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ART 370 Research Guide


Portrait of Mme. Chanel by Marie Laurencin, 1923Welcome to the library research guide for ART 370 - Women and Gender in the Visual Arts!

This guide includes links to databases and other relevant information. 


Laurencin, Marie. Portrait de Mademoiselle Chanel. 1923. Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris. Accessed 14 March 2023.

Developing a Search Strategy for the Research Databases. OneSearch, or the Library Catalog

When searching the library research databases or OneSearch, it's good to have a strategy. Unlike Google or Internet search engines, the databases and OneSearch can't interpret natural language or strings of unconnected words. You should identify the key concepts in your thesis or research question and then brainstorm for a few alternative terms and synonyms that go along with them. Then you can connect and combine those terms in different ways using Boolean (see video in box below).

For example, what if you were researching the topic:

women and early photography

The key concepts are obviously the words I underlined:

women   early photography

 It's good to have a few synonyms and related terms for your key concepts. They may also be helpful in your search!

women early photography:
women photographers. female, women pioneers, etc. photography, photography-history. etc.

Now I can develop either a basic search statement:

women AND early photography

Or a more advanced search statement with some flexibility:

(women OR women pioneers) AND (early photography OR photography)


Find out why I combined terms with AND and OR in the video below (capitalization and bold type just for emphasis)!

This video from the University of Auckland Libraries in Australia explains Boolean operators very well, and shows how they work in library catalogs, databases, and even Advanced Google.