Art Research using EBSCOhost

Open University Libraries, The University of New Mexico

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Welcome to this tutorial on using databases available through EBSCOhost for art-related research. Here you will learn to:

  • Search EBSCOhost's Art & Architecture databases
  • Search other EBSCOhost databases for art-related materials
  • Narrow search results
  • Locate materials

Please click on the arrows below to move back and forth through the tutorial.

Hover over the Table of Contents icon Menu icon with three horizontal black stripes in the upper right corner of this frame at any time to jump to a different section of the tutorial.

Searching EBSCOhost's Art & Architecture Databases

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Let's begin by searching EBSCOhost's Art & Architecture databases.

First, click E under Databases. Then scroll down and click EBSCOhost Databases. Finally, click EBSCOhost for UNM University Libraries.

Link to EBSCOhost for UNM University Libraries 

A list of all 57 EBSCOhost databases available through UNM University Libraries will appear. You can limit the search by clicking on the boxes next to these Art & Architecture databases:

  • Art Full Text
  • Art Index Retrospective
  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals

Now when you search, you'll be searching only these main Art & Architecture databases.

Searching EBSCOhost's Art & Architecture Databases

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You can search by author, title, subject, keyword, and several other fields using the drop-down menus.

Let's try a sample search for the artist Gabriel Orozco. Enter "gabriel orozco" (capitalization doesn't matter) in the first search box and click Search.

A number of hits will appear in the central column of the results page.

Which of the following formats does NOT appear in the search results list?

"Black Kites", a 1997 sculpture by Gabriel Orozco

("Black Kites," a 1997 sculpture by Orozco) 

Searching Other EBSCOhost Databases

To search other EBSCOhost databases that may contain art-related materials, first click Choose Databases above the search fields. A dialogue window will appear. Next, click Select / deselect all to clear the database selection. Then click the boxes next to the databases related to your particular research topic. Finally, click OK.

For our sample search on Orozco, click the boxes next to:

  • Academic Search Complete
  • Academic Search Premier
  • Biography Reference Bank
  • Humanities International Complete

As with the previous search, enter "gabriel orozco" in the first search box and click Search.

Take a look at the search results. Are they all about the artist Gabriel Orozco?

False drops are a common problem, and we'll address them in the following section.

Futon Homeless, 1992 conceptual found art piece by Gabriel Orozco

(Futon Homeless, a 1991 conceptual found art piece by Orozco)

Narrowing Search Results

Two common obstacles are false drops (irrelevant results) and retrieving too many results. Fortunately, databases like those from EBSCOhost include many ways to narrow your results.

Our previous search resulted in several hundred results, several of which were false drops. From that (or any) results list, take a look at the left sidebar under Refine Results. Try some of them out and see what happens with each.

Which of these methods of narrowing results best eliminates false drops (sources unrelated to Gabriel Orozco)?

Atomists: Asprilla, a 1996 photographic print by Gabriel Orozco

(Atomists: Asprilla, a 1996 photographic print by Orozco)

Locating Materials

Once you have located the record of an item you're interested in, you'll want to locate the item itself. There are several possibilities you may encounter.

First, you may see either HTML Full Text or PDF Full Text at the bottom of a record. Clicking on HTML Full Text lets you read the source as a webpage. Clicking on PDF Full Text allows you to download the source as a PDF file.

Second, you may see a Find @ UNM button: Find @ UNM button

Clicking the button will open another browser window explaining options for obtaining the item, such as:

  • View Full Text
  • Print copies at your library
  • Request a copy of this item
You may need to do a bit of sleuthing to find a source. If you ever need help locating materials, please do not hesitate to contact a librarian.

Ping-Pond Table, a 1998 installation by Gabriel Orozco

(Ping-Pond Table, a 1998 installation by Orozco)

Review & Further Help

This tutorial has demonstrated how to:

  • Search EBSCOhost's Art & Architecture databases
  • Search other EBSCOhost databases for art-related materials
  • Narrow search results
  • Locate materials

For further help, see our other tutorials on database searching in art.

You can also contact a librarian at the UNM Univeristy Libraries homepage. Click Ask a Librarian in the upper right corner. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions! We’re here to help you succeed with your coursework and research.

"My Hands Are My Heart," a 1991 photograph by Gabriel Orozco

(My Hands Are My Heart, 1991 photograph by Orozco)


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