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Art: Citation Databases for Research about Art: BHA & IBA

There's more to art research than the Bibliography of the History of Art citation database. This guide introduces and explains options for Cornell community members.

Art Librarian

Susette Newberry's picture
Susette Newberry
106 Olin Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

The BHA or the IBA?

The BHA, or Bibliography of the History of Art, along with the Répertoire de la litterature de l'art (RILA), is available to search free of charge from the Getty Web site. These citation databases, searchable together, cover material published between 1975 and 2007. BHA offers both basic and advanced search modules, and can be searched easily by subject, artist, author, article or journal title, and other elements.

For research published after 2007, try the IBA, the International Bibliography of Art or another art citation database. The International Bibliography of Art is licensed by ProQuest as the successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art, and available on the Cornell campus and off campus, to members of the Cornell community.

IBA: the Successor

ProQuest image. Click to launch trial access, if you are a Cornell researcher.

The IBA is the "definitive resource for scholarly literature on Western art. IBA is the successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), and retains the editorial policies which made BHA one of the most trusted and frequently consulted sources in the field. The database includes records created by the Getty Research Institute in 2008-09, with new records created by ProQuest using the same thesaurus and authority files.

The database will grow by 25,000 records per year, ensuring unbroken coverage of journals that were indexed in BHA and IBA prior to 2010. The initial data set created by the Getty Research Institute in 2008-2009 covers scholarship up to 2009, including retrospective records for material published in previous years, and in some cases the new ProQuest indexing will also cover retrospective years in order to fill gaps in coverage.

Publications covered include at least 500 core journals, with an emphasis on specialist and rare titles that are not covered by other indexes, plus detailed coverage of monographs, essay collections, conference proceedings and exhibition catalogues. We aim for at least 60% of the content to be in languages other than English (primarily German, French, Italian and Spanish), with a proportion of this indexing provided by national art libraries and freelance indexers from around the world. This editorial policy will ensure an authoritative overview of international scholarship within the broad and interdisciplinary parameters outlined below."

Subject coverage

  • European art since late antiquity
  • American art since the colonial period
  • Global art since 1945
  • Fine art in all media
  • Decorative arts and antiques
  • Museum studies and conservation
  • Archaeology and material culture
  • Folk art
  • Architectural history

Further information

The College Art Association, together with the Art Libraries Society of North America, have organized several formal discussions about the future of art bibliography, following the significant changes to the Bibliography of the History of Art as outlined above.

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