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Online Reference Sources

If you have some favourite web reference resources for your area, and would like to see them added here, please send us an email.

Go directly to the following sections:
GENERAL
ART/ART HISTORY
CRAFT
DESIGN
MEDIA ARTS (FILM, VIDEO, PHOTOGRAPHY, etc.)

 

GENERAL

Alliance of Artists Communities - Residencies (free)
Search a database of hundreds of international residences by name, date, discipline, location, and more.

ArtBabble (free)
Database of videos created by over 50 cultural institutions from around the world on art and artists.It can be searched by theme, medium, period & style, location, people, museum practices, and even by language or video type (e.g. lecture, demo, interview).

Artcyclopedia (free)
Search engine of links to information about, and websites of, artists, art works, and museums.

Artists' Legal Information Society (free)
ALIS provides accessible legal information, workshops, presentations, and library resources to artists and arts organizations, including links to other online resources through their Legal Information Database.They offer assistance to actors, musicians, dancers, writers, filmmakers, and visual artists regarding contracts, defamation, copyright, royalties and more.

ARTLex (free)
Definitions for more than 3,600 terms used in discussing art / visual culture, along with thousands of supporting images, pronunciation notes, great quotations and cross-references

Arts:Search Research Guide No. 1 (free)
Free access internet sources of biographical information on artists, designers, architects and craftspeople.

HASTAC : Humanities, Arts, Science & Technology Advanced Collaboratory (free)
An alliance of more than 11,500 humanists, artists, social scientists, scientists and technologists working together to transform the future of learning - communicating and collaborating on projects. Search by groups, topics, scholars, blogs, news, funding and job opportunities.

HathiTrust (free)
HathiTrust is a partnership of academic & research institutions, offering a collection of millions of titles digitized from libraries around the world. Full text is available (pdf format) for items that are out of copyright (US copyright regulations) or for which permission has been given by the rights holders to make the content freely accessible. Discipline coverage is extremely broad; for example there are many high quality digitized copies of art history texts from the mid twentieth century and earlier. 

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) (free)
There are a number of invaluable free resources on the NEDCC's website, such as links to documents (including a Preservation 101 textbook on preservation basics for paper and media collections) and websites to aid in managing the preservation of your digital, media, and paper resources (e.g. books, paper, photographs, audio, and video). These resources are aimed at institutions and individuals alike. A Free Resources link can be found on the tool bar near the top of their webpage.

ART & ART HISTORY

Art Canada Institute (free)
Provides "authoritative yet accessible resources on Canadian art history that offer peer-reviewed art scholarship to the public;" currently they are developing a database of online art books on individual artists. Check out the link "Our Programs" to see their plans.

Canada Council for the Arts (free)
The Canada Council offers a broad range of grants and services to professional Canadian artists and arts organizations.

Canadian Heritage Information Network Professional Exchange (free)
Includes the database Artists in Canada, and other resources primarily for museums.

CCCA Canadian Art Database (free)
Documents “some of Canada's leading professional artists, designers, art writers and curators, as well as some important Canadian art institutions and organizations that have helped shape the Canadian art scene since the 1960s.”

Getty Research Portal (free)
The Getty Research Portal™ is an online search platform providing global access to digitized art history texts. Through this multilingual, multicultural union catalog, scholars can search and download complete digital copies of publications for the study of art, architecture, material culture, and related fields.

Getty Vocabularies (free) 
What’s in a name? Here you’ll find: 
Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA)
Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)
Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)

International Sculpture Center Resource Directory (free)
Resources and information on contemporary sculpture; many types of arts organizations, destinations, programs and businesses, e.g. sculpture services and supplies, schools and programs, museums, galleries, sculpture parks and gardens, or sculptor groups. Searchable by organization name, category, location, services offered, key artists represented, etc. Find discounts on supplies, discover exhibitions, join sculptors groups in your area -- or advertise your organization's events.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (free)
Collection of high resolution digital images of art objects in their collection – almost 400,000 images.

The Muse Room (free)
Blog of Apollo Magazine, published in London, England. Substantial entries such as previews and reviews of exhibitions & art books, some editorial commentary, competitions, snippets from articles in Apollo, etc. International in scope, and coverage is from antiquity to contemporary visual art. 

New York Public Library Picture Collection Online (free)
The Picture Collection Online presents more than 30,000 digitized images from books, magazines and newspapers as well as original photographs, prints and postcards, mostly created before 1923.

Saatchi Online (free)
Great images from many, many artists.

Sculpture Techniques, Lessons, Tutorials, and Resources (free)
Contains links to sites on resources related to sculpture in general, as well as those specifically for artists working in metal, stone, wood, concrete, clay and glass. 

Smart History (free)
High-quality introductory art history content freely available. Essays, images, videos; search by time, style, artist, or theme

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS ) (free)
Image collections, resources and advice for digitization projects and art education. 

VIRCONA: A Catalog of Native American Artists (free)
VIRCONA currently contains information about more than 500 native North American visual artists, both deceased and living, including painters, printmakers, sculptors, carvers, ceramists, basket makers, textile workers, jewelers, designers, photographers, installation artists, digital artists and more. Data about an artist can include such information as: name, variant names, identifying dates, nationality, tribal affiliations, life roles, gender, locations of birth and death, and from one to nine artwork samples per artist. Data about the more than 1000 artwork samples currently in VIRCONA can include: a thumbnail to allow visual identification of the work, title, dates of creation, materials, techniques, artwork type, dimensions, owner/location with address or URL, and source information. The site also includes more information about the sources of the information in the database as well as copyright issues.

