Literature Search

Databases and library catalogues are the most important tool for searching scientific and academic literature. In contrast to union catalogues and meta search engines like, bibliographic databases do not provide information on availability.

Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) und Répertoire international de la Littérature d’Art (RILA)
The BHA is the standard bibliography of European art history. The database encompasses literature on European art from late antiquity to the present day, American art from the period of European discovery to the present day as well as Christian art from all over the world. It contains all data from the BHA from 1990 to 2007 as well as the contents of the RILA from 1975 to 1989.

ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) (access via the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin network)
ABM is the central library for modern art. It includes bibliographic references and abstracts of articles from periodicals, books, essays, exhibition catalogues, dissertations and exhibition talks on all kinds of modern and contemporary art.

The libraries of the three German independent art history research institutes that are not affiliated to universities—the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich and Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome—have created a joint online platform. Kubikat is their collective catalogue, containing references to over 1.7 million titles (April 2011). Since December 2005, the catalogue also includes essays and articles from the module ARTicles online (

AGHORA (Accès global et organisé aux ressources en histoire de l’art) is the online platform that facilitates access to more than 20 databases of the INHA. You can also browse the Répertoire d’art et d’archéologie (RAA) (1910–1972) through this site. – The virtual art history catalogue is an international meta search engine with access to art history literature and specialised databases. At present, can retrieve more than 12 million data entries (October 2010), with a large proportion of references to essays in journals, conference and commemorative publications, exhibition catalogues and books etc. as well as a growing number of references to archival and photographic materials and online resources.
The Virtuelle Fachbibliothek Kunstgeschichte (Virtual Library for Art History) offers several bibliographic tools including ARTicles online for essays published in specialised journals that are available online; a research database of all submitted academic research projects, including theses and dissertations, both started and completed, from Germany and a selection of other countries, as well as a search tool for finding books on the internet.

Worlwide Artbooks
The online catalogue of the US-based company Worldwide Books lists exhibition catalogues dating back to 1960. The database includes a comprehensive collection of publications from the USA on art history and an index of artists.

ARTtheses – Forschungsdatenbank für Hochschulnachrichten Kunstgeschichte of the ZI - Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in Munich is a database of international research projects in art history. It publishes academic theses and dissertations, started and completed, that are submitted once a year by German and selected foreign institutes to the art historical review Kunstchronik.