Primary Sources - Guide for Art History
Primary sources are generally considered to be firsthand accounts
of an event or the actual documents associated with an event.
Firsthand accounts can be found in diaries, memoirs, letters,
speeches, autobiographies, scholarly articles giving the results of
research, etc. Documents might be laws, treaties, transcripts
of hearings, court cases, etc.
Speeches, letters, journals, diaries, etc. of an
individual may be found by looking for the name of that person as an author.
Examples of author searches
retrieves Complete poems and selected letters of Michelangelo
gogh vincent van retrieves Vincent Van
Gogh Art Life and Letters
*Caution: Records for exhibition catalogs
will use the artist as the author and are not writings of the artist.
The word sources or documents or documentary usually occur
on records for anthologies or collections of primary source material. Use
those words in a keyword search to bring up collections of documents.
art and history and (sources or document*)
art, renaissance and s:sources The s: limits
the term sources to the subject field.
The library also has this series
Sources And Documents In The History Of Art
Library catalog to find these in our library. Use
WorldCat to see what other volumes might exist that you could borrow.
Primary Source Resources
Early English Books
A microfilm collection of books published in England or in the English language
between 1475 and 1700. There are some very interesting old volumes in this
collection. To search in this collection specifically, add early English
books to your keyword search in our catalog.
early english books and
(color or colors)
Early American Imprints
A microfiche collection of books published in the U.S. in the 17th and 18th
centuries. To search this collection specifically, add early american imprints
to your keyword search.
painting and (early american
Documents of 20th Century Art
Collection of volumes giving primary sources relating to 20th century art.
LibraryCatalog, a search on this title will find a list of the books in the
series. Some of the authors included are: Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Arp,
Umbro Apollonio, Daniel Kahnweiler, Jacques Lipchitz, Robert and Sonia Delaunay,
and Pablo Picasso.
Lives of the Artists. Written by Vasari (1511-1574)
Reference N 6922 V2213 1991
Artists on Art from the XIV to the XX Century
Reference N 7452 G64 1958
Twentieth-century Artists on Art : an index to Writings,
Statements, and Interviews by Artists, Architects, and Designers
Reference NX 456 R59 1996
Smithsonian Archive of
A digitized collection of papers of artists and other
archival material from the
Archives of American Art including letters, postcards, sketches,
exhibition records, diaries, and other unique documents. The collection also
includes transcripts of interviews with artists, collectors, gallery directors,
and art historians.