneSearch by Author/Title/Subject or Keyword to find articles, books, periodicals, government documents, and audiovisual materials in a variety of formats (including online) held by NMU.

If our library doesn't have the books you need, you should then search MeLCat (the Michigan Electronic Library Catalog). You can request items from over 250 libraries in the state of Michigan. You will usually receive items requested through MeLCat in about a week. Hint: this can not be used for journal articles at this time.

A collection of more than 19,500 digital versions of books. In addition to being able to navigate through the contents of a book page by page, you have the ability to navigate using the Table of Contents, the Index, or to search the full text of the eBook. You can view the book for 15 minutes (no account needed) or check out the book for 6 hours (requires creating a free account).

A collection of high-quality full-text books in all areas of the humanities, including art history. These scholarly works are of major importance to historical studies which are frequently cited in the literature. Includes in-print, out-of-print, and rare titles. Included are over 1,200 books with 250 titles added annually covering the period of 1900 to present.

The article database JSTOR is particularly helpful for finding journal articles for your art and art history courses.

It contains complete, searchable, full-text articles from over 1,000 core scholarly journals, dating from 1878 to the most recent 1-5 years (varies by title), and is included in OneSearch.

Other art and design journal article databases.

ARTstor is an incredible image database which covers many time periods and cultures and documents the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design, anthropology, ethnographic and women's studies, as well as many other forms of visual culture. Users can search, view, download and organize images. Make your life easier and use ArtStor to find images for your art and art history papers. Not included yet in OneSearch but it is in the process of being added.

New York Public Library's Digital Collection
Per the Library's website, this digital image collection contains over 700,000 digitized images of objects ranging from photography, maps, illuminated manuscripts, ephemera, and prints, to name just a few. Not included in OneSearch.


Reference works (dictionaries, encyclopedias, timelines, "companions") are a particularly good resource when you're studying art and art history. These types of resources provide information about the historical, cultural and religious context of an artwork that you're studying or doing research on.

Art Cyclopedia 
A comprehensive index of artists represented at hundreds of museum sites, image archives, and other online resources. Update January/2006: have now indexed over 2,300 art sites, and offer over 95,000 links to an estimated 180,000 artworks by 8,200 renowned artists. 

Grove Encyclopedia of American Art 
The Grove Encyclopedia of American Art (GEAA) deals with all aspects of American art and architecture from Native American art to Colonial art to contemporary American art.

Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture 
The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture offers over 1,600 up-to-date entries on Islamic art and architecture ranging from the Middle East to Central and South Asia, Africa, and Europe and spans over a thousand years of history.

Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization 
This work incorporates the updates and revisions made to the latest edition of the acclaimed 'Oxford Classical Dictionary', from which this abridged Companion derives. A revised chronology, bibliography, and thematic listing of entries supplement the A to Z entries. It also contains over 40 new or completely rewritten entries on Greek and Roman society and culture, including ancient perceptions of color, gender, ghosts, masculinity, sacred laws, and theatricality, as well as new feature entries on topics such as emotions, madness, and ancient conceptions of the senses.

Evaluating internet resources
Before you search for internet resources be sure you understand what to look for in a credible source. We have put this tip sheet together to assist you.

Style Guides define how you do the citations and works cited for your paper. Some instructors may have you use the formatting guidelines (margins, line spacing, etc.) that are given in the Style Guide, as well. To save yourself time and aggravation, always follow the instructions in the style guide chosen by your professor. Two commonly chosen for art and art history papers are the Chicago Style Guide or the MLA Style Guide.

Quick Reference Chicago Style Guide
This online guide includes some of the more common examples for citing references as endnotes or in bibliographies. Chicago style dictates that all references are indented and single-spaced. The examples are based on guidelines listed in The Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition, 2003). This source is located in the Library's reference collection under the following call number: Ref Z 253 .U69 2003. You can always contact the library for help.

Quick Reference MLA Style Guide
This online guide is a good place to go to get general information on how to do a citation, but you should get into the habit of consulting the actual book. Copies are available at the Olson Library (call no. LB2369.G53 2009). If you need help with formatting, works cited or in-text citations, you can always contact the library for help.

If you use the Firefox browser to find items on the internet, you can use Firefox's application Zotero to quickly format your citation information in the style you (or your professor) prefers. Olson Library has a guide that quickly describes Zotero for you.


  • The fastest way to borrow something not available at NMU.
  • Recommended for books, DVDs, CDs

    Interlibrary Loan

  • The best option for articles or book chapters.
  • Can't find the materials you need at NMU Collection or MelCat?
  • Submit an Interlibrary Loan request and we'll search libraries around the world.
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