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University Library

Art & Art History

A Guide to Articles, Books, and Websites for Art.

Subject Headings & Call Numbers

The arts are typically cataloged using the N call number at the root, with added letters and numbers to represent subdivisions.

The N section is divided by medium:

  • N- Visual Arts
  • NA- Architecture
  • NB- Sculpture
  • NC- Drawing, Design, Illustrations
  • ND- Painting
  • NE- Print Media
  • NK- Decorative Arts
  • NX- Arts in General

These broad categories are broken down further by time period, movement, subject or artist:

  • ND615- Painting-Italian Renaissance
  • ND553 M37- Matisse, Henri
  • N6465 I4- Impressionism
  • NK1700-2138- House Decoration, General, Special Rooms
  • NA190-1555.5- Architecture, History
  • NX440-632- History of the Arts

Some other call numbers that may be useful when thinking about art research:

  • TR- Photography
  • PN1560-3300- Performing Arts, Drama, Theatre, Film
  • ML- Music History and Criticism
  • GV1580-1799.4- Dance

Each book in the online catalog also contains Library of Congress subject headings, which can help you locate books on a similar topic.  Click on the subject heading in the online catalog to go to a list of books that share that subject heading.  Some examples are:

  • Performance art
  • Art and society
  • Aesthetics
  • Art criticism United States history 20th century
  • Istanbul (Turkey) Buildings, structures, etc.
  • Illustration of books, Great Britain 19th century
  • Modernism (Art)

The names of individual artists, works of art, museums or buildings are also included as subject headings:

  • Morris, William, 1834-1896 Influence
  • Gosudarstvennyi Ermitazh (Russia)
  • Lincoln Memorial (Washington, D.C.)
Map of the 5th floor (Books GV-PM)

Map of the 6th floor (Books A-GT)

Databases