Visual Research

Sample Call Numbers 
Sample Subject Headings 
Library Catalogs 
Sample Materials 
Research Databases 
Relevant Journals 
Selected Web Pages and Digital Archives 

For more help with research on this topic:

Visit the Library’s “Ask a Librarian” Desk (7:30am-7:00pm M-Th, 7:30am-5:00pm Fri)
Email a Librarian

Call a Librarian at 540-261-4084

Sample Call Numbers

Costume, Fashion GT
Fine Arts N
Architecture NA
Scultpure NB
Drawing, design, and illustration NC
Painting ND
Print Media NE
Decorative Arts NK
Arts in general NX
Photography TR
Handicrafts, arts and crafts TT

Sample Subject Headings

Once you identify appropriate subject headings, you can perform Subject searches in the library catalog. Start by searching the catalog by keyword. Use whatever terms you think best describe your topic. When you find a record that matches what you are looking for, view the record and see what subject headings were used. Then search again using that term as a subject search.

Pictorial Works
United States–History–Pictorial works
Rome (Italy)–Pictorial works
Art nouveau
War in art
London (England)–Social life and customs–Illustrations.
Theaters–Stage-setting and scenery–Illustrations.
Art, American–Exhibitions
Women painters–United States–Exhibitions.
Video recordings
Feature Films
Animated Films
Film and video adaptations
Documentary Television Programs

Library Catalogs

Von Canon Library Catalog 
Washington and Lee Catalog   
VMI Preston Library Catalog  
Rockbridge Public Library Catalog (incl. BV Branch)  
WorldCat Database  

Sample Materials at Von Canon Library

The changing arctic landscape QC 984 .A4 T37 2010
The library : an illustrated history Z 721 .M885 2009
Edward Hopper ND 237 .H75 A2 2007
Pots & plays : interactions between tragedy and Greek vase-painting NK 4645 .T377 2007
Rembrandt as printmaker NE 2054.5 .R4 A5 2006
Great road style : the decorative arts legacy of southwest Virginia… NK 1410 .V8 W49 2006
Michael Graves : images of a grand tour NA 2707 .G7 A88 2005
Cy Twombly : fifty years of works on paper OVERSIZED NC 139 .T89 A4 2004
Hudson River School visions : the landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford ND 237 .G4 A4 2003
The illustrated history of World War II D 743 .R211 2003
The photographic history of the Civil War in ten volumes. REMOTE E 468.7 .M64
Century of change : America in pictures, 1900-2000 E 161 .L544 2000
Life, decades of the 20th century : the way we were E 741 .L53 1999
A year in pictures 1997 : Life album TR 820.5 .L53 1998
Their faces toward Zion : voices and images of the trek west BX 8611 .H65 1996
Life : Sixty Years : A 60th Anniversary Celebration 1936-1996. CB 425 .L44 1996
Realms of Tolkien : images of Middle-earth PR 6039 .O32 Z813 1996
Baseball : an illustrated history GV 863 .A1 W37 1994
Souvenirs from Japan : Japanese photography at the turn of the century TR 105 .W56
Celebrating the American earth : a tribute to Ansel Adams TR 642 .A246
Main Street : the heart of the American town. OVERSIZED E 168 .M26
The Covent Garden album : 250 years of theatre, opera, and ballet ML 1731.8 .L72 C625
The art of Audubon : the complete birds and mammals ` QL 681 .A96
The Way we wore : fashion illustrations of children’s wear, 1870-1970 GT 1730 .W39
… a photographic album of Victorian and Edwardian Britain DA 533 .D29
Men at work : photographic studies of modern men and machines TR 653 .H54
French opera posters, 1868-1930 ML 89 B.76
The New York stage : famous productions in photographs, 1883-1939 REMOTE PN 2277 .N5 N4
Art nouveau display alphabets : 100 complete fonts Z 250 .A77
American labor : a pictorial social history REMOTE HD 8066 .S35
Ceremonial centers of the Maya. F 1435 .C79
Mr. Lincoln’s camera man, Mathew B. Brady TR 140 .B7
In a sacred manner we live; photographs of the North American Indian. E 77.5 .C8
Fashion through fashion plates, 1771-1970 GT 513 .M6
Early illustrations and views of American architecture NA 710 .G53
Costumes from the Forbidden City NK 4783 .N47
Idle hours : Americans at leisure, 1865-1914 FOLIO ND 1460 .L45 P57
Understandings : photographs of Decatur County, Georgia FOLIO F 292 .D27 K85

Local Research Databases

Academic Search Complete
AP Images (at Washington and Lee)
Bridgeman Art Library Archive (In Credo Reference)
Credo Reference (Image Search)
National Gallery Collection (In Credo Reference)

Relevant Magazines and Journals

American Artist
Art Forum International
Art in America
History Today
National Geographic

These are just examples. To find more, or to look for a specific journal/magazine, use the JournalFinder tool on the Von Canon Library homepage. The Washington and Lee and VMI Libraries have similar tools.

Selected Webpages & Digital Archives

Visual Arts Data Service (VADS)
Life Magazine Photo Archive (Google)
CONTENTdm collection of collections
Creative Commons Search Interface
Digital Gallery – New York Public Library
Image Gallery – Smithsonian
Photos & Prints (L. Congress)
Beazley Archive (Greek and Roman Art)
Open Clipart Library – Public Domain Graphics
Web Gallery of Art
Iconclass (Iconographic Classification System)
GoogleNews Archive Search
The New York Times Archive (Free 1851-1922, post-1987)
Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers (Library of Congress)
Making of America (full-text 19th century newspapers)
HarpWeek (1857-1877) (SVU Access)
Penny Illustrated Newspaper (Browse Publications List to Find)
Directory of Historical Newspapers on the Internet
Moving Image Archive (Internet Archive)
Video Data Bank