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Art History

Open Access Resources for Art Research

Complied by librarian Abby Bridge, 2020. Please email with suggestions for additional resources.

Museum Publications

Titles from some of these museums are also available via the Getty Research Portal or Internet Archive. 

General/Consortia Resources

  • Internet Archive and   Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. Many libraries and archives have contributed material to the Internet Archive, including CCSF. Copyright-restricted material that is held in their online lending library is available for checkout with a free virtual library card. More information on setting up an account and borrowing is available here
  • DPLA, Digital Public Library of America   DPLA includes millions of images, texts, videos and sound recordings contributed by libraries and archives across the United States. Especially strong in archival audiovisual material, the database is also a great resource for books and periodicals in the public domain (published before 1924).  
  • HathiTrust Digital Library   HathiTrust is a not-for-profit collaborative of academic and research libraries offering digital access to over 17 million items. Requires guest login to access; limit to “Full view only” to access full text of public domain and Creative Commons licensed works (access to copyrighted content requires HathiTrust institutional membership). Some HathiTrust material is also included in Digital Public Library of America and Internet Archive. 
  • Getty Research Portal   An international collection of digitized art history publications, rare books and related literature contributed by the Getty and many other museums. Includes links out to museum publications from MoMa, The Met, Art Institute of Chicago and others. Also includes all titles and the final report from OSCI, the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), the sponsor of SFMOMA’s Rauschenberg Research Project  
  • Directory of Open Access Journals   DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to quality open access, peer-reviewed journals.  
  • Directory of Open Access Books   "The directory is open to all publishers who publish academic, peer reviewed books in Open Access and should contain as many books as possible, provided that these publications are in Open Access and meet academic standards. " 
  • OAPEN Access: Publishing in European Networks   "The OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of Humanities and Social Sciences. OAPEN works with publishers to build a quality-controlled collection of Open Access books, and provides services for publishers, libraries and research funders in the areas of dissemination, quality assurance and digital preservation. "  
  • e-artexte    “The library catalogue of Artexte and our digital repository for contemporary Canadian art publications. … an open access platform for contemporary Canadian art publishers (museums, artist-run centres, art galleries, etc.), authors and artists to upload digital versions of their publications (or born digital publications) for anyone to download for free.”  
  • JSTOR Open Content   Thousands of free journal articles and open access book chapters. Get expanded access to JSTOR via CCSF Library or full access via SFPL 

Historical Periodicals

  • Blue Mountain Project (Princeton)  Historic Avant Garde Periodicals for Digital Research  
  • Digital Dada Library  “The Digital Dada Library provides links to scanned images of original Dada-era publications in the International Dada Archive. These books, pamphlets, and periodicals are housed in the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa Libraries and include many of the major periodicals of the Dada movement from Zurich, Berlin, Paris, and elsewhere, as well as books, exhibition catalogs, and broadsides by participants in the Dada movement.” 
  • Letterform Archive / The Online Archive   San Francisco-based collection of type, lettering and graphic design. Database designed primarily for use by graphic designers with emphasis on design vocabulary and visual search strategies. Often includes only covers and select images from periodicals. 

Wikis / Independent Sites

  • Monoskop   “A wiki for the arts, media and humanities.” Avant-garde and modernist magazines page includes gallery of selected issues, title index with links out to full-text online copies in various collections and a linked list of online collections organized by language. Artists publishing page features artist’s publications with full digital reproductions and links to various online repositories.  
  • UbuWeb  Founded by Kenneth Goldsmith in 1996, UbuWeb is an extensive online repository of avant-garde material with an emphasis on visual, concrete and sound poetry, experimental film and sound art. 
  • US Modernist Library  “The USModernist® Library is the world's largest open digital collection of major US 20th-century architecture magazines with approximately 2.8 million downloadable pages - all free to access.” 

Other Resources

  • Canadian Online Art Book Project   Digital library of books commissioned by the Art Canada Institute. 
  • CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts   “Here there are videos of artists talking about their work as well as video and audio documentation of all past lectures, performances, and events. There are also essays about exhibitions, plus reviews, reading lists, and interviews to read.”  
  • Documents of Latin American and Latino Art   “First launched in 2002, Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino Art: A Digital Archive and Publications Project (now Documents of Latin American and Latino Art) is an initiative dedicated to the recovery and publication of primary source materials and critical texts related to Latin American and Latinx art.” 
  • Wildenstein Plattner Institute   Wildenstein Institute Publications, including catalogues raisonnés. 

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