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Art History Research & Writing: Research Basics

Robert B. Haas Arts Library

reading room at Arts Library

Yale's Arts Library, linking Rudolph Hall and the Loria Center at 180 and 190 York Street, serves as the primary collection for the study of art, architecture, and drama at Yale. The Arts Library contains approximately 150,000 onsite volumes including important reference works, monographs, exhibition catalogs, and print periodicals, as well as digital resources, including online periodicals, article indexes, and databases. Arts Library Special Collections features artists' books and volumes on the book arts, fine printing, typography, and illustration, as well as archival materials and thesis projects from the Schools of Art, Architecture, and Drama. An additional 300,000+ volumes are stored in the offsite Library Shelving Facility for quick delivery to any Yale Library via Eli Express.

Today's Arts 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