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.
Call numbers are for the Greenfield Library unless otherwise indicated. REF indicates the reference section.
- **Contemporary Photographers. 3rd ed. / editor, Colin Naylor ; advisors, Ryszard Bobrowski ...
[et al.] Chicago ; London : St. James, c1995.
REF 770.922 C7675 1995
Start here! If your photographer is included in this book you will get: a biographical outline that includes contact information; a bibliography of books and articles; a scholarly essay on that photographer and their importance; and perhaps even an artist's statement if the photographer chose to submit one.
- Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography / John Hannavy, editor. NY: Routledge, 2008.
REF 770.903403 En19h v. 1-2
A great place to start research on any photo topic related to the 19th century. Entries include people, countries, and thematic topics such as camera design, tourist photography, self-portraiture, industrial photography, mountain photography, perspective, and much, much more. All major entries include a bibliography for further reading. For twentieth-century topics, see just below.
- Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Photography / Lynne Warren, editor. NY: Routledge, 2006.
REF 770.90403 En19w v. 1-3
- Macmillan Biographical Encyclopedia of Photographic Artists & Innovators / Turner Browne, Elaine Partnow. NY: Macmillan ; London : Collier Macmillan, c1983.
REF 770.922 B818m 1983
Wonderful source for historic information.
- Willis-Thomas, Deborah. Black Photographers, 1840-1940: An Illustrated Bio-bibliography. NY: Garland, 1985.
REF 770.922 W679b
- Willis-Thomas, Deborah. An Illustrated Bio-bibliography of Black Photographers, 1940-1988. NY: Garland, 1989.
REF 770.922 W679i
- Baldwin, Gordon. Looking at Photographs: A Guide to Technical Terms. Los Angeles, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009.
REF 770.3 B193L 2009
- ICP, International Center of Photography, Encyclopedia of Photography. 1st ed. NY: Crown, c1984.
REF 770.321 I005 1984
- The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography / edited by Leslie Stroebel and Richard Zakia. 3rd ed. Boston: Focal Press, c1993.
REF 770.3 F681 1993
A classic in the field that every photographer should know about, Focal is a great authority on technical terms, past and present.
- **The Focal Encyclopedia of Photography: Digital Imaging, Theory and Applications, History, and Science / Michael R. Peres, editor-in-chief.
4th ed. Amsterdam; Boston: Elsevier/Focal Press, c2007.
REF 770.3 F681p 2007
Less an encyclopedia than a fabulous collection of scholarly and technical articles on the history and evolution of photography, major themes and photographers of the 20th century, digital photography, scientific photography, human vision, 20th century materials and processes, a timeline, and more. Certain sections include a glossary and/or bibliography for further reading. Includes some biographical material on major photographers. Consult the index for your topic.
- McDarrah, Gloria, et al. The Photography Encyclopedia. NY: Schirmer Books, 1999.
REF 770.3 M459pe
Includes glossary, biographies, awards, museums, galleries, time line, and more.
- Mora, Gilles. PhotoSpeak: A Guide to the Ideas, Movements, and Techniques of Photography, 1839 to the Present. 1st ed. NY: Abbeville Press Publishers, c1998.
REF 770.3 P566m 1998
- Cohen, Stuart. Photographer's Resource: the Watson-Guptill Guide to Workshops,
Conferences, Artists' Colonies, Academic Programs, Digital Imaging Programs, On-the-Road Programs. NY: Watson-Guptill Publications, c1997.
REF 770.7152 C66p
Looking for books on individual photographers? Try searching for your person's name by AUTHOR and/or by SUBJECT. Remember: when searching people's names by Author or Subject, type the LAST NAME FIRST, e.g., adams ansel.
It's also a very good idea to search for artists' names by KEYWORD. Keyword searches in the Author field, the Subject field, and in the Contents field, which includes elements such as titles of chapters. When searching by keyword you can type FIRST NAME FIRST. To be more precise, put quotation marks around it to specify a phrase, e.g., "ansel adams".
And don't forget - you will find more articles about individual photographers, especially contemporary photographers, by searching periodical indexes for magazine articles.
Use the University Libraries 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. These subject headings are standard and are used in most libraries.
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.
When you find information on a topic, no matter what format it takes (book, journal, Web page), there are style manuals 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.
American Museum of Photography
American Photography: A Century of Images
A public television production from KTCA/Twin Cities Public Television, "American Photography captures the images of a century of change and the role the camera has played both in creating and documenting it. Dramatic and intimate stories trace photography's profound effect on American life -- influencing what we buy, how we dress, how we get the news, and in matters of life and death, medicine, science and war."--quote taken from "More About the Film". See also the companion book.
America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1839-1864
Part of the American Memory Web site from the Library of Congress. Just one of many collections within the site. Use the search box on the American Memory home page to find others.
International Center of Photography
"Interpreting the power and evolution of photography, the International Center of Photography is a museum and school dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of photography. ICP creates programs of the highest quality to advance knowledge of the medium. These include exhibitions, collections, and education for the general public, members, students, and professionals in the field of photography..."--from About ICP, 28 Oct 2011.
Internet Public Library
This is always a good place to start any kind of Internet research. Links to sites ranging from America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerrotype Portraits and Views 1839-1864 to Digital Photo Review.
Smithsonian Photography Initiative
Out of the Smithsonian's approximate 13 million photographs, about 1,800 have been selected to launch their new Web site. Be sure to read their section on copyright and fair use: http://www.si.edu/copyright/.
Society for Photographic Education
"The Society for Photographic Education is a non-profit membership organization that provides a forum for the discussion of photography-related media as a means of creative expression and cultural insight. Through its interdisciplinary programs, services and publications, the society seeks to promote a broader understanding of the medium in all its forms, and to foster the development of its practice, teaching, scholarship and criticism." - from the home page.