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Art (History), Architectural History and Archaeology Resources: Searching Tips

This is a general guide to resources in these subjects.

Subject and Keyword searching in the Library Catalog

The PUL library catalog is the place to begin your search to determine what books (and other items) we have at Princeton related to your research.

Try to think of words that are specific to your topic. Think of multiple ways to describe what you want.

Use quotes for exact phrases:  “Lorenzo the magnificent,”  “water lilies”

Combine keywords to narrow your search.  The AND is automatic in the library catalog, but not usually in an article database (you must type AND, or use the Advanced Search): 

“art patronage”  Florence

history  “venetian painting”

(sculpture renaissance) not rome

Leonardo and Madonna

France nineteenth painting

You can also use truncation:  e.g. architect*  picks up words like “architects” and “architectural” (typically a * or ?)

When you search by subject, you can search using a very broad concept, like “mannerism,” or a very narrow one, like exhibitions of Donatello’s “Judith and Holophernes”.

Subject terms used in the library catalog are terms used by many libraries in North America developed and created by the Library of Congress. They have evolved over time and adapt to reflect historical norms and changes and to reflect the language we use now and societal norms, but they are not perfect and change is slow. In general, be as specific as you can when coming up with subject terms.

You must put your search words in a particular order when using SUBJECT (BROWSE). A subject can also be a person, LAST NAME, FIRST NAME, a specific (well-known) monument, etc.  Headings are left-anchored, which means you need only type in the first few letters/words to see all headings beginning with what you specify.

Alternatively, you can try a Subject (Keyword) search to search for any word appearing within a subject term without regard for the proper word order.



art – renaissance – Italy

painting – early renaissance – Italy – Florence

sculptors – Italy


Donatello 1386-1466 – Judith and Holofernes – exhibitions  

[NOTE: the dashes indicate the subdivisions, but it’s not necessary to type them when searching by subject, and the catalog allows one to browse additional results using any portion of the subject term.]

And, more:

    * Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945) in art

    * Performance art

    * Art and society

    * Aesthetics

    * Art criticism United States history 20th century

    * Istanbul (Turkey) Buildings, structures, etc.

    * Illustration of books, Great Britain 19th century

    * Modernism (Art)

    * Painting, Renaissance Flanders

    * Morris, William, 1834-1896 Influence

    * Last Supper in art

    * Gosudarstvennyi Ermitazh (Russia)

    * Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

    * Parthenon (Athens, Greece)

    * Palaces England London

    * Architecture, Gothic

    * Egypt -- Civilization -- To 332 B.C.

    * Cathedrale de Chartres

    * Pompeii (Extinct city) -- Social life and customs

    * Temples -- Greece

    * St. Paul's Cathedral (London, England)

    * Paris (France) -- Buildings, structures, etc.

    * Osiris (Egyptian deity)

    * Chateau de Versailles (Versailles, France)

    * Architecture, Domestic -- Italy -- Pompeii (Extinct city)
    * Courbet Gustave . . .
    * Art Turkey
    * Sculpture India

Most searchers search by keyword, but subject searching can be very powerful and more precise. One other suggestion to narrow in on a search is that after doing a keyword search, one can limit the results using the Subject: Genre, and Subject: Era (and Language) facets along the left-hand side.