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ART 380 Research Guide


Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (illustration)Welcome to the library research guide for ART 380 - 19th Century Art History!

This guide includes links to databases and other relevant information. 














Rossetti, Dante Gabriel. Proserpine. 1874. Tate Britain, London. Accessed 27 October 2022.

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 question:

The art and politics of the Pre-Raphaelites

The key concepts are obviously the words I underlined:

art politics Pre-Raphaelites

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

art: politics: Pre-Raphaelites:
painting. aestheics etc. doctrines, beliefs,, etc. Pre-Raphaelite, Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rossetti, Millais. etc.

Now I can develop either a basic search statement:

art AND politics AND Pre-Raphaelites

Or a more advanced search statement with some flexibility:

(art OR politics) AND Pre-Raphaelites


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.