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ART111/112: Survey of Western Art I/II: Finding Sources

What is a Critic?

Your assignment sheet states you must find 4 different critics and explore their opinions on your topic.

So, what is a critic?

Critics are considered experts in their field. In this case, the field is art history. Here are a few guidelines that qualifies someone as an expert:

  • A person that has a degree in their field (in most cases this will be a Ph.D.)
  • A person that continually studies and publishes about aspects in their field
  • Opinions and ideas expressed in publications are supported by research or evidence
  • Publications by this person are published scholarly articles and are peer-reviewed (checked for accuracy by other members in their field)

See the "Finding Scholalry Articles" Box below for tips on finding sources written by critics. 

Search Tips

Here are a few things to try when searching:

  • Start by searching the title of your work:
    • Use the exact title
    • Remember to use quotes around the title. This gives you more accurate results by pulling articles that include its title somewhere. Keep in mind that databases aren't perfect--you may have to sort through some of your results to find what you're looking for.
    • Generic name? Try searching for title and artist. For example, most people are familar with the painting, The Last Supper. However, including "Leonardo Da Vinci" in your search will give you more precision by yielding results specifically about his painting rather than other works with the same title.
  • Not able to find anything by searching for title? Try expanding your search and looking for the artist's name or the movement they are associated with. You may be able to find information about your particular work within a source that talks about the artists and or the movement in general.

Finding Scholarly Articles

Remember that the articles you find on library websites are not off-limits. While they are accessed online, they are what your instructor is looking for rather than sources you Google!  

Why? The articles come from scholarly peer-reviewed journals, meaning the authors are experts in their field. Many times these articles will be an analysis or critique of a work--the authors are the critics you are looking for. Usually scholarly articles are not free for the Googling because journals required paid subscriptions.

Start with the databases listed below and make sure you take a look at the "Search Tips" listed above if you're having trouble searching.

Get to know the work

To get to know your artwork, browse through some background sources such as encyclopedia articles. You can search by work and/or by artist.  These are NOT sources you should cite, as they are not by critics, but they can be useful for helping you determine what to write about in your paper.  Remember that not all works of art or artists will show up in every research tool.

Finding Books

Don't forget, you don't need to use the whole book. Want to use just a chapter? Let us scan it for you. Fill out this form and bring it and the book up to the front (circulation) desk and we'll scan it and email it to you.

UD Catalog

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Need a refresher on how to use the catalog? Check out this video.

Need help reading a call number? Check out this guide.

Where do I find these books in the library?

Once you find a book in the catalog, you need to look at 3 different things to figure out where to find the book.

First: Look at the status (in the blue box)--Is your book On the shelf or Checked out?

Second: Determine what collection (in the purple box)--Which floor is the book on?

Third: Write down the call number (in the green box)--This call number is like the book's address. You need the whole thing.

This book is in the Circulating Collection on the third floor. You know it's the third floor and not the first floor because the Call Number starts with ND which is between L-Z, not A-K.

This book is on the first floor in the Reference Collection. This means it's on the short shelves on the first floor near the reference desk. It also means you cannot check it out, or take it from the building.

This book is also on the first floor. Folios are large "coffee table size" books located near the elevators on the short shelves on first floor. Unlike Reference books found on the first floor short shelves, you can check out Folio books.

The second floor of the library, also known as the Curriculum Library, is where all the children's and young adult books are. All of the books on the 2nd floor are either for children or for teachers to use with children. You shouldn't use these for your paper.