Use encyclopedias and other reference sources to explore and refine research topics

Use these sources for broad, contextual information and for biographical summaries.
Be sure to go through the Bibliography or Recommended Resources at the end of each entry for recommended books & articles.

Image: Oxford Art Online logoOxford art online

Oxford Art Online is the access point for Grove Art Online, the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Includes image partnerships and a digital image search.


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African-American History

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Biographical Resources

Cornell subscribes to a number of biographical databases. Many of the biographies include excellent portraits.

The Advanced search has a portrait check box that allows you to "find citations for sources that include a portrait." This will not lead you directly to the image, but will pre-select likely citations.

Oxford Bibliographies

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Annotated bibilographies on many, many topics. Provides introductions to each topic area, and includes guides to introductory works, textbooks, guidebooks, journals, reference works etc., and links to useful websites. A library of authoritative, discipline-focused, online guides to the essential literature in subjects across the humanities and social sciences. Each module is a dynamic bibliographic tool containing a hierarchical body of interwoven entries designed to help students and scholars move through the most important scholarship, commentary, and resources in a specific area of research.

Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics in a growing range of subject areas. There are at least 50 specific topical bibliographies in each subject area. Each of these features an introduction to the topic. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. 

Help from Oxford: Anatomy of an Article

Specialized Reference Works