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Art History and Visual Culture Subject Guide: Online library support

Help and guidance on finding resources in your subject area

Welcome to the Art History and Visual Culture Subject Guide

Use this guide to help you make the most of the library and information resources and services.

New to the University?  Explore the Library Induction to learn all about the Library basics. 

Your Liaison Librarian at Exeter

Profile Photo
Nicola Nye

Your Library Champion


Your Library Champion is
Xinyu Zhou

Online Tutorials

Click on the images to access the tutorials.

Where to start your search

Library Search

Search for print books, ebooks, journals, articles and more. 

Library Search LibGuide available for guidance.

For a full selection of databases and archives, use the A-Z Databases List.

Key databases

Research databases

Search these collections to find academic literature on art history and visual culture. These collections contain primarily secondary sources of information such as journal articles, books, conference proceedings, reports and more.

Image databases

Primary source collections of searchable images. 
A full list of image databases can be found here in the A to Z database list.

There are lots of museum and gallery websites such as the British MuseumVictoria & Albert Museum, Tate GalleriesNational GalleryNational Portrait Gallery etc. that have quality images of their collections.

However, copyright restrictions apply to the use of images, and this will vary depending on who owns the copyright and how you want to use the image. Check the licence details on the website if in doubt. See our Using Images LibGuide for more information.

 Museum and gallery collections

Search the digital collections of internationally renowned musuems and galleries.

 These are just a few of the audio-visual databases that we subscribe to. You can see a fuller list in the A to Z database list here.

Sound collections

Use the A-Z Database List to access the full list of databases the library subscribes to.  

You can browse by subject e.g. Art History and Visual Culture or type (e.g.maps, news, images etc.) or search to find your required resource.

Allied subjects include ClassicsDrama, Film StudiesHistoryPhilosophy and Sociology. You will also find LibGuides available for these and other subject disciplines.

Explore the full A to Z Database list:

Explore research materials available elsewhere

  • Library Hub Discover - Search the catalogues of over 100 major UK and Irish national, academic and specialist libraries to find books, journals and other materials

  • WorldCAT - Search the collections of over 10,000 worldwide libraries  

  • The European Library - Access to the collections of the 48 National Libraries of Europe and leading European Research Libraries.

  • The Library of Congress -  Catalogue records of the print and digital resources held in the Library of Congress collections (USA)

  • LibWeb - Find online library catalogues worldwide

  • CORE - Search the world's largest collection of open access research papers

Key journals and magazines

Primary Sources

The University has access to an extensive range of online primary source materials. These contain digitised copies of documents, letters, books, photographs and other primary sources. 

The Primary Sources Libguide will help you identify the best databases for your research. As we have over 800 Primary Source collections, the collections have been categorised by Country, Time Period and Theme so that you can quickly find the most relevant collections for your research.

You can view the full list of Primary Source databases here:

Our comprehensive online news collections range from local news to news publications from around the world and span a wide range of dates.

 

Find out more on the Archival News LibGuide 

Access the different archival news collections here:

The Library's Special Collections department houses primary sources in many formats including letters, diaries, manuscripts and photos, which can be accessed via their dedicated reading room in the Research Commons, Old Library. 

Visit the Archives and Special Collections LibGuide for more information.

Find out how to search the archives for rare books and materials here.

Use the Archive Catalogue Search to find out what is available.

 
Devon & Cornwall have a number of local archives that you can use when searching for primary sources. Find out more here.

 


These databases are nationally significant archives of the UK, covering many different themes, subjects and sources.

Effective Searching & Referencing

It is important to plan your search strategy, and manage your search results so that you get the most from your online searching.

Keep a record of all the material you need to cite in your assignments, papers, projects etc. 

Use the Search Techniques and Referencing guidance to assist you.

  • It is  easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer breadth of information available to you.  
  • Invest time in planning an effective online search strategy so that you can quickly and easily discover relevant and high quality information. 

 

As you search you need to keep track of all the material you will be using in your academic work so that you can cite and reference it appropriately.

Top Tip

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

For more guidance take a look at:

Find out more about the skills support available to help you develop a range of study skills including essay writing, referencing, critical reading and getting the most out of lectures.

Study Skills Support

Sage Research Methods Online (SRMO) is a great resource to use when you are planning and conducting your research. 

It is targeted at social science researchers but is useful across all subject areas as it covers key research methodology topics that are applicable across the research spectrum.

Sage have produced a comprehensive LibGuide to help you get the best from the resource.

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