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Research Guide to Visual Arts: Library Resources

A list of resources available through Truxal Library for researching visual arts

Circulating Materials

To find books, audio/visual materials, or print periodicals on your topic, conduct a keyword or subject search in the Library Catalog.

Try synonyms and related terms: 

outsider art   OR   folk art
graphic novels   OR   comics
divisionism   OR   pointillism

From the information you find in the Catalog, be sure to note:

  • the Location of the item in the Library Building
  • the item's Call Number
  • whether the item is available or has been checked out

To become more familiar with finding materials in the Library's print collection, here's a guide to using Library of Congress call numbers:

Library Databases

Click on the links below to search for articles from periodicals (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.) and for information from electronic books and multimedia resources. For off-campus access, you will need to enter your MyAACC username and password or the barcode number from the back of your Truxal Library card.

Searching for Full Text

No full text available?
Have only an article's abstract or just a citation?

Use the library's Finding Articles from Citations page, which is part of the Finding Materials from Citations Guide.

For assistance, contact the reference desk at 410-777-2456 or

Print Reference Materials

Find these materials in the Reference Section of Truxal Library:

  • 20th Century American Folk, Self-Taught, and Outsider Art (Ref) NK805 .S46 1993
  • 20th Century Design: The Definitive Illustrated Sourcebook  (Ref) N6494 .M64 M499 2009
  • 100 Ideas that Changed Art (Ref) N5300 .B645 2012
  • 100 Ideas that Changed Fashion  (Ref) TT507 .W665 2011
  • 100 Ideas that Changed Graphic Design (Ref) NC998 .H4456 2012
  • 1001 Paintings You must See Before You Die (Ref) ND1145 .A15 2007
  • 30,000 Years of Art: The Story of Human Creativity across Time and Space (Ref) N5300 .T44 2007
  • American Graphic Design: A Guide to the Literature (Ref) NC998.5.A1 T6 1992
  • American Women Sculptors: A History of Women Working in Three Dimensions (Ref) NB236 .R8 1990
  • Art and Architecture (Ref) F209 .N47
  • The Art Atlas of Britain & Ireland (Ref) N1020 .A77 1991 
  • Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market: Where & How to Sell Your Illustration, Fine Art, Graphic Design and Cartoons (Ref) N8600 .A76 2015
  • Artists of the American West: A Biographical Dictionary  (Ref) N6536 .D38
  • Art Office (Ref) N8353 .S635 2007
  • Artspeak: A Guide to Contemporary Ideas, Movements, & Buzzwords, 1945 to the Present (Ref) N6490 .A87 1997
  • Artspoke: A Guide to Modern Ideas, Movements, & Buzzwords, 1848-1944 (Ref) N6447 .A85 1993
  • The A to Z of Modern Design (Ref) TS171.4 .D8613 2006
  • The Brittanica Encyclopedia of American Art (Ref) N6505 .B73
  • Contemporary Artists (Ref) N6490 .C6567 2002
  • Contemporary Masterworks (Ref) N6490 .C65675 1991
  • Design: Intelligence Made Visible (Ref) NK1157 .B395 2007
  • Designing Type (Ref) Z246 .C44 2005
  • Dictionary of Art and Archaeology (Ref) N33 .M4 1994 
  • A Dictionary of Art Terms (Ref) N33 .H25 
  • Dictionary of Chinese and Japanese Art (Ref) N7340 .M8
  • A Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, Mythology, Religion, Literature and Art (Ref) DE5 .S5
  • Dictionary of Contemporary American Artists (Ref) N6512 .C854 1994
  • A Dictionary of Pictorial Subjects from Classical Literature: A Guide to Their Identification in Works of Art (Ref) N7760 .P68 1983
  • Dictionary of Women Artists (Ref) NK805 .E6 2004
  • Encyclopedia of American Folk Art (Ref) NK805 .E6 2004
  • Encyclopedia of Art Deco (Ref) N6494.A7 E53 1988
  • Encyclopedia of World Art (Ref) N31 .E48 
  • Folk Art (Ref) F209 .N47 2006
  • Gardner's Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective (Ref) N5300 .G25 2010
  • The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts (Ref) N28 .G76 2006
  • The HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques (Ref) N33 .M37 1992
  • History of Art (Ref) N5300 .J3 2001
  • Legal Guide for the Visual Artist (Ref) KF390 .A7 C73 2001
  • Looking at Prints, Drawings, and Watercolours: A Guide to Technical Terms (Ref) N33 .G65 1988 
  • Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century American Folk Art and Artists (Ref) NK808 .R6 1990
  • The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture (Ref) NX590.A1 O94 2000
  • The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture (Ref) N7830.M87 1996
  • Renaissance Art: A Topical Dictionary (Ref) N6370 .E27 1987
  • Short Guide to Writing about Art (Ref) N7476 .B37 2011
  • St. James Guide to Black Artists (Ref) N40 .B53 1995
  • Symbols and Allegories in Art (Ref) N7740 .B2913 2005
  • The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms (Ref) N33 .L83 1984
  • The Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of 20th Century Design and Designers (Ref) NK1390 .J85 1993
  • The Visual Dictionary of Graphic Design (Ref) NC997 .A685 2006
  • Women Artists in the United States: A Selective Bibliography and Resource Guide on the Fine and Decorative Arts, 1750-1986 (Ref) N6536 .C5 1990
  • Women in the Fine Arts: A Bibliography and Illustration Guide (Ref) N8354 .A5 1991
  • World Artists, 1950-1980: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary (Ref) N6489 .M37 1984
  • World Artists 1980-1990: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary (Ref) N6489 .W67 1991

Research Assistance

More ways to get help:


MLA-style and APA-style guidelines change over time, especially for citing sources accessed electronically.  For the most up-to-date information about how to cite sources correctly, visit these pages:

Using a citation generator from a database or website?
Doublecheck to be sure the generator has used the newest rules.


Library photo courtesy of Barry Halkin Photography