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Course & Subject Guides

Provenance Research @ Pitt: Research Tips

A research guide to assist students doing provenance research at Pitt.

Search Tips

Search Tips When Doing Artist Research:

  • Make effective use of Boolean search operators: AND, OR, NOT and especially "" and ( ).
  • Search for the artist name. Either use first name, last name, or try using last name, first name.  
  • Search for the artist name and name of art movement.
  • Search for the artist name and medium of artwork
  • Search for the name of an exhibition they were in. 
  • Search for artists they may have been friends with during the period of time in question.
  • Search for the name a of a school or gallery they may have been associated with during the period of time in question.  
  • Search for a specific work of art by that artist by its title and year.
  • If you are looking for a specific article and know the author, type in the name of the article AND the author's name.

Finding Images in Artstor

Artstor is a complete online visual library with over 2 million images of art/architecture/and special collections material. These images come from museums, libraries, foundations, etc. Each image has information about the work and where it is from so that you can cite that image in your work.

Getting a free account through Pitt is quick and easy, all you have to do is register with your Pitt email.

Searching for architectural images in Artstor: 

  1.  Click the Find tab that is in the upper left hand corner. Choose Advanced Search from the dropdown menu. 
  2. From the Classification section tick off the "Architecture and City Planning" box. 
  3. Fill in your keywords and/or date range and carry out your search.  

Finding Images

Finding & Citing Images


Finding Images in Books 

To search for images using books you can search PittCat using search terms such as "art index," "index to reproductions" (of "art," of "sculpture," or of "paintings," etc), or search for the name of a specific exhibition or museum along with the keyword "index," refined to books only.  

Reverse Image Search 

To do a reverse image search go to Click the camera icon within the search box and upload an image that you have saved to your computer. You can also do this search by dragging and dropping an image into the search box, or searching by the image's URL.  

Pitt's Digital Collections 

Other Digital Image Collections and Sites

Contemporary Art Images

Images of Fashion and Textiles 

Images of Artist Books 

Museum Collections

Subject Headings

Subject headings are a set of terms or phrases that classify materials.  To perform a subject search using one of the subject headings listed below, follow these steps:

  1. Go to homepage
  2. Click the PittCat Classic tab 
  3. Select Subject Heading from the dropdown menu
  4. Enter "Kahlo, Frida" for example 
  5. Click Enter 

Request Material in PittCat

You can request material through PittCat using Get It, even for material that we do not own. You must be signed in and then click on the item you need. Options within the item:

If you have any questions about this, please contact us so we can work with you to try and get the material you need.