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*Art History Research Guide

Getting Started

African Art Resource Pathfinder  created by the Edward P. Taylor Research Library

Country: People [Sub-group]

Cameroon: Bamileke, Bangwa, Bamum, Bemanda, Wum, Bafoussam

Gabon: Kota [Mahongwe]

Ivory Coast: Senufo, Yaure, We [Guerre], Baule

Mali: Djenne (also spelt Jenne), Lere, Bankoni, Dogon, Bozo, Bambara

Nigeria: Yoruba [Owo], Oron, Ekoi, Keaka,

Sierra Leone: Kissi

Sudan: Bongo

Zaire: Bembe, Punu, Songye, Luba, Wongo, Lwalwa, Hemba, Yambula, Chowke

General subject headings

Art, African Art,

African – Periodicals Art,

African – Exhibitions Art,

African – Bibliography Art,

African – 20th century – Bibliography Art,

Primitive – Africa

For exhibitions from a specific century, search in the following format:

Art, African – 20th century – Exhibitions

And for a specific decade in that century:

Art, African – 20th century (1990s) – Exhibitions



To search by specific media look under subject headings such as:

Masks, African

Sculpture, African

Figure Sculpture, African

Bronzes, African

Drawing, African

Painting, African

Wood-carving – Africa

Terra-cotta sculpture – Africa

Architecture – Africa

Art by region/peoples

Art – Africa, West Art – Africa, Sub-Saharan


For specific peoples, search in the following format:

Kosova (African Peoples)



Art, African – Collectors and Collecting Art, African -- Expertising Art, African – Economic aspects

Art and Society – Africa Europeans in African Art

Mythology, African Africans – Folklore Icons – Africa


Anthropology Plus is a database for searching anthropological literature, Anthropology Plus combines two indexes: Anthropological LiteratureAnthropological Index from the UK's Royal Anthropological Institute.

Art Source (formerly Art Abstracts and Art Index Retrospective)  Covers 404 art publications from around the world.

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
Indexes journals published in the fields of architecture, architectural history and design, archaeology, interior design, furniture and decoration, landscape architecture, historic preservation, and city planning.
The ARTstor database includes digital images representing architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, and design, as well as many other forms of visual culture. 

Provides searchable full-text access to back files of key scholarly journals in many fields-
Archaeology, Architecture & Architectural History. Art & Art History and Classical Studies

Bibliography of the History of Art (NOW IBA-International Bibliography of Art)
Covering European art from post-classical times to the present and American art from post-Columbian times to the present

Humanities International Complete
Humanities International Complete covers journals, books and other important reference sources in the humanities.

Project Muse
Provides networked access to the full text of more than 150 scholarly journals, including important historical journals. Coverage is from the mid-nineties to the present.


    Oxford Art Online (incl. Grove Art)
     Oxford Art Online includes Grove Art Online (an encyclopedia of over 40,000 articles covering art, artists, and all forms of the visual arts: painting, sculpture, architecture, graphic and decorative arts, and photography).  Africa entry includes: I. Introduction. II. Art and aesthetics. III. Contexts of production and use. IV. Imagery and iconography. V. Materials and techniques. VI. Art forms. VII. Regions. VIII. Diaspora. IX. Contemporary developments. X. Forgery. XI. Historiography. XII. Museums. XIII. Exhibitions. XIV. Collectors and dealers.  XV. Art libraries and photographic collections.

    Contemporary African Art. Sidney Littlefield Kasfir. 1999

    Contemporary Art of Africa. Andre Magnin, ed., 1996.

    New Currents, Ancient Rivers: Contemporary African Artists in a Generation of Change.  Jean Kennedy, 1992

    Africa: an Encyclopedia for Students. John Middleton, ed., 2002

    Modern African Art: A Basic Reading List.  Warren M. Robbins Library, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution.  Compiled since 1995 and updated continuously.  Includes surveys, texts, and exhibition catalogs. Searchable by region and country.

    Africana Collections: An Illustrated Guide.  African and Middle Eastern Reading Room, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.  See also:  African Peoples' Encounters with Others.

    Art and Artists Files in the Smithsonian Libraries Collections. Emerging regional and local artists. Browse by artist last name or country.

    Africa Maps. Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin.

    Maps of Africa, from Art and Life in Africa. University of Iowa, Iowa City.