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Theater Production: Scene Design

Visual reference sources: how to find them

Method 1: A useful book can lead to others; look for books by the same author, starting with the same call number or using the same subject headings. 

Method 2: Create lists of keywords and subject headings in three (or more) categories such as: Period, Location and Object type. Then combine them in Keyword searches. Prefix subject headings with "d:" for best results.  For example:

d:New York City and apartment*

For Locations, search for the most precise location and then the encompassing areas:  EX: Saint-Victor Abbey, then Paris, then France

Learn more about keyword searching

Method 3: Browse museum collections and imagebases (databases of images) such as ARTstor or the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection

Visual Reference Examples

Visual Reference Surveys


This is very selective list of long-running, well-illustrated titles available in print. Most have current issues (1990 to present) online as well. 

General Interest
American Heritage. Terrