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Art History: A Preliminary Handbook

by Dr. Robert J. Belton

Some Basic Reference Materials

Art Index. This is the most basic reference guide to periodical literature in English. It can be found on the second range of reference tables directly opposite the entrance of the North Campus library, and it is available online to qualified persons through Simon Fraser University.

Chilvers, Ian and H. Osborne, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
REF N 33 .O93 Brief biographies and definitions.

Cirlot, J.E. A Dictionary of Symbols. 2nd ed. New York: Philosophical Library, 1971.
REF BF 1623 .S9 C513 Short, alphabetically organized essays on symbols from all parts of the world and all eras.

Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia. 3rd ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1987.
REF PN 41 .B4 A general introduction to world literature organized alphabetically by the names of major writers, novels, poems, plays, characters and literary genres.

Dunford, Penny, ed. A Biographical Dictionary of Women Artists in Europe and America Since 1850. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1990.
REF N 6757 .D86 1990 Self-explanatory.

Encyclopedia of World Art. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959-68. 15 vols. and 2 suppl.
REF N 31 .E4833 Detailed articles on artists, works and genres. Includes many black and white and some colour illustrations and plates. Index in volume 15. Bibliographies are no longer up to date.

Hall, James, ed. Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art. Rev. ed. New York: Harper and Row, 1979.
REF N 7560 .H34 1797b Explanations of common religious, mythological, folkloric and other iconography.

Heller, Jules, and Nancy Heller, eds. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. New York: Garland, 1995.

Huyghe, Rene. Larousse Encyclopedia of Modern Art from 1899 to the Present Day. New York: Prometheus, 1961.
REF N 6450 .H813 Outdated research, but still useful for general chronological and geographical discussion of 19th and 20th century art, placing artists and artistic developments in social context.

Lerner, Loren, and Mary Williamson, eds. Art and Architecture in Canada: A Bibliography and Guide to the Literature to 1981. Toronto: Univeristy of Toronto, 1991.
REF N 6540 .C47 1991 V.1-2 Very thorough annotated bibliography, with entries on painters, sculptors, architects, and virtually all the other visual arts, including that of aboriginal cultures.

Magnusson, Magnus, ed. Cambridge Biographical Dictionary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.
REF CT 103 .C4 Brief biographical information about more than 19,000 famous people from eras. Organized alphabetically. Formerly called Chamber's Biographical Dictionary.

Marks, Claude, ed. World Artists 1950-1980. New York: Wilson, 1984.
REF N 6489 .M37 1984 Biographical and critical information on late modern artists.

Marks, Claude, ed. World Artists 1980-1990. New York: Wilson, 1991.
REF N 6489 .W67 1991 Biographical and critical information on contemporary artists.

Mercatante, Anthony S. The Facts on File Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend. New York: Facts on File, 1988.
REF BL 303 .M45 An alphabetical list of myths, fables and legends from all countries and all time periods. Includes many gods, heroes and mythological creatures.
Naylor, Colin, ed. Contemporary Artists. 3rd ed. Chicago: St. James, 1989.
REF N 6490 .C6567 1989 Brief biographies, but useful for more recent figures.

Opie, Iona and M. Tatem, eds. A Dictionary of Superstitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
REF BF 1775 .D53 An alphabetical list of seasonal customs and a wide range of popular and less well known superstitions.

Osborne, Harold, ed. The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Art. Oxford: Oxford, 1981.
REF N 6490 .O94 1988 Brief, but useful, entries on artists, countries and movements of this century.

Palmer, Alan. The Penguin Dictionary of Twentieth-Century History. 3rd. ed. London: Penguin, 1990.
REF D 419 .P29 An alphabetical dictionary of political, diplomatic, social and economic events in the twentieth century.

Placzek, Adolph K., ed. Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects. London: Collier Macmillan, 1982.
REF NA 40 .M25 1982 V.1-4 Lengthy entries on individual architects, with up-to- date bibliographies and indices of buildings by place and name.

Trager, J., ed. The People's Chronology: A Year-by-Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979.
REF D 11 .T83 A review of key world events. Includes landmarks in politics, medicine, sports, technology, education, and many other fields.

Wetterau, Bruce, comp. Macmillan Concise Dictionary of World History. New York: Macmillan, 1983.
REF D 9 .W47 Short descriptions of important political and historical events, wars, people, etc. Organized alphabetically.

Wiener, Philip P. Dictionary of the History of Ideas. New York: Scribners, 1973.
REF CB 5 .D52 V.1-5 Substantial articles on philosophical, social, cultural and political terms such as "death," "conservation," "mind/body problem" and "evil." Begin with the detailed index in volume 5.

William, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. New York: Oxford, 1985.
REF PE 1580 .W58 Definition and discussion of over 150 English words of cultural significance. Words such as "democracy," "race," "unconscious" and "status" are included in alphabetical order.

© Copyright 1996 Robert J. Belton

Last reviewed shim12/19/2012 11:14:50 PM