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Art History Research & Writing: Research Basics

Robert B. Haas Arts Library

reading room at Arts Library

Yale's Arts research library contains approximately 125,000 volumes on-site, including current issues of art and architecture journals, plus related rare and unique materials. Off-site, an additional 300,000+ books and periodicals are stored in the Library Shelving Facility for quick delivery to any Yale Library.

Library Hours

Getting Started

1. Writing a research paper: Consult your professor's research assignment for guidelines on writing your paper. Also contact your librarian about guidebooks to researching and writing about art history. See right sidebar of this page for suggested books. 

2. Cite your sources. All Yale students have access to RefWorks and Endnote, tools which helps you keep your citations organized, generate a bibliography and help form footnotes/endnotes. See Yale Library's website for more information on citation tools.

3. What are Databases? Research tools that help you find articles in journals, magazines, or newspapers, or other information sources like books videos, and maps. Some focus on a kind of source, for example newspaper articles.

4. What are Journals? Journals consist mostly of articles written by scholars and researchers, reporting in detail on their original research, and "peer reviewed" by other experts before they’re published.  Most are published by professional or academic organizations. Journals are published regularly, like magazines, but most magazine articles provide more basic information, and are written for the general public.

5. Evaluating Websites: Remember to always evaluate a website before using it for research purposes. You can always ask a librarian or your professor for an opinion about a specific website. Some criteria for evaluating websites include:

  • Accuracy
  • Authority
  • Currency
  • Objectivity
  • Purpose

Writing about Art titles