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Art: Books

Art LibGuide

Search Books and Media in the Cheng Library Catalog


Search the Cheng Library online catalog for books and media. If you need journal articles, go to our Databases page.

Finding Books

Start with Keywords

All research begins with the language that you use to think about your topic. This language provides keywords, or the natural language you use to describe your research topic. Start your search by developing a simple concept map of your topic using keywords to begin your search for books, DVDs, and other material in the Cheng Library online catalog. Remember, you can search the Library catalog from home 24/7!

Here is a sample keyword concept map to begin research on Italian Renaissance portraits:

Concept of place or time
Concept of material/technique
Concept of subject
15th century portraits nobility
Renaissance oil painting women
Italian patronage


Subject Headings

 A subject heading is a descriptive phrase assigned to an item to describe its contents or subject. Finding the subject heading that applys to your research interests is one method of searching the online catalog of the library. The keywords you use to describe your topic may not be the same words or in the same order as the subject headings used in the online catalog. If you were looking for books on German painters, you could search for keywords German painting or use the subject heading, “Painting--German”

Call Numbers

Are you looking for information about an artists' life? Specific types of art?  Symbology or design?

You can browse areas of the art collection on the second floor of the Cheng Library. General areas for subject browsing are listed below.  The letters refer to the beginning sequence of the call number on the spine of the book.

BH                Aesthetics, Philosophy of art
N                  Visual arts, History of art
NA               Architecture
NB                Sculpture
NC               Drawing. Design. Illustration. Cartoons. Animation
ND               Painting
NE                Print media, Printmaking
NK               Decorative arts. Folk art. Furniture. Metalwork. Textiles. Woodwork
NX               General Arts, Patronage
TP                Technology
TP 785-869  Clay industries. Ceramics. Glass
TP 890-933  Textile bleaching, dyeing, printing, etc.
TR                Photography
TT                Handicrafts. Arts and crafts. Textiles, tapestries and ceramics
TT 180-200  Woodworking. Furniture making
TT 201-203  Lathework. Turning


The Library has more than 100,000 electronic books that can be viewed online.  After completing your search in the online catalog, click on the "eBook" or "Electronic" link on the right side on the results screen. A few ebooks are listed to the right.

Ebooks from the Cheng Library

The Cheng Library has many books relating to art in electronic format - just a few are listed below.  These books may be read online.

Some titles include: