There are numerous resources available to History of Art students at the University if Bristol. The department has a dedicated study room for undergraduates, which is room B34 in 9 Woodland Road. Study material may be found in the Arts and Social Sciences Library and from resources online.
University Library resources
Increasing amounts of material are now being made available on-line. Using MetaLib you are able to carry out cross searches between library catalogues, databases, subject gateways etc.
- Select History of Art from the 'cross search resources by subject' section.
- Click on the 'i' button to the right of the link to find out what each of the listed items can provide you with. This will give you details of the programmes functions and facilities.
If your researching a topic and you have exhausted the set reading list, as well as what you can find in the library, MetaLib options such as the Arts and Humanities Citation Index , Web of Science, JSTOR, or Artifact could be exactly what you need to find articles that could boost your marks.
- Artifact is a Subject Gateway. It is the arts and creative industries hub of the Resource Discovery Network (RDN). Artifact provides searchable access to a collection of rich, high-quality Internet resources. Each resource is selected by specialists for its academic quality and subject relevance and includes a description of the Web resource's key features. To search, simply type your key words into the search box.
- Arts and Humanities Citation Index & Web of Science. In the quick search category you can enter the key words for your topic. A list will then appear of documents including articles, book and exhibition reviews etc (to refine this, use the advanced search). If you click on the link you will get a full record of the document, which will include bibliographic information such as author, publisher etc. On the right of this there is a smaller box, where there is a red option button 'get this', clicking this will enable you to check if this document is available in the University library.
- JSTOR - is a journal archive, which means that you are able to find complete copies of journal articles from a number of different sources. The search option will enable you to conduct a broad based enquiry. You can enter key words into the search box and JSTOR will generate a list of all the articles, which contain your key words. The articles will be ranked in terms of their percentage relevancy. If you have the full citation of the article you are looking for, including the author, title, journal name and edition number, you will be able to check whether it is available using the Browse option. This will give you a list of subjects and all the journals available within that area. Clicking on the journal will enable you to see all JSTOR's holdings. Be aware that certain journals, may be categorised under different subjects. For example the journal, Design Issues is listed under Architecture and Architectural History.
All students, particularly those researching a dissertation or undertaking postgraduate studies, may want to consider options within MetaLib such as COPAC. If you are looking for additional information or trying to find a specific book this site may be able to help. It allows you to search by subject, book or journal and provides findings from a merged online library catalogue from 24 major universities plus the British Library, the National Library, the National Library of Scotland and the National Library of Wales. If you select the full record option at the bottom of your search result a list of libraries that hold the document will be provided. For convenience you also have the option to save the searches you conduct.
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Evaluating internet material
Like any information, material taken from the Internet must be evaluated carefully and critically before you decide whether or not to make use of it in your work. This is especially important with regard to the internet because more or less anyone can post more or less anything they want on the Internet, so there is a lot of rubbish out there.
The tutorial at Intute offers excellent advice on how to evaluate internet material.
Points to concentrate on include:
- the authority of the writer (why should we believe what they have written? On what basis does s/he claim to be an expert?)
- the purpose for which the material has been posted (just to be helpful? because no one else would publish it? to promote a political cause? to make money?)
- the nature of the site (an educational institution like a university, or a commercial site where anyone can post whatever they like?)
- You should pay attention to how far the site abides by academic conventions like giving references to evidence and/or to secondary sources
These suggestions do not constitute an exhaustive list of online resources, but they do provide a starting point. The Arts and Social Sciences library have also designed their own suggested list, which is very comprehensive and contains some alternatives to suggestions provided here.
Visual and textural sources
The sites listed below can be used to find images and information.
- Art History Research Centre A one stop shop with newsgroups, mailing lists, library catalogues, article indexes, links to other universities' history of art departments, collections and citation advice.
- Artsource Provides image collections, art and architecture resources as well as lists of events.
- Association of Art Historians
- Bible Gateway Provides an option for quotation searches.
- Catholic Encyclopedia Contains lots of visual and textural information, including articles on saints, liturgical practices, church members and religious buildings and imagery.
- Great Buildings Collection Enables you to search by place, building or architect.
- Hanover Historical Texts Project Contains a range of historical sources that may provide additional topic information or a useful quotation.
- Historic Royal Palaces
- Medieval History Sourcebook Contains copies of numerous original sources that may provide additional topic information or a useful quotation.
- Modern History Sourcebook Contains copies of numerous original sources that may provide additional topic information or a useful quotation.
- The History of Art Virtual Library As well as containing images it also provides links to numerous sites devoted to artistic schools and movements.
- The Mother of All Art History Links Pages The site contains links to a plethora of information including, research resources, image collections, textural and linguistic resources, online exhibitions and museums directory.
- Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) Links to 100,000 free images.
- Web Gallery of Art. A comprehensive site with information on Renaissance Art, its medieval roots, baroque, Rococo, Mannerism, Neoclassism and Romanticism. Images and textural information, via searchable data base, a glossary , relevant historical events, personages, cities, museums and churches, and visual tours of certain periods.
- Worldwide Tour of Churches, Cathedrals and Monasteries Contains visual and textural information on mainly European buildings
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Museums and galleries
Listed below are links to various museum and gallery homepages. The websites generally contain images and textural information on art held within the institutions collection. The current events and exhibitions listed on these sites will also be of interest.
- British Museum, London
- Courtauld Institute of Art, London. The Art and Architecture pages contain useful resource material.
- Guggenheim collections
- Kunsthistoriches Museum, Vienna
- Louvre, Paris
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
- Musée d'Orsay, Paris
- Museo del Prado, Madrid
- Museum of Modern Art, New York
- National Gallery, London
- National Gallery of Art, Washington
- Rijksmusem, Amsterdam
- Tate Galleries
- The Getty, LA. The research pages are particularly good.
- The State Hermitage Museum , St Petersburg
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence
- V&A, London Links to the National Art library
- Wallace Collection, London
- Art Guide is a comprehensive list of UK galleries, heritage sites and museums, with links to individual websites.
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The Internet can be an important learning resource when you're looking for information. However, it's best to think of it as a supplement to the books, journals and other materials in the library, and definitely not as an alternative to them. This guide is intended to help you make effective use of the Internet as a research tool, not only in finding relevant information but also in evaluating its usefulness and in making use of it in your work.
WARNING! Do not use the internet to look for free essays: even if you tell yourself that you just want to have a look at what someone else has done, with no intention of copying it, you are running a serious risk of being penalised for plagiarism.
Most of the essay question we set are too individual, so you probably won't find anything out there; even if you do, bear in mind that:
- Lecturers are familiar with most of the main essay banks and can use Google as well as you can
- it is very hard to disguise a plagiarised essay in such a way that it's still intelligible; it's usually less work to write your own essay from scratch
- most, if not all, of the essays on the web are pretty useless anyway
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