Art History: Resources for Research: 3-Directories & Biographical Dictionaries

3-Directories & Biographical Dictionaries

IconResources marked with this symbol are restricted to Columbia affiliates.


Icon Europa world of Learning. (Online)
Directory which includes Research Institutions, Libraries, Archives, Museums, Universities, Colleges, etc.

Icon American Association of Museums. Official Museum Directory. (Online)
Includes all types of museums within the United States.

Icon International Directory of Arts. (Online)
Avery-Fine Arts N50 In81 (copies available in multiple locations)
Directory of Museums, Galleries, Universities, Colleges, Associations, Art Dealers, Auctioneers, etc.

Icon Museums of the World. (Online)
Includes all types of museums.

Biographical Dictionaries

(NOTE: Core art historical biographical dictionaries are preceded by an asterisk)

Icon *Allgemeines Kunstlerlexikon (AKL). (1983-) (Online)
Avery Reference N40 AL52
In a few decades this will supersede Thieme-Becker. Remarkably international in scope (note all the Arabic names in vol. 1).

Icon American national biography online. (Online)
"Offers portraits of more than 17,400 men and women, from all eras and walks of life, whose lives have shaped the nation." Features thousands of illustrations, hyperlinked cross-references and links to select web sites.

Icon Arts+Architecture Proflies. (Online-a choice within Arts:Search offerings)
Biographical dictionary of modern designers, craftspeople, artists and architects.

Icon *Bénézit, E. Dictionary of artists. (Online:choose "Benezit" within Oxford Art Online offerings)
Avery-Fine Arts N40 B43112
A General biographical dictionary, Benezit is comparable to Thieme-Becker, but smaller, with a French orientation. Includes artists signatures.

Icon Biography and genealogy master index.(Gale:Online vendor)
For nearly thirty years, Biography and Genealogy Master Index (BGMI) has been the best place to begin a search for information about people. It indexes current, readily available reference sources, as well as the most important retrospective works that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world. The total number of biographical sketches indexed by BGMI is now more than 13.6 million.

Icon Biography in Context.(Gale:Online vendor)
The Biography in Context is a comprehensive database of biographical information on over 528,000 people from throughout history, around the world, and across all disciplines and subject areas. It combines biographies from over 130 sources such as Contemporary Authors, Encyclopedia of World Biography, Historic World Leaders, Contemporary Black Biography, International Dictionary of Art and Artists, Writers Directory, and many more, with over 2.5 million full-text articles from 250 magazines.

Icon Biography index. (Wilson:pub; EBSCO:Online vendor)Biography Index Retrospective (1946-1983) and to Biography Reference Bank (1983 to date)
Indexes biographical articles from periodicals and books, including autobiographies, bibliographies, biographies, critical studies, fiction and drama, pictorial works, poetry, juvenile literature, obituaries, journals, collections of letters, book reviews and interviews.

Dictionary of art historians: a biographical dictionary of historians, museum directors and scholars of art. Ed. by Lee Sorensen, Duke University.
A biographical/bibliographical lexicon of historic scholars of art.

Havlice, P. Index to Artistic Biography. (1973, suppls. 1981, 2002)
Avery-Fine Arts N40 H29...
Directs reader to entries in 134 standard biographical works.

MacMillan Encyclopedia of Architects. 4 vols. (1982)
Avery Reference AA31 M223

Icon Oxford dictionary of national biography. (Online)
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, in association with the British Academy is the first point of reference for anyone interested in the lives of the peoples of the British Isles and their connections overseas, from the earliest times until today. It is the product of research instituted at the and funded by the and by Oxford University Press. It is the achievement of 10,000 contributors and advisers staff in. The Oxford DNB aims to provide full, accurate, concise, and readable articles on noteworthy people in all walks of life. No living person is included: the Dictionary's articles are confined to people who died before 2009.

Savage, David. Cavallini to Veronese: a guide to the works of the major Italian Renaissance painters. (2012-) (Online)
Provides brief artist’s biography, descriptive and location information on the works of eighty Italian Renaissance artists dating from the late thirteenth century to the late sixteenth century.

Seymour, N. An Index-Dictionary of Chinese Artists, Collectors, and Connoisseurs with Character Identification by Modified Stroke Count. (1988)
Starr East Asian Reference N7348 .S48 1988

Icon Thieme-Becker. Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Kunstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. (Online within AKL) 37 vols. (1907-50)
Avery Reference N40 T34
Known by the editors' surnames. The major biographical dictionary in art history. Signed entries, bibliographies, works lists.

Icon *Vollmer, H. Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Kunstler des XX. Jahrhunderts. (Online within AKL) 6 vols. (1953-62)
Avery Reference N40 V8
Supplements the preceding.

Who Was Who in American Art, 1898-1947. (1985)
Avery-Fine Arts N6536 F18 (copies available in multiple locations)
For dead or retired American artists.

Who's Who in American Art. Annual.
Avery-Fine Arts N50 Am332 (copies available in multiple locations)
For living American artists.

Who's Who in Art. Annual.
Avery Reference N50 W62 (copies available in multiple locations)