Reference Collection (Fine Arts Library)

The Reading Room of the Fine Arts Library houses a reference collection of many standard art reference books divided into three classes:

Books, dictionaries, encyclopedias (Red Reference)
Library catalogs (Green Reference)
Indexes to periodicals (Blue Reference)

Current  Periodicals
 are also found in the reading room against the West wall.
Microforms are in the reading room near the reference collection.

A collection of Catalogues Raisonnés is in the reading room near the current periodicals.

For reference assistance ask at the circulation desk, or email a question  ( to the Fine Arts reference staff.


This is the largest section of the reference collection and contains many types of traditional reference resources to help the user. The researcher may also find extensive bibliographies on their subject of interest in this section. Besides subject reference, the Red Reference collection includes career reference materials for students with art backgrounds such as books on resume writing and resume building.


Printed catalogs of major library collections:

Columbia University. Libraries. Avery Architectural Library. Catalog of the Avery Memorial Architecture Library. Z5939.7 .C7 A9
Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y. Library Catalog. Z881 .N6624 1980
Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y. Catalog of the Robert Goldwater Library of Primitive Art. Z5939 .R62
Museum of Modern Art, N.Y. Catalog. Z5939 .N533
National Art Library (Great Britain). Victoria and Albert Museum. Author Catalogue. Catalogue of Exhibtion Catalogues. Subject Catalogue. Z5939 .V645
New York Public Library. Research Libraries. Dictionary Catalog of the Art and Architecture Division. N5950 .N562


The Fine Arts Library has replaced subscriptions to the print editions of several indexes with the electronic versions. Since electronic coverage generally begins in the mid 1980s, however, a complete search requires the use of both paper and electronic versions.

ARTbibliographies Modern Z5935 .L112
Art Index N35 .A71
Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) Z5937 .B53
Design and Applied Arts Index NK1110 .D47 
Frick Art Reference Library, NY. Original Index to Art Periodicals Z5937 .F74
Repertoire d'art et d'archaeologie (RAA) Z5937 .R42
Repertoire International de la Litterature de l'Art (RILA) Z5937 .R16
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals Z5937 .C726 

SELECTED ELECTRONIC INDEXES (see right hand frame)
ARTbibliographies Modern 
Art Full Text 
Art Index Retrospective 
Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals 
Bibliography of the History of Art [Also includes Repertoire d'art et d'archaeologie (RAA) and Repertoire International de la Litterature de l'Art (RILA).] 
Design and Applied Arts Index
Other electronic indexes useful to those studying the visual arts are available under the Recommended Resources tab on 
 the Fine Arts Library's home page.

If you find a dead link anywhere on this website, please email, or notify a staff member at the Fine Arts Library. Thanks!

last updated: 6/6/2012