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Art History & Visual Art – Specialized Topics

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

Getting Started

This research guide provides resources, including print books and ebooks, article databases, images, streaming media, and digital resources, on specialized topics related to art history and visual and material culture.

Start by exploring resources in:

Then, expand your search by:

  • using the tailored resource lists in each section of the menu on the left-hand side of this guide
  • viewing the list of additional art guides in the Related Guides section at the bottom of this page (on focused topics in art, critical and curatorial studies, and visual literacy)

Key Resources

Listed below are a few key resources for art, and related multidisciplinary studies, that can be used to search across all of the topics in this guide.

For more specialized databases and research materials, explore the topic-specific resources listed in the tabs on the left-hand side of this guide.

Image result for oxford art online Art Full Text Image result for artbibliographies modern      

  Image result for oxford bibliographies online  Image result for jstor    

Image result for international bibliography of art  Image result for art index retrospective  Image result for bibliography of the history of art

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                                                                                                       

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.

Find Art Books

General instructions for finding art books are provided below. For information about locating art books on specialized topics, use the tabs listed on the left-hand side of this guide to find tailored resource lists.

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 be limited to the call numbers above. 

For more information on how these call numbers are organized by the Library of Congress, 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.

Research Help

Need additional help? Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Art Librarian Sara Ellis

Sara Ellis
Art & Visual Literacy Librarian
Music, Art & Architecture Library
Room 414, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre
1961 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1

Phone: 604-827-3549