This guide is intended as an introduction the art & art history resources available in the Northwestern University Library system. Any broad subject area naturally limits attempts at comprehensive discussion, and as an intrinsic aspect of humankind's creative aspirations, art is no different; it would be impossible for this guide to list every journal, every monograph, every artistic movement throughout history. Rather, by focusing on the resources available and addressing their different strengths, the guide can act as an effective introduction to the use of the library as an aide to developing critical research skills that can then benefit independent scholarship.
Each section of the guide focuses on a particular type of library resource, as opposed to concentrating on a specific artistic medium or movement; the intent is to provide a general familiarity with different information sources that can then be applied as necessary, according to individual research demands. While some sources are more specialized by design and others more general, the research skills they help develop are universal.
Titles in the art library come in three different sizes—regular, large, and folio—and those designations also play a role in locating a specific item. When reading an NUSearch catalog entry, then, it's important to note the call number, its type, and any size designation.
Finally, many items are stored offsite, ay the Oak Grove Library Center. Of the approximately 145,000 items in the art collection, around 65,000 are at Oak Grove, including most folio sizes, as well as older titles and titles in less demand. Titles at Oak Grove can be ordered online and are normally available within 24 hours.