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ART H 307: History of American Art

Welcome to the library guide for Dr Kavky's ART H 307: History of American Art at Penn State Berks!

Reference Librarian

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Brett Spencer
Office 108, Thun Library, Penn State Berks
(610) 396-6261
Subjects: Campus: Berks

Starting Our Research

paint brush iconIntroduction

"The purpose of this assignment is to allow for further research on a chosen work of art, artist or topic. It will also introduce you to research practices and to at least one example of art historical scholarship. Your paper should be 2-3 pages (typed, double spaced, Times New Roman, 12 pt. font) and include an image and citations—no goofy margins or spacing games, please.

Your task in this paper is to find and analyze a scholarly article relevant to the work of art that you selected for you class presentation. You may find one, or many articles devoted to your selected work. If you have trouble finding an article on the specific work, do not become frustrated. Search for an article on the artist, or cast your net even wider: the topic, an art movement, a theme. If you still have trouble, you can shift to an article focusing on another work. I have a list of suggested articles." --From The Assignment

book with blue arrow overlaidSources

Acceptable Sources

  • Scholarly journal articles--these are a special type of article that are written by scholars (professors), published in journals, often have long lists of citations.  Check out this example--you might recognize the author!
  • Book--you can find books at Thun Library or order books from other campuses if Thun does not have what you need.
  • Critical reviews of exhibitions--these are well-thought-out, substantial reviews of exhibitions by your artists.  They are often found in art journals or credible newspapers like the New York Times.  Please be aware that the reviews are opinions.

Unacceptable Sources

  • Wikipedia
  • Web Sites that lack credibility
  • Exhibition reviews that are not scholarly (some exhibition reviews only offer dates and times of the exhibit and very short summaries of the artwork--avoid these).


class settingClass Activity: Acceptable or Unacceptable Sources?

Finding Scholarly Journal Articles

Finding Scholarly Books

For Print Books: 

1.  Type in your topic and hit search.

2. Click on the title of the book you would like.

3.  If the book is located at Penn State Berks, please write down the call number and go to Thun Library to retrieve the book.  Please ask for help at the front desk.

If the book is located at another Penn State library, please click the blue "I Want It" button in the CAT to order the book.  The book will usually arrive at Thun Library's front desk in 2-3 business days (you'll receive an email when it arrives).

blue button that says "I Want It"

For Ebooks: 

1. Type in your topic and hit search

2.  Select "Access" on the left sidebar.

3.  Click "Online"

4.  Click the small blue "" under the books' titles to view the books.


Sample screen showing location of the "online" limit option on the left side.