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Nineteenth-Century Art Resources: Encyclopedias

A guide to major sources of information for researching 19th-century art and artists

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Encyclopedias of Art History




The Dictionary of Art
Despite its title, this multivolume reference work is really an encyclopedia. Monumental in scope, it is the largest and most comprehensive reference work on the visual arts that has ever been published. Don't start any research on art without checking this source. It is also available online in Oxford Art Online.
Encyclopedia of World Art
Although older than the encyclopedia above, this is still a useful and scholarly work. It is richly illustrated with thousands of color and black-and-white plates, which are all found together at the back of each volume.
Thames and Hudson Encyclopaedia of Impressionism 
This concise volume offers articles on the people, the places, and the social and cultural background of the Impressionist movement.
Encyclopedia of American Art before 1914 
A spin-off from Grove's Dictionary of Art, this one-volume encyclopedia offers more in-depth coverage of U.S. art, from the colonial period to the start of World War I.
Encyclopedia of Architecture: Design, Engineering & Construction
Encyclopedia of American Architecture 
The first of these encyclopedias is a multivolume work containing scholarly articles on all aspects of architecture. The second is a beautifully illustrated one-volume encyclopedia devoted to American architecture of all time periods, including the nineteenth century.
Encyclopedia of Photography
The Photography Encyclopedia 
Encyclopédie Internationale des Photographes de 1839 à Nos Jours/ Photographers Encyclopaedia International 1839 to the Present
These are excellent places to begin research on photography or photographers. The Encyclopédie, which is written in both French and English, provides useful chronologies and bibliographies and is a good place to start research on a particular photographer.

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Leanna Goodwater
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