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Art History: Books

WPI Library Search Book/eBook Search

How to Find Books

Books are vital sources of art history scholarship. To find books at the Gordon Library, type your keywords into the WPI Library Search. Use the drop-down menu to the right of the search box to select "Books & Media."

Screenshot of the WPI Library Search. An arrow points to the "Books & Media" filter in the dropdown menu next to the search box.

Evaluating Books

Evaluate the Publisher

Check the publisher of the book to see if it is a university press or similar academic publisher. When in doubt, search for the publisher on Google to see if their books are aimed at an academic audience or at a more general audience. Additionally, many valuable art history books and catalogs are published by art museums. These books can provide helpful images for your study of art history. 

Evaluate the Author

Generally books from academic publishers will be written by authors with advanced degrees in their field. Some books include a brief biography of the author with information about the author's credentials. You can also try searching for the author's name on Google. For example, a search on Google for Margaret A. Lindauer, author of Devouring Frida, shows that she is an associate professor of Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Library of Congress (LC) Classification System

The Gordon Library organizes its print books using the LC (Library of Congress) Classification System. Letters and numbers denote subject and location in the collection. Call numbers are typically visible on the spines of the books in the library. 

Here is an example of a call number:

The first two lines describe the subject of the book.

The third line represents the author's last name.

The last line represents the date of publication.

Art History Books are classified under N in the LC Classification System. 
For more call number classifications, see the Library of Congress Classification Outline

Examples of Art History Books at WPI

Find Books at Other Libraries

Interlibrary Loan

Is there something you need that the WPI library doesn't have? Our Interlibrary Loan service allows WPI students and faculty to request items from other libraries free of charge.


Use to search for books, articles, and more at libraries around the world. Request materials from other libraries via Interlibrary Loan

Borrow from Nearby Libraries

The Academic and Research Collaborative (ARC) allows member users to borrow directly from Worcester area libraries. Before you can borrow materials directly from participating libraries, you need to sign up for an ARC card in person at the Gordon Library's Information Desk. Pick up your ARC card today!

As a resident of Massachusetts, you can sign up for a library card at the Worcester Public Library (WPL). WPI students with a college ID can are eligible for WPL cards. You can also sign up for an ecard, which allows you to access the WPL's online resources. 

As a resident of Massachusetts, you can also sign up for a library card at the Boston Public Library (BPL). Students who live in Massachusetts while attending school are eligible for a BPL card. The BPL also has an option for an ecard, which allows you to access the BPL's online resources.