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Art History: Art Monographs

El Greco
Madonna and Child
oil on canvas
c. 1590

All ideas are art if they are concerned with art and fall within the conventions of art --  Sol LeWitt


With well over 100,000 items in the collection, it is impossible to highlight specific titles of interest. The library has particular strengths in 19th century art & architecture, including French painting; early modern Europe; fashion, and photography. However, there are distinct types of works that deserve mention, special collections of note, and tips for maximizing your search results.

Monograph Searching

A search for print tiles begins with NUSearch. You can search by title, author, or keyword, or by any combination using the advanced search feature. Results can be focused by using limiters found on the left of the results screen, e.g. format, year, or location.

  • A new feature added to the search results is Yewno Discover, which is a graphic representation of items related to the initial search term that appears on the left of the search results. Clicking on it will take you to the Yewno interface, where you can see a larger example of the search cloud, and explore each suggestion independently in greater depth. Yewno can be helpful in highlighting related terms and concepts and suggesting connections that may not have been initially considered or immediately apparent.
  • When searching by keywords, it helps to use a controlled vocabulary that matches the subject terms assigned to item records. Like most libraries, Northwestern uses subject headings established by the Library of Congress, commonly known as LCSH (Library of Congress Subject Headings) These are standardized terms that describe particular subjects, and help ensure that search results accurately reflect a user's intention. If you have any doubt as to how to phrase your search terms, the LC Authorities file can be consulted for the definitive answer. The authorities file can also provided officially recognized spellings of names and locations.
  • Monograph titles are located in the Eloise W. Martin Reading Room and the Architecture Reading Room. Please refer to the section Locating Titles in the Art Library for full details.

Specific Collections

Unlike periodicals, which are published on a regular schedule, serials are continuing scholarship concentrating on a particular artist, period or artistic theme, but that appear at irregular intervals. The library has several important serial collections, including

Catalogues Raisonné

These are multi-volume sets that chronicle the entire output of an artist's career. Extensively researched, they are often considered definitive pieces of scholarship. While not every artist merits a catalogue, the library has examples for most major Western artists. Catalogues raisonné do not circulate.

Special Collections



Please visit each collection's page for more information