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Art Resource Guide: Recommended Databases

CUNY OneSearch  is the main search engine for Brooklyn College Library collections as well as all other CUNY libraries. OneSearch  makes it easy to find everything our library has on a topic, including books, articles, reference materials, and many other types of materials.  OneSearch looks and feels a lot like Google--only OneSearch is limited to the library's trusted resources!

OneSearch provides a variety of ways to filter or limit your search to results. You can limit by full text articles or peer-reviewed resources, books, location, topic, date or language.

Go to the big search box on the Library’s website. This is OneSearch . It searches print books, e-books, e-book chapters and many (but not all) of our article databases at the same time.



While oneSEARCH understands natural language searches, it is good to get into the habit of setting up your searches in terms of key words and phrases, and linking them together using AND.

  • Refine your topic: an overly-broad search will return an unmanageable number of results, while a topic that is too narrow won't produce enough information. Play around with your search terms until you find a topic that is researchable.
  • Choose keywords: once you have chosen a topic, you need to identify key words that you can use to search databases. Do some research to find out if there is "official" terminology related to your topic. You may have to try a number of synonyms until you find the one that is best for your search. Tip: some databases also use specific terms called descriptors/controlled vocabulary to organize articles. Knowing the descriptors for your topic makes it easier to find relevant articles.
  • Combine terms: once you identify the best terms for your topic, put them together with Boolean operators such as AND (for more precision in your search), OR (to enlarge the pool of results), or NOT (to exclude possible elements unrelated to your topic). These techniques work in most databases, as well as in Google.

Sample searches:  book title: “Lives of the Artists”

                               Subject searches:

Picasso AND (cubism OR sculpture OR assemblages)

  “Jackson Pollock” AND Indians

   “Louise Bourgeois” AND  (gender OR sexuality)

   “Jean-Michel Basquiat” AND (graffiti OR street art)


Tips for searches: Don’t use full sentences or questions

                             Break your topic down into keywords and phrases

                             Link keywords or key phrases together with AND

                             Use OR for synonyms or alternate terms

                             Use quotes to search for an exact phrase


Tips for Linking to Electronic Articles and E-Books

When linking to a journal article, e-book or e-book chapters, always select  the  Permalink. Select and copy the Permalink to that record that includes this EZProxy URL: 

If the article or ebook does not have the EZProxy URL, you should add it at the beginning of the article’s URL. This is necessary to ensure off-campus access. Thus the link to Academic Search Premier would look like this:




Interlibrary Loan

If you don’t  see the article, book, book chapter, or score you want using OneSearchour Databases or Google Scholar?

Don't despair!

If our library doesn't have what you're looking for...

Brooklyn College Interlibrary Loan can borrow it from libraries worldwide!

Just fill out your one-time new user registration form and make your request.

Please check our FAQ for detailed information.

You Can Request Items Not Found in the Brooklyn College Library 

When should you use CLICS and when should you use Interlibrary Loan (ILL)?

Use CLICS for:

  • Books that are available at other CUNY libraries

Use ILL for:

  • Any book, including books owned by other CUNY libraries
  • Journal articles not available at the Brooklyn College Library
  • A/V materials such as DVDs and CDs
  • Book chapters

For more information about interlibary loan or to make an ILL request, visit the Interlibrary Loan page.



Recommend Databases for Art Journal Articles

The following is a list of databases specific to art history, and general subject databases that are particularly strong in the arts. All of the databases listed below with a key icon can be searched via OneSearch. However, searching individual databases can sometimes provide more precise results.



Databases for Books and E-Books

Museum Publications