Universiteit Leiden

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Subject guide

Art & Art History

Overview of databases, reference works and websites for research in Art & Art History

Traditional genres, such as architecture, crafts, photography and printmaking; additionally world art, philosophy and theory of art, heritage, art in relation to society, and history of collecting
Text books, exhibition catalogues, monographies, reference works, films
English, Dutch, to a lesser extent German, French and Italian

The physical collection on art is located in the University Library. Most of the books are in closed stacks and can be requested through the Catalogue.

Reference collection

You can find a reference collection with primary and secondary literature on an array of subjects, bibliographies and dictionaries, on the first floor of the University Library. Items from the reference collection cannot be borrowed but it is possible to make copies or scans.

The reference collection is organized by the Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Books in the field of arts usually have the following subject codes:

M Music
N Visual Arts
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Drawing. Design. Illustration
ND Painting
NE Print media
NK Decorative arts
NX Arts in general
PN 1600- Theatre
PN 1993- Film
TR Photography


Printed journals

Current issues of journals in the field of Art which are not available online are placed in the round journal cabinets at the entrance of reading room 5. Other relevant journals can be found at entrance 2 (Archeology), and entrances 3 and 4 (History). 

Books on theatre and film are located at study room 8. Books and journals on photography (TR), print media (NE) and drawing (NC) can be found at the reference libraries of the special collections department, entrance 3 on the second floor. Art in the Classical World can be found near subject code N.

General Reading List

Theory and Methodology:

How-to cite images

Oxford Bibliographies Online - Art History

Cinema and Media


RKD Explore searches several RKD databases and retrieves biographical information, publications and images.

Oxford Art Online: dictionary of art