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Art History and Theory  

Last Updated: Jun 2, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Art History Key Resources

Fisher Library contains most of the material you will need but you are welcome to use all of the University of Sydney Libraries in particular: Sydney College of the Arts Library, Rozelle and the Schaeffer Fine Arts Library.

Other relevant Subject Guides include: Contemporary Art & Design, Film Studies, Media & Communications, Museum Studies


Other eResources


  • Art Cyclopedia 
  • Artlex Dictionary of Art 
  • Gale Virtual Reference 
    Includes the International Dictionary of Film and Filmmakers and the St James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture
  • Oxford Art Online  
    Useful for quick information on artists, art movements and the visual arts in general. Includes "Grove Art Online", "The Oxford Companion to Western Art", "Encyclopedia of Aesthetics" and "The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms."
  • Oxford Reference Online  
    Comprises over 175 fully-indexed, cross-searchable dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University Press.
  • Oxford English Dictionary  
    Online access to the 20 volume second edition.
  • Weblinks


  • MET: TimeLine of Art History - both chronological and geographical. Each timeline page includes representative art from the Museum's collection, a chart of time periods, a map of the region, an overview, and a list of key events.
  • Google - Art Project is a collaboration between Google and some of the world's most acclaimed and diverse art institutions. 
    Museums large and small, classic and modern, world-renowned and community-based from over 40 countries have contributed more than 40,000 high-resolution images of works ranging from oil on canvas to sculpture and furniture. Some paintings are available in ‘gigapixel’ format, allowing you to zoom in at brushstroke level to examine incredible detail.
  • History of Art Virtual Library is a collection of links relating to Art History and computer applications in Art History.
  • Web Gallery of Art  is a virtual museum and searchable database of Western (European) fine arts of the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, and Impressionism periods (1000-1900), currently containing over 33.900 reproductions. Artist biographies, commentaries, guided tours, period music provided.
  • Smarthistory a leading open educational resource for art history. High-quality introductory art history content is freely available. They offer nearly 500 videos.
  • World Wide Arts Resources provides a site for contemporary art, art news, art history, contemporary artists and gallery portfolios.
  • Art History Resources on the Web 
    This guide has been produced by staff at Sweet Briar College, Virginia, since 1995.
  • ArtSource "a gathering point for networked resources on Art and Architecture. The content is diverse and includes pointers to resources around the net as well as original materials submitted by librarians, artists, and art historians, etc.
  • Modern and contemporary Asian art: a working bibliography by John Clark. Sydney : University of Sydney, 2005.
  • Netdiver  Operating as a links page for new media art and artists, graphic designers, illustrators and photographers, netdiver calls itself a "design + digital culture magazine that uncovers, reviews and publishes outstanding work by the international design community". The emphasis is on commercial applications of digital and new media, but these are contemporary and fresh.
  • SCAN : journal of media arts culture a peer-reviewed ejournal for the media arts. Interdisciplinary in approach, it draws on visual arts, critical theory, media and communication studies and philosophy to consider developments in new media culture. Published three times a year, the journal embraces its electronic format, offering video clips as illustrations to essays, a gallery section featuring new media art, and a variety of non-refereed articles in the 'magazine' section.
  • CAMEO: Conservation & Art Material Encyclopedia Online is a searchable information center developed by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The MATERIALS database contains chemical, physical, visual, and analytical information on over 10,000 historic and contemporary materials used in the production and conservation of artistic, architectural, archaeological, and anthropological materials. Searchable by both English and non-English synonyms in the MATERIALS database.

    Subject Guide

    Kim Wilson
    Contact Info
    Academic Liaison Librarian for the School of Letters, Arts & Media (SLAM)
    ph: 9351 2562
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