This is a research guide for finding materials on museum studies in the Greenfield Library at the University of the Arts. Reference materials are listed first, followed by a list of suggested subject headings for searching library catalogs. Periodical indexes to magazine articles and newspapers are next, followed by style manuals and finally Web sites. If you have questions about this topic please contact Sara MacDonald, Public Services Librarian in the UArts Greenfield Library.


The first place to look when beginning research on a topic is in reference material: specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias or handbooks. These allow you to check names, dates and places, find additional information, look up unknown terms, and check for the proper spelling of words. They are particularly helpful for finding basic background information on a topic, and are often the only place many students may need to look to find answers to their questions. They may include bibliographies (lists of additional materials on a topic, usually considered by the author to be the best materials on that topic) that you can use to find other materials.

All quoted material in the annotations is from American Reference Book Annual (ARBA) series, Greenfield REFERENCE 011.02 Am35, unless otherwise stated.

Shapiro, Michael Staven, ed.The Museum: A Reference Guide. NY: Greenwood Press, 1990.
Greenfield REF 016.069 M972
"This is not a volume to put on the bibliography shelf and forget. In fact, its title disguises an excellent source on museums, their operations, and their history. ... [It is] a much-needed compendium of critical essays and bibliographical resources on aspects of the museum profession. Each of the 11 chapters treats a type of museum ... , or professional issue ... . Within each 25- to 30-page chapter, the author gives a short but substantial overview, a critical discussion of sources in essay form, and a useful bibliography. Appendixes include a list of museum directories, museum archives and special collections, and museum-related periodicals. The format of this books seems ideal as a text for the graduate student as well as for the intelligent lay reader who needs a serious overview of the museum world in all its complexity." ARBA 1991, volume 22, p. 26.

Woodhead, Peter and Geoffrey Stansfield. Keyguide to Information Sources in Museum Studies. London; New York: Mansell, 1994.
Greenfield REF 069.5 W857k 1994. See also first edition, 1989.
"This book succeeds in fulfilling an ambitious goal: to document the literature, reference tools, and organizations that offer information about the study of museums. Woodhead, a reference librarian, and Stansfield, an expert in museum studies, ahve combined their knowledge to produce a comprehensive and well-organized book. Part 1 functions as a handbook of the entire field of museology, discussing its development, methods of disseminating information, and literature. Part 2 is a bibliography arranged by topic. Although the book is international in scope, most of the works listed are in English [many are British]. ...". ARBA 1991, p. 27.

American Association of Museums. The Official Museum Directory. New Providence, NJ: R. R. Bowker. Annual.
Greenfield REF 069 Of1
Lists more than 5,000 North American institutions. Arranged by state/province, provides name, address, phone/fax numbers, key personnel, collections, research fields, facilities, activities, publications, hours and admission prices, attendance, and membership. Also includes much information on the American Association of Museums, state arts and humanities councils, federal agencies providing museum support, international museum organizations and associations, and more. Also includes "Products and Services Suppliers" section.

American Library Directory. New Providence, NJ: R. R. Bowker. Annual.
Greenfield REF 027 Am35 2 volumes
Directory of public, academic, government and special (including museum) libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Listings provide name, address, phone/fax numbers, subject interests, special collections, and more.

Hudson, Kenneth and Ann Nicholls. The Directory of Museums and Living Displays. NY: Stockton Press, 1985.
Greenfield REF 069 D628h
International coverage. Very brief listings provide address and description of museum contents. Preface includes a glossary of terms.

Truesdell, Bill. Directory of Unique Museums. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1985.
Greenfield REF 069 T768d

Association of Science-Technology Centers. The ... ASTC Directory. Washington, D.C. : Association of Science-Technology Centers. Annual.
Greenfield REF 027 Am35 2 volumes
Directory of public, academic, government and special (including museum) libraries in the U.S. and Canada. Listings provide name, address, phone/fax numbers, subject interests, special collections, and more.

