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Art History - Greensburg Campus

This guide will assist you in your research for Dr. McAlister's Art History courses. It will also provide you with links to helpful sites and people.

The Research Process & Tips

  • Develop a topic that asks a question or poses a problem that interests you.
  • Select appropriate search terms for your subject. More specific search terms will yield better results. Some examples of broad topics that can be further narrowed down include:
    • Sistine Chapel Frescoes
    • Patrons in Renaissance Italy
    • Greek Vase Painting
    • Near Eastern Art
  • Search PITTCat+ and subject oriented databases.
  • Revise your topic. Determine how you will answer your question.
  • Evaluate your resources carefully!
  • When in doubt, contact your librarian.

Primary and Secondary Resources

Your research may lead you to investigate both primary and secondary resources.

Primary resources are the basic evidence for any good research project, and can come in many formats: documents from archives, interviews or eyewitness accounts, letters, diaries, newspaper articles, video footage, etc.


   Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein: Correspondence

   This book contains primary resources in the form of
   written correspondence between Pablo Picasso and
   Gertrude Stein.


Another resource you may find helpful when searching for your textual primary source is the Fordham Internet History Sourcebook.  This site contains primary source documents from Ancient, Medieval and Modern times.


Secondary resources are also valuable to use as sources for your paper, and are works that interpret, analyze, and often synthesize primary source materials to give a broader understanding of a certain topic.  These may come in the form of scholarly books or journals.  They often cite primary source materials, but are a step removed from those events.


   Pablo Picasso, 1881-1973

   This book is an example of a secondary resource: a
   scholar presenting criticism and interpretation of the
   artwork of Pablo Picasso.




Other Art History LibGuides@Pitt

There are some other LibGuides (research guides) at the University of Pittsburgh that you may find helpful. At, search by subject under "Art and Architecture" or browse by "art." Here are a few that you may find useful for this class or Dr. McAlister's other classes.