Library Research Guide – Find

Library Research Guide – Find

On this page:

Find a book

Finding a book is easy using online library catalogues and simple keyword searching. Start with the School’s catalogue to see if it’s in our library. If it isn’t, use Trove to see if it is in another library in Adelaide such as the University of South Australia.

Adelaide Central School of Art Library

You do not need to log into the catalogue to search it.

Once you have registered as a borrower with the library, you can also login using your student login and password to renew books (not high demand).

Try the lists in the top left-hand corner of the catalogue to find the reading lists for your course.


Trove helps you find and use resources relating to Australia. It’s more than a search engine. Trove brings together content from libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations and gives you tools to explore and build.


Art e-books can be accessed from a variety of sources which are described below:

Oxford Art Online
The School subscribes to this portal to Grove Art Online, Benezit Dictionary of Artists, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, the Oxford Guide to Western Art, and the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Think of it as a big encyclopedia of art. Please speak to the librarian for the login and password for Oxford Art Online.

Very Short Introductions
This resource provides concise, intelligent introductions to a diverse range of subject areas. All titles are written by experts in their field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable. The School subscribes to the Arts & Humanities section, which covers Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Biographical Studies, Byzantine Studies, Classical Studies, Egyptology, History, Linguistics, Literature, Media Studies, Music, Performing Arts, Philosophy, Religion, Society and Culture. Please speak to the librarian for the login and password for Very Short Introductions.

Find an image

The starting point for most image searches is Google Images. However, finding high-quality images can be difficult and there are different approaches you can take.


If you are looking for work by a specific artist, you can check if there is a museum or gallery devoted to that artist’s work or browse the collections of the major galleries/museums (see our Galleries page). Benezit Dictionary of Artists (part of Oxford Art Online) lists museum and gallery holdings at the end of each artist’s biography.   If you are searching for a contemporary artist, locate their website or find out which gallery represents them and go to that gallery’s website for high-quality images.

Alternatively, you can check our page on how to Find a Person.


If you are looking for a specific artwork, find out who owns the artwork in question (Wikipedia can be very helpful here, however, do not rely on the image you find there).

If the artwork is owned by a gallery or museum, go to their website and search for the artwork there – this is where you will find the most accurate image of the artwork.

If you are uncertain what you are looking for, you can use keyword searches on Google Arts & Culture or Google Images to locate an artwork, then look for the owner. Alternatively, you can browse one of the image collections  below(all of which have high-quality images).

Google Arts & Culture

Google has partnered with 1,000 museums and galleries around the world to put high-quality images on their works online. You can search by keyword; browse by artist, gallery or topic and take virtual tours of the galleries. Originally called the Google Art Project, it is now known as Google Arts & Culture. It is a more reliable source of images than Google Images.

Image Collections

Selected image collections covering Asian art and architecture, Australasian art and architecture, European art and architecture, North American art and architecture, book illustration, decorative arts, design, drawing, photography, prints, maps and scientific photos and illustration can be found through the Useful Websites section of the library catalogue.

Find a person

If you are looking for an artist, art critic or art historian, there are multiple places to search. The first question to ask: is the person Australian or not?


The primary place to search for Australians is Trove which searches the following biographical databases:

Other sources include:


There are multiple sources to check:

Art Historians

Dictionary of Art Historians

The Dictionary of Art Historians is a free, privately funded biographical dictionary of historians of western art written and maintained by scholars for the benefit of the public. It became associated with the Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies of Duke University in January of 2010. From 2016 on, it has been sponsored by the Wired! Lab for digital art history & visual culture. Initially conceived as a methodologic tool for English-language readers, it seeks to compile the documented facts of an historian’s life in order to serve as a background for understanding a specific text and the historiography of art. The DAH was begun in the fall of 1986 as a notecard project by indexing the historians cited in Eugene Kleinbauer’s Research Guide to the History of Western Art (1982) and his Modern Perspectives in Western Art History (1971), Heinrich Dilly’s Kunstgeschichte als Institution (1979) and some of Kultermann’s Geschichte der Kunstgeschichte (1966). In 1996 it was input electronically and in 2002 migrated to the internet. In 2018, the project underwent a major redesign and is again in active development. Subjects selected for inclusion are based solely by their reference in the historiographic literature (see bibliography link) and are not the selection of the editors.


Benezit Dictionary of Artists

Part of Oxford Art Online, Benezit is one of the most comprehensive and definitive resources of artists’ biographies available. Revered for its global scope and its excellent coverage of European artists, Benezit’s distinguishing features include its entries on obscure artists, historic auction records, and over 11,000 images of artists’ signatures, monograms, and stamps of sale. (Ask the librarian for the login and password.)


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (access via the NLA)


American National Biography Online (access via the NLA)

Digital Public Library of America


Advancing Women Artists

Advancing Women Artists Foundation, an American not-for-profit, is committed to identifying, restoring and exhibiting artwork by women in Florence’s museum storages.

Canadian Women Artists History Initiative

Ddatabase is intended to provide a research tool that brings together the growing body of literature about women artists who worked in Canada and who were born before 1925

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Museum dedicated to women artists with over 1,000 women artists from the Renaissance to the 21st century represented.

Women Who Draw

Women Who Draw is an open directory of female* professional illustrators, artists and cartoonists. It was created by two women artists in an effort to increase the visibility of female illustrators, emphasizing female illustrators of color, LBTQ+, and other minority groups of female illustrators. Includes Australian illustrators.