American Association of Museums. Evaluation in a Museum Setting. (Technical information service ; 6) The Association, 1982-86.
Greenfield REF 069 Ev13

American Association of Museums. Museum Studies Programs: Guide to Evaluation. (Technical information service ; 3) The Association, 1985.
Greenfield REF 069.0973 M972a

American Association of Museums. Museum Careers: A Variety of Vocations. 2nd ed. (Technical information service ; 2) The Association, 1989.
Greenfield REF 069.023 C162a 1989

Funding for Museums, Archives and Special Collections. Oryx Press, 1988.
Greenfield REF 069.0681 F962

Historical Dictionary of World's Fairs and Expositions, 1851-1988. John E. Findling and Kimberly D. Pelle, eds. Greenwood Press, 1990.
Greenfield REF 907.2 H629
"The outgrowth of a history seminar given in 1982, this fascinating dictionary fills a gap in both the history and sociology of world's fairs. The 95 chronologically arranged essays each treat a fair, an exhibition, or an exposition... Basic statistical information and significant (and occasionally amusing) features are included. Each essay is capped by a brief descriptive bibliography." ARBA, 1991, volume 22, p. 540.

Searching the Catalog by Subject

Use the University Libraries online catalog to find books, videos, CDs, scores, journal titles, etc. To locate all of the materials the library holds on a topic, it is most efficient to search by Subject. Use the following subject headings in the online catalog. Be careful to follow the exact spelling and form. These subject headings are standard and are used in most libraries.


See also types of museums:

Periodical Indexes: Finding Articles

Periodical indexes are research tools that allow you to search for articles in magazines, journals and newspapers.

Go to the library's Article Databases and Indexes page for a list of the UArts Libraries' subscription databases. Not sure which one to try? Give us a call (215-717-6280) or contact Sara MacDonald, UArts Public Services Librarian.

I've found articles I want to read. Now what?
There are different ways to find an article once you retrieve a citation in the index:

  • See if there is a link in the index you're using to a full-text article online and download it or e-mail it to yourself.

  • Click the FindIt@UArts icon to see if our library holds the journal title. FindIt@UArts will also tell you if the full-text article is available in a different database.

  • Use the interlibrary loan search tool, WorldCat, to request materials not owned by the UArts Libraries or to see what other libraries have the title you need.

Style Manuals: Citing Your Sources

When you find information on a topic, no matter what format it takes (book, journal, Web page), there are style guides to show you the correct way to give cite those sources in a paper.


Searching the Web can be overwhelming. If you are using the Internet for research you want to choose sites that meet the standards of accuracy, currency and authority.

There are many, many museum-related sites and resources available on the Internet and World Wide Web. The few listed here should provide many links to other sites.

American Association of Museums
"The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 30,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions, and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance stands for the broad scope of the museum community." Quoted from "About the AAM."

Association of College & Research Libraries: Museum Studies:
Online Resources for Students and Practitioners
A substantial collection of links selected by a university librarian, this site includes: professional associations and organizations; selected (in this case, free) image collections; databases and information gateways; e-journals, discussions and blogs; directories; technology and museums; employment opportunities; grant directories; and a few miscellanea.

Art History Resources on the Web
Compiled by Dr. Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe, Art History Professor at Sweet Briar College in Virginia, this site is a huge collection of links to all kinds of art history information. Very thorough and easy to use. See an index of Dr. Witcombe's other Web pages at

Heritage Preservation: The National Institute for Conservation
"Heritage Preservation is working to save the objects that embody our history, partnering with conservators, museums, civic groups, and concerned individuals across the nation who care about preserving pieces of our shared and individual pasts." quoted from "About Heritage Preservation"

ipl2: Internet Public Library
"ipl2 is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment. To date, thousands of students and volunteer library and information science professionals have been involved in answering reference questions for our Ask an ipl2 Librarian service and in designing, building, creating and maintaining the ipl2's collectionsA?E?A?A?A?A?a??A?A?a??A?A?A?A?A?A? In January 2010, the website 'ipl2: information you can trust' was launched, merging the collections of resources from the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII) websites." quoted from "About ipl2".

Museum Computer Network
"Founded in 1967, the Museum Computer Network has been serving the cultural heritage community for over forty years. ... The Museum Computer Network (MCN) supports the greater museum community by providing continuing opportunities to explore, implement, and disseminate new technologies and best practices in the field." quoted from the MCN "About Us" page

Visitor Studies Association
"VSA's members are a diverse and dynamic group of individuals including evaluators, educators, exhibit developers, designers, marketing professionals, planners, academics, and directors who share a passion for improving the quality of visitor experiences. VSA also boasts an outstanding international membership from twenty different countries." Source: Visitor Studies Association - About

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