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History of British Art: Secondary Sources

Getting Started

Researching British history of art can involve a wide scope of secondary materials: books, articles, and digital images, to name a few. The following is a mixture of key online sources for accessing books, articles, and other resources. 

                         Books      ---      Articles      ---     Images   

Ben Nicholson, 1937 (detail)

Finding Books About Artists

Yale Library's online catalogue includes the full holdings of the YCBA Reference Library, Rare Book and Manuscript Collection, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Haas Family Arts Library, the Lewis Walpole Library and others that have holdings relating to British history of art. 

NJ18 section
The Yale libraries group all books about an artist together in the call number section NJ18. Artists are grouped alphabetically, which is designated by a letter and number following the NJ18 prefix. For example, J.M.W. Turner begins, NJ18 T85. 

Catalogues Raisonnés
The catalogue raisonné is the definitive resource devoted to an artist's entire body of work and will often include invaluable information about specific works of art such as: exhibition histories, bibliographies, and related works.

Exhibition Catalogs
Museum exhibitions are either theme-based or center around an artist's work. Many exhibition catalogs represent the most extensive and up-to-date scholarship on an artist, particularly in the absence of a catalogue

Finding Articles About Art and Artists

Finding Images of Art

ARTstor: ARTstor is an image database containing over 500,000 digital images. 

YCBA Photograph Archive: Contains over 200,000 black and white photographs of British art worldwide, with a focus on collections in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

YCBA Collections online: The art and rare book collections of the Yale Center for British Art.

British Printed Images to 1700 (BPI1700)

The British Museum Online Collection

Tate Britain Online Collection

Image Research Tab