CRAFT

American Craft Council (free)
Some useful links to association websites, selected American Craft articles, and helpful videos.

Canadian Crafts Federation (free)
Helpful links and practical information under the Research, Partners, and Education

Crafts Council (UK) (free)
Provides some educational material; access to images of their collection, and links to resources for “makers, curators, teachers and anyone interested in craft.”

Europeana Fashion (free)
The Europeana Fashion portal, developed and maintained by the Europeana Fashion International Association, provides access to more than 700,000 high quality digital fashion objects ranging from historical dresses to accessories, catwalk photographs, drawings, sketches, videos, and fashion catalogues. This content is brought together from more than 30 public and private archives and museums in 13 European countries. Keep up with news and events by following their blog and their Events listing page.

FiberArtNow (free)
Magazine website with free articles, artist galleries, resource links, and more.

Ganoksin Project : Jewelry Manufacturing Methods and Techniques (free)
Contains articles, publications, reports, and technical data on gem and jewelry related topics; a collection of art and jewelry galleries, for both the casual visitor and the professional; members blogs and forums for the exchange of information and opinion on topics of interest to the jeweler and the gemologist.

Metal Arts Guild of Canada (free, sort of)
Website mainly for members, but good image and video galleries.

Textile Society of America List of Resources (free)
Links to international textile related sites; museums, associations, education, conservation, and more.

 

DESIGN

Canadian Design Resource (free)
Links to Canadian designers, products, etc.

Design Council (UK)  (free)
Mostly UK based in terms of resources, but some very helpful articles and links.

Design History Society (free, sort of)
UK-based society’s website, mainly for members, but with helpful lists of online resources, a free discussion list for designers, links to mainly UK museums, archives, and libraries with a design focus or collections, and news of upcoming events and competitions.

Graphic Artists Guild (free)
Many helpful professional articles and resources.

International Council of Communication Design (free)
Contains many free reference materials, particularly under its Resources section, and links to other useful sites.

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (free, sort of)
Some free articles, links, and you can search their database of members, but many resources are for members only.

Transmaterial (free)
Materials that redefine our physical environment; new developments in biomaterials, ceramics, digital fabrications, light, metals, polymers.

 

MEDIA ARTS (FILM, VIDEO, PHOTOGRAPHY, etc.)

Arts on Film Archive (free)
Offers on-line access to a database of films on art produced in the United Kingdom since the 1950s, and provides a unique record of British and international post-war art, as well as of documentary film-making in the UK. Note: To watch the movies in this archive you need to have the ac.uk designation in your institutional domain name, but the database is still a useful research tool for anyone outside the UK.

British Film Institute (free)
Information about films, film industry and film education, primarily in UK; with some articles, films and resources such as Screenonline “The definitive guide to Britain’s film and TV history.”

Canadian Film Encyclopedia (free)
Search by keyword, person, film title, company, or author.

Digitaltruth Photo (free)
Useful practical technical data and links for all types of photography.

Electronic Arts Intermix (free)
New York based, the EAI website provides a catalogue of its collection of over 3,500 new and historical video works and digital art projects by artists, with extensive online resources that include two online resource guides on the current industry standards for display, preservation, and collection of media art.

IMAP : Independent Media Arts Preservation (free)
 “Serving the field of independent media arts with preservation resources, information, training, and advocacy”

International Photography Center (free)
Many useful links and resources, especially under their Research Center heading.

Luminous Lint
Scholarly, non-commercial site exploring the history of photography through text and themed virtual exhibitions.

MAP (free)
The Media Art Platform (MAP) is currently focusing on media art events (mostly) in the Netherlands and International calls and opportunities for artists, curators and anyone with a general interest in media art.

Photography Articles from RIT (free)
Dozens of full text technical, historical, theoretical, philosophical, scholarly, and entertaining articles on photography.

Rhizome (free)
Contains the Rhizome ArtBase  an online archive of digital art, using materials such as software, code, websites, moving images, games and browsers, containing over 2,500 art works.

Vtape : The Source for Video & New Media (free)
Canadian artist-run, not-for-profit distributor of international contemporary and historical video art and media works. Featuring more than 1,000 artists and over 5,000 titles, Vtape's diverse collection includes works from the early 1970s to the present. From the website you can access the catalogue of their collection, information on their programming, pdf versions of their critical writing publications, training and internship possibilities for emerging artists and cultural workers, best practices guides, a list of links to other Canadian video art sites, information about their research facility in Toronto (open to the public), and more.

Featured Reference Source

Europeanaimage
 

Europeana Fashion

The Europeana Fashion portal, developed and maintained by the Europeana Fashion International Association, provides access to more than 700,000 high quality digital fashion objects ranging from historical dresses to accessories, catwalk photographs, drawings, sketches, videos, and fashion catalogues. This content is brought together from more than 30 public and private archives and museums in 13 European countries. Keep up with news and events by following their blog and their Events listing page.