If you are beginning research on an unfamiliar topic, first consult reference sources — dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, etc. — for useful overviews and introductory information about an artist, artwork, art object, art form, movement, or time period.
Oxford Art Online
Provides access to Grove Art Online, The Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Includes image partnerships with ARTstor, Art Images for College Teaching, Art Resource, Artists Rights Society and numerous international art galleries and artists.
Oxford Reference Online contains 100+ dictionary, language reference, and subject reference works published by Oxford University press.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
The Timeline presents a thematic, chronological, and geographical exploration of global art history through The Met collection. It is a reference, research, and teaching tool conceived for students and scholars of art history. It is authored by The Met’s experts, and currently comprises more than 1,000 essays, close to 7,600 works of art, 300 chronologies, and 3,700 keywords. It is regularly updated and enriched to provide new scholarship and insights on the collection.
Cantor Arts Center
Art museum on the campus of Stanford University. The Cantor’s collection spans 5,000 years and includes more than 38,000 works of art from around the globe. Open and free for everyone.
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
One of the most comprehensive Asian art collections in the world. The online collection database has 13,133 objects organized by exhibition, collection, and gallery.
The British Museum
The British Museum is the authoritative source of images depicting world culture and history including ceramics, sculpture, prints, drawings, and paintings.
The Asia Society
Object study and historical timeline from Monks and Merchants: Silk Road Treasures from Northwest China, Gansu and Ningxia, 4th–7th Century