Skip to Main Content

Art History & Visual Art

This guide provides resources on topics related to art history and visual and material culture.

New Art Books

Here is a small selection of recently acquired titles for art. 

Click on an image to be redirected to the item record in the UBC Library Catalogue.


Suddenly Turning               Young, Gifted and Black:           Mesopotamia:                        Modernist Art in                 Beyond Aesthetics:
Visible: Art and                   A New Generation of Artists       Civilization Begins                 Ethiopia                             Use, Abuse and
Architecture in South-                                                                                                                                                    Dissonance in
east Asia, 1969-1989                                                                                                                                                     African Art Traditions                                                                                                                                                                                              


Caravaggio Bernini:                  Embrace our Rivers:              Cuba Talks: Interviews        Yellow Book: A Project      Senga Nengudi:
Early Baroque in Rome            Public art and ecology in        with 28 Contemporary         by He Xiangyu                  Topologies
                                                  India                                       Artists


Museums and Sites        Sahel: Art and Empires on      The Impressionists and       Artemisia                                Zanele Muholi:
of Persuasion:                 the Shores of the Sahara        Photography                       (National Gallery,                    Hail the Dark Lioness
Politics, Memory, and                                                                                                  London)
Human Rights                                                                                                       

Find Art Books

Search Summon and the Library Catalogue to find print and e-books. 

Books in the call number ranges listed below are located on Levels 3 & 4 of the Music, Art & Architecture Library.

Core Art books are classed in the N-call number range.

  • N - visual arts
  • NB - sculpture
  • NC - drawing, design, illustration
  • ND - painting
  • NE - print media
  • NK - decorative arts
  • NX - arts in general

     Photography books are classed in the T-call number range. ​

  • TR - photography
  • TT - handicrafts, arts and crafts





Additional call numbers to consider: 

  • E-F - History of the Americas.
    • Materials related to Indigenous art can be found within this call number
  • GN - Anthropology.
    • Additional materials related to Indigenous art can be found here. 
  • GV - Recreation, Leisure.
    • Materials related to dance and performance.
  • LC - Special aspects of education.
    • Materials related to art and social justice, and/or activism.
  • QA - Mathematics.
    • Materials related digital art and new media art. 
  • SB - Plant Culture.
    • Materials related to ecological art and installation art.

Note: some topics are interdisciplinary and may not limited to the call numbers above. 

For more information on how these call numbers are organized, see: 

New Art Books

To browse new art books recently acquired by the Music, Art & Architecture Library, see: New Books & Materials. Search by using: 

(1) the "Restrict to subject" option and selecting "Fine Arts" in the drop down menu.

(2) the "Call number range(s)" option and identifying a specific call number to search (eg., AM, N-NX, ND249, TR).

(3) "More Options" and selecting "Music, Art & Architecture Library." Note: this retrieves new books from all three disciplines.

Subject Headings & Keywords

Listed below is a small selection of art subject headings that can be used for keyword searching in the UBC Library Catalogue.



Subject headings can be further broken down by time period/style, artist/group name, place, etc. as shown below.

By time period / style: By artist/group: By place:


Click on the links above or browse the UBC Catalogue for other subject headings. A visual example of how to get started is shown below.

Expanding your Search

To find more keywords / search terms, try using the following links to get more suggestions. Type a keyword into the search box and see what alternate or related terms they return to you. Then, try searching these new terms in Summon or the UBC Library Catalogue.

Primary Sources

For a detailed description of what constitutes a primary source, and how to search for primary source materials in UBC Library collections, see the Primary Sources guide.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

This is just a small selection of art dictionaries and encyclopedias in UBC Library holdings:

Sourcebooks & Documents



Ebook Collections

Test Image   Test Image   Test ImageImage result for art canada institute


Books from Other Libraries

If UBC Library doesn't have the book you need, try ordering it through our Interlibrary Loan Service.

Visiting another university library?  Reciprocal Borrowing agreements may allow you to sign out books at that library.

These databases will expand your search beyond UBC Library: