Featured Research Resource: International Bibliography of Art (IBA)

If you are in search of scholarly publications that cover the global region and span the of subject Fine Arts and Architecture,
ProQuest's International Bibliography of Art (IBA) is the resource for you. IBA covers
European art from late antiquity to the present, American art from the colonial era to the present, and global art since 1945.

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, with records since 2010 created by ProQuest.

Access to IBA is through the Columbia University Libraries homepage. It can be located by clicking on the Quicksearch drop down menu either through Catalog or Databases. This resource is available only to current faculty, staff and students of Columbia University.

On the Basic Search page, I am given the ability to enter a key term in the search field. If I wanted the opportunity to do a more in-depth search, I would instead choose the Advanced Search page. On the Advanced Search page, I am given multiple fields for key terms and search options including publication date, language, and document (article, review of book, journal, etc…) that will allow me to narrow my results and obtain what I am specifically looking for.

If I wanted to find out more about a Renaissance artist and their medium of art, for example if Titian (Tiziano Vecelli in Italian) produced any etchings, I could enter 'Titian' in the first search field and 'etchings' in the second field. You may also use the drop down menu on the right-hand side and click on the 'Subject Heading (all)' option next to 'Titian.' This selection will help give you results that have 'Titian' in the subject. 



Another possible subject you may want to explore is the German architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the Bauhaus movement with which he was involved.  I would start my search by entering 'Mies van der Rohe' and 'Bauhaus' in two separate boxes (or fields) within the Advanced Search page. You may click on the drop down menu to the right of the field where you entered the architect's name and choose the 'Subject Heading (all)' option. This will limit your results to only include the architect as your subject in your results.


As the scope of content is wide, I have to keep in mind that IBA is a bibliographic index. Some documents will be available to me in full-text because they are licensed to Columbia. If I find that a document is not available to me in full-text, the resource will provide me a citation that lists the basic bibliography of the work (author, date, publisher) along with a possible abstract of the document, and a link that will lead me to the full-text version of that document. Links to full-text documents will mean that I am sent from the IBA website to Columbia's online catalog. The online catalog will tell me whether or not I have access to the document, and where else I am able to access the document if it is not available through Columbia. I understand that there are multiple resources (or as us in the library world like to call them "databases") at a student's disposal when it comes to retrieving documents or articles related to art, but if you are looking for that one extra article you think will help with your research, try ProQuest's IBA as I am sure you will be pleased with your results.

–by Erin Noto, Avery Library intern; Pratt Institute, MSLIS 2014


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *