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Fine Arts

Article Databases for Fine Arts

Search Google Scholar

Google Scholar can help you find additional citations and abstracts for scholarly articles.  To access the full-text of the article, you can search our list of full-text journals, contact the library, or request a copy through the library's interlibrary loan service.

Google Scholar Search

How to Search a Database

The academic databases listed on this page are excellent sources for magazine, news, and journal articles. Library databases are different from online search engines like Google, so you will need to master a few basic concepts in order to use them effectively. This guide will outline what you need to know to find the best sources:

Exclude irrelevant words

When using the databases, you should exclude all extraneous words from your searches. First, leave out all articles (a, and, the) in your search. Next, narrow your search terms down to two or three words that describe exactly what you hope to find For example, if you are writing a paper about the theme of discrimination in Frankenstein, narrowing your search terms down to discrimination and Frankenstein will likely retrieve a manageable list of more precise results.

Select and refine search terms

After you have selected your initial search terms, list any synonyms or related terms that might be relevant to your topic. For example, if your search terms are Frankenstein and discrimination, you might want to try synonyms such as "prejudice" or "intolerance" in place of discrimination. You may even replace discrimination with a related term, such as "inhumanity." Successful searches are often the result of trying out a variety of terms. Most databases will provide you with suggestions of additional or alternate search terms to use, which can lead you to better results in a shorter amount of time.

Combine or exclude terms

Two or more search terms may be combined in different ways to yield different results. The connectors AND, OR, NOT are useful search tools, and most databases have these built in to make searching easier. Use the connector AND to yield results that contain both search terms. Use OR for results that contain either term. Use NOT to exclude results that contain a specific term.

Try different databases

Different databases index different content, and selecting the right database is just as important to successful searching as choosing the right search terms. A search that retrieves few or no results in one database may work well in another. If you retrieve too few or irrelevant results in one database, try a different one.

Could You Research This Topic?

Cezanne - Self-PortraitPaul Gauguin influenced many young artists, especially those known as the Nabis or "Les Nabis."  Who are the artists of Les Nabis and how are they important to later avant-garde artists of the Modern era?  Do you think Les Nabis still have influence or interest for today's artists?  

Would you be able to research these questions using resources in this research guide?

Remember, you are always welcome contact the library for additional assistance.  We love hearing from you!






Image Credit: Self-Portrait, 1889, Paul Gauguin, courtesy National Gallery of Art