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Art 350: Methods of Art History

How Are Art Books Organized?

N-NX -- Fine Arts

The St. Olaf and Carleton libraries use the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System to organize books.  LC uses the prefix "N" to designate books relating to the Fine Arts.  At St. Olaf the "N" section is located on the 4th level of Rolvaag Library.  The "N" section is subdivided as follows:



Visual Arts (General)
N400-N4042: Arts museums, galleries (country, city)
N5300-N7418: History of Art
N7475-N7483: Art criticism

NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Drawing, Design, Illustration
ND Painting
NE Print media
NK Decorative arts

Arts in general (works dealing with more than one art form)

Search Strategy

You may not be able to search for books or articles by doing a Keyword search using the name of a particular art object.  Unless it is a major piece, discussion of a particular art object will probably be included in the context of a book or article covering a particular historical period, genre, or culture.  Before going to a search engine, map out some possible strategies for finding the literature.  Here are some examples of things to consider:

Culture: e.g. Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Japanese, etc.

Historical Period: e.g. 2nd Century, Egypt - Middle Kingdom, etc.

Material: e.g. ceramic, granite, bronze, etc.

Object: e.g. figure, deity, jar, boat, relief, etc.

Theme: e.g. paradise, family, death, offering, etc.

Genre: e.g. sculpture, painting, architecture, etc.