Web tips

Structure of a web address

Structure of a web address

Web addresses follow a specific structure and knowing this structure will help you sort results quickly.The diagram above sets outs the structure of a web address.

  1. Transfer protocol: in the early days of the worldwide web, different transfer protocols existed. They tell the system the type of data to be transmitted.
  2. WWW: stands for World Wide Web. Nowadays, it is frequently omitted.
  3. Organisation (also called Domain Name). This is the website owner.
  4. Daughter Domain: common in Australia to distinguish the states.
  5. Top Level Domain: see below.
  6. Country Code: see below.
  7. Path: where the page or file is stored on the website.

So what should you look for?

  • For anything involving your money or your personal details, check that the transfer protocol being used is https://
  • Check the organisation name to see if it is familiar and look for anything odd that would suggest it is a scam. I often see promotions claiming to be from well-known organisations but the web address shows they aren’t. For example, Coles is but scammers will use or other variation.
  • The top level domain (TLD) is very important here. The original TLDs included:
    • ac or edu for accredited educational institutions (with one exception:
    • gov for government websites
    • net for Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
    • org for non-profit organisations
    • com or co for commercial organisations (and pretty much everyone else)
  • Many more TLDs have been approved for use and slowly coming online, however the original TLDs still predominate and tell you the type of organisation. edu or ac can be considered authoritative but you should check the others.
  • Country code: all countries have a two-letter code assigned to them. This will help you identify the home country of a website. Web addresses without a country code tend to be global organisations or American websites. Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph for a list of country codes.
Getting more out of Google

There are many way to improve the results you get from your Google searches: some are included in the Research Your Topic page. This section will introduce you to a lesser-known feature of Google: Google Tools. Tools appears once you have started a search; click on it to reveal the selection of tools. This selection reflects the type of search you are doing.

Google Tools can be found under Google’s search box on the right-hand side, as shown below. Click on it to reveal the tools.

Google Tools

The Google Tools feature lies under the search box on the right-hand side.
Although it appears on most types of Google searches (Google Scholar is an exception), it is most effective with Image and News searches. Click on Tools to reveal the Tools selection.

Google Image Tools

Tools for Google Images include Size, Color, Usage Rights, Type, Time, and More Tools.

Google News Tools

The selection of tools for Google News allows you to choose either the web or Australia, news organisations or blogs, date (recent), and sorting results by relevance or date.

Finding a journal or magazine article

When searching for articles and/or journals (magazines), there are two ways to approach to this:

  • You are searching for a particular topic, or
  • You know which article and/or journal you want.
Searching for a topic

When searching for a topic, there are three main places to search:

  • Trove: particularly good for Australian content
  • Google Scholar: searches academic websites and journal databases
  • National Library of Australia‘s e-resources (click on the link on the homepage – you will need a library card from the NLA to do this).
  • A relevant database – see List of databases

Using Trove or Google Scholar will generate a list of articles that you can then search the databases for. If the article is available on open access, you will be able to link to it directly from Trove and Google Scholar (see video below to learn how to search Google Scholar). If it isn’t open access, then follow the guidelines below on searching for a specific article/journal.

For brief overviews of topics, try Oxford Art Online, Very Short Introductions or the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Searching Google Scholar
Using the National Library of Australia
Journals A-Z

Download this document for an A-Z list of journals and where to find them.

Searching for a specific article/journal

The School has subscriptions to ARTAND Australia, Artlink, Art Monthly Australia, Artist Profile, and Eyeline. These journals are available to read in the Magazine Reading Room but are not available to borrow. You may however photocopy or scan articles

If you know exactly which article/journal you want, then use Trove to identify the database the journal is located in, then refer to our database list to identify the appropriate database and how you access it. Once you have located the journal, you can use the year, volume and issue to quickly locate the article you want.

Use our journals list to locate popular journals and how to access them quickly.


Q.What’s the difference between a journal and a magazine?

A. Journal refers to academic magazines that go through a formal peer-review process; magazines are intended for a broader audience and don’t go through a peer-review process.

Q.Why is peer-review important?

A. Articles that have been through peer-review have been independently assessed by experts in the field and are considered to be more scholarly.

Q.What is open access?

A. Open access means that a scholarly article is freely available on the web to read. If an article is not open access, you will generally have to go to a library with a subscription to access it.

Q.Why can’t I find the most recent articles in JSTOR?

A. There are two possible answers: the first is that JSTOR is subject to publisher embargoes preventing them from including the most recent content. The second is that the journal has moved to another database or publisher and sometimes that database is not available through the NLA.

Find a newspaper article

Australian newspapers before 1955

Articles published by Australian newspapers before 1955 can be found through Trove

Australian newspapers after 1955

Articles published by Australian (and New Zealand) newspapers after 1955 can be found in either the Australian and New Zealand Reference Centre  or Factiva databases, available via the e-resources page of the National Library of Australia.However, it can be a bit hit-and-miss for newspaper articles between 1955 and 2000. Check the list of newspaper databases on the NLA’s e-resources page.

International newspapers

International newspaper articles can be searched via various databases (such as Factiva) available through the e-resources page of the National Library of Australia. To locate the most appropriate database for your research, browse the Newspaper category on the e-resources home page.

Library Research Guide

This Guide will help you locate information for your assignments, provide some assistance in writing your assignments, and provide links to useful online resources and tools. There is also a section on practice-led research for third-year and Honours students.

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