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Visual Arts and Design Databases
(see also Film, Theater & Performing Arts, Literature, Music, and General)

[Indexes to Journals & Books]    [Online Images & Video]    [Online Books & Encyclopedias]

[General]    [Specific Topics]    [Historical Periods]   

[Fashion & Costume]    [Also of Interest]

Indexes to Journals and Books:

LIUCat on the Web: Remote access available
The online public access catalog of Long Island University's six campuses. This can be searched from any computer. No password is needed.

American Juvenile Collection: Remote access available
A research collection of children's fiction, folklore, and fairy tales printed in North America, covering the years 1910-1960. The AJC continues the gathering of children's books by Christine B. Gilbert, that included fiction and non-fiction, mostly from Great Britain, published before 1909. The AJC retains a few of them, especially appropriate fiction titles. This can be searched from any computer. No password is needed.

Online Images and Video:

Art and Architecture Video (Alexander Street Press) Remote access available Full text available NEW!
A collection of documentaries and interviews that illustrate the history, theory, and practice of art, design, architecture, and other art forms to enhance understanding of visual media and provide the context necessary for critical analysis. Faculty can create annotated playlists, select clips, and link directly to them from their websites or online syllabi.

ARTstor (Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) Remote access available
A digital library of approximately 700,000 images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences, covering many time periods and cultures, to support a wide range of educational and scholarly activities. Includes a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. Comprised of contributions from museums, individual photographers, scholars, special collections at libraries, and photo archives. (User Guide)

Film & Television Literature Index (Ebsco) Remote access available Full text available
Comprehensive database covering the entire spectrum of television & film in popular, scholarly, trade, technical, and international publications. Includes an Image Collection, provided by the Motion Picture & Television Archives, that contains over 24,000 classic color and black & white images of celebrity and entertainment photography.

Online Encyclopedias and Books:


Oxford Art Online (Oxford) Remote access available Full text available
Formerly Grove Art Online, this provides access to the full text of the 34 volume Grove Dictionary of Art, as well as the Oxford Companion to Western Art, the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, and the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. It contains over 45,000 articles on every aspect of the visual arts, painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, decorative arts, and photography from prehistory to the present day including over 1,500 thumbnail art images and line drawings. Compiled over a period of 15 years, with ongoing additions of new and updated articles, it represents the work of more than 6,800 scholars from around the world, each writing on his or her own specialist field of study. (User Guide)

Arts and Humanities Through the Eras (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
For each of the five major periods (Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece & Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Europe, and the Baroque & Enlightenment), it discusses architecture & design, dance, fashion, literature, music, philosophy, religion, theater, and visual arts, profiling milestones, movements, masterworks, and schools of thought in relation to each other, as well as to history and culture. Includes an overview of each period with a chronology of major world events and biographical profiles of pioneers, masters, and other prominent figures in the field.

Specific Topics:

Graphic Novels Core Collection: A Selection Guide (Wilson/Ebsco) Remote access available Full text available
For collection development, readers' advisory, curriculum support, and selection and purchasing, this database highlights approximately 2,000 recommended titles with descriptive and evaluative annotations (including review excerpts and awards the title has won), plus cover art. Standards for rating material by age appropriateness are strictly applied, plus all titles are searchable by author, title, subject, genre, and grade level.

Critical Survey of Graphic Novels: Heroes and Superheroes (Salem Press) Remote access available Full text available NEW!
Despite the subtitle, this provides reviews of 136 graphic novels in all genres. Each review covers publication history, plot, volumes, characters, artistic style, themes, and impact.

Historical Periods:

Harlem Renaissance (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
Presents the people, places and times that defined an era and documents the launch of cultural development among African Americans in 1920s Harlem. Emphasizes literature but also covers music, performing arts, visual arts, and nightlife. Includes almanac and biographies sections with primary source documents in sidebars throughout.

Renaissance: An Encyclopedia for Students (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
This set has been prepared especially for nonspecialists, focusing on the Renaissance-era topics that are most studied in art, literature, economics, science, and world history classes. Entries cover a range of topics, such as Florence, Galileo, heraldry, Medici family, opera, piracy, Shakespeare, Leonardo Da Vinci, and many others. Includes a master chronology with topical timelines, a bibliography with age-appropriate further reading sources, and a comprehensive index.

Fashion and Costume:

Contemporary Fashion (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
Covers individual designers, fashion houses, and many facets of the fashion world throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Encyclopedia of Clothing and Fashion (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
Covers clothing and different forms of body adornment - including makeup, tattoos, and piercing - examining the origins of clothing, the development of fabrics & technologies, the social meanings of dress, costumes from a wide variety of historical eras, histories of specific garments, techniques & manufacturing, and important persons & institutions. Discusses contexts of class, gender, sumptuary laws, as well as advertising, fashion careers, uniforms; costume design for stage & screen, and more. Includes a timeline.

Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
Provides a broad overview of costume traditions of diverse cultures from prehistoric times to the present day, examining more than 430 items of human decoration and adornment. Explores how and why items were created, the people who made them, their uses, and how clothing reflects the different cultural, religious, and societal beliefs.

Who's Buying Apparel (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
Examines how much Americans spend on getting dressed by demographics such as: age, income, high-income households, household type, race and Hispanic origin, region of residence, and education. Also presents who-are-the-best-customers analyses of the data, showing the demographics of spending at a glance.

Also of Interest:

Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
Encyclopedic reference presenting a connected, holistic view of world history, emphasizing cultural contact and social change over time and place; comparisons across time and place; and extensive coverage of arts, literature, religion, and science. Includes 550 articles written by historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, and other experts from around the world.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture (GVRL) (InfoTrac/Gale Group) Remote access available Full text available
Covers the culture of mass appeal - all the experiences in life shared by a people in common as well as those things created for the majority to be easily understandable and accessible (often disseminated by the mass media) to them. Includes: social life, music, print, film, television, radio, sports, art, performance, food, fashion, holidays, hairstyles, and more, emphasizing American popular culture in the second half of the 20th century. Each entry analyzes the topic and its significance within the broader cultural context.

Database descriptions are adapted from each database's website.

NOVEL Database NOVEL (New York Online Virtual Electronic Library) is a statewide virtual library provided free to the public by the New York State Library. It is currently a pilot project funded through a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant to the NY State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

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