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ARH 2051 - History of Western Art II (Mendoza)


These modules will walk you through the process of conducting research for this course while helping to refine your library skills. Each module will focus on a specific skill ranging from navigating subject databases, using effective keywords, evaluating and synthesizing resources. Also included is an overview of Primo, the Libraries' new catalog that replaces the previous catalog and Quick Search.

before we begin, let's review some basic library resources and services:

  • Ask Us: Use this service if you need assistance from a librarian. You can contact us via chat, phone, text, and email.
  • My Account: Use this service to manage the library materials you have checked out, to access Inter-Library Loan, and to log in from off-campus. 
  • The Library Services page: This page provides an overview of key library services including printing, checking out a study room, computer & technology lending, and more.
  • Citation Management: Provides an overview of different options for citation management including setting up a free Endnote account and more.
  • Research Tips Thursdays: A weekly video series that focuses on developing research skills. Topics include understanding types of research, identifying gaps in research, identifying good evidence, and following the scholarly conversation.

Let's begin with an overview of Primo.

What is Primo?

In the summer of 2021, the UCF Libraries launched a new catalog called Primo. As a result, some changes have been made to the libraries’ homepage and, perhaps more importantly, Quick Search no longer exists. If you were accustomed to using Quick Search, you'll want to focus more on using individual subject databases, which we will discuss elsewhere in this guide.

The key access point to Primo located in the center of the library's homepage:

Use Primo to search for books/e-books as well as other materials such as media, journals, documents, and more. Note that when you run a basic search, the default settings will be to search "Everything" including materials located at UCF as well as the statewide shared catalog. If you'd prefer to see what's available at UCF, you can run a basic search to get into the system, then change the "Everything" setting to "UCF Library Catalog" and re-reun your search:

The results will display all available formats including books, journals, images, media, and many others that may not be relevant to your needs. You can select only the formats you wish to view, such as books, in the documents limiter in the sidebar:

There are many other limiters in the sidebar you can use to refine your results including subject, language, genre, etc.

Quick Search: Primo replaces the old Quick Search system, which no longer exists. If you were accustomed to using Quick Search, your best alternative is to search the catalog, subject databases, and online journals individually. These can be accessed from the same portal in the center of the libraries' homepage. This is also a more strategic and controlled method of searching that will enhance your research.

Virtual Browse: Another feature new to Primo is virtual browse. This allows you to see books related to the one you’re viewing that, in a physical collection, would be on the shelf near the one you're viewing. For example, the catalog record for the book Medieval warfare : a history features a visual scroll at the bottom of the record for the following related titles:

For a more detailed overview of th enew primo system, see this handy reference guide.

Using ArtStor

ArtStor consists of 2.5 million high-quality images from over 300 collections worldwide. All the images have been copyright-cleared through the ArtStor's licensing agreement with their partners, which means you are free to use them for non-commenrcial educational purposes. The images are the highest quality available and they include extensive metadata provided by the institutions that maintain the materials. Artstor also includes an image viewer with side-by-side comparison modes, group sharing options, and increased accessibility for users with disabilities.

Additionally, Artstor provides research assistance with curated collections on an array of topics along with guides to those collections and a series of webinars that focus on advanced research skills. The video below focuses on finding, collecting, and haring. I discuss how students can use ArtStor to locate high-quality images, build personal libraries, and share those collections with groups or export them to  PowerPoint.

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Links to the resources discussed in the video:

Oxford Art Online

The Oxford Art Online database consists of two collections: The Grove Dictionary of Art and the Benezit Dictionary of Artists.

The Grove Dictionary of Art is the foremost scholarly art encyclopedia, updated regularly and covering art and architecture from prehistory to the present day. It includes peer-reviewed articles contributed by nearly 7,000 scholars from 120 countries. It is accompanied by images, bibliographies, and extensive links to additional resources.

The Benezit Dictionary of Artists is a comprehensive resource for artists’ biographie. Founded in 1911 and originally published in French, it was translated into English in 2006 and published online for the first time in 2011. It includes 149,000 biographies as well as over 11,000 images and a collection of artists’ signatures.

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As mentioned in the video, here is the link to a page of resources for researching art markets:

Oxford Art Online Art Markets

Databases for Art Criticism

The UCF Libraries subscribes to two key art-related databases: Art & Architecture Sources and Index to 19th Century Art Periodicals. This is where you'll find peer reviewed articles on a  wide array of art topics. In the video below, I'll show you how to search both collections at once and demonstrate how the databases are designed to help you narrow and focus your searches by using the advances search filter. 

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In addition to the dedicated art databases covered in the video, think strategically about what other subject databases might be appropriate for your topic and explore those as I did with the Modern Language International Databases (MLA).

Research Consultations

If you need further research assistance and would like to meet one-on-one with a librarian, please contact John Venecek, humanities librarian and liaison to the School of Visual Arts & Design: