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AMD 121: Pre-20th Century Art History

Use this guide to understand the types of sources required to support your Museum Report research, and where to find them.

Let's get started with researching your chosen artwork...

Judith with the Head of Holofernes, Massimo Stanzione, Italian, ca.1640, Metropolitan Museum of Art; image resized from original.

The sections of this course guide will help you locate the required scholarly sources for your Museum Report. As described in your assignment prompt, "The purpose of the paper is for you to create your own contextual analysis of the work chosen, supported by research."

Review the introductory information found at the Source Type Comparison link to the left. These guidelines will help you identify the type of material you must use. In art, there is a great deal of opinion that is not sufficiently scholarly to meet scholarly standards, so knowing what to look for will keep  sub-standard resources out of your paper.

Resources are not limited to the CSUSM collection. We can get books from other CSU libraries for you or Interlibrary Loan all at no cost. See the "Finding Books in the Library" page to find out how.

Keep in mind that there may be little to no in-depth research available on the museum piece you choose analyze. Often, your best bet for information about a piece belonging to a museum collection is the museum itself. Many museums have research collections that are open to the public (usually by appointment), or a helpful librarian that can help you track down information. Contact your Arts and Humanities Librarian for assistance if you have trouble accessing these resources.

Art History research is disseminated in many different languages -- sometimes the major research about the work or artist you are interested in is only written about in a language you don't happen to speak! Again, your Arts and Humanities Librarian may be able to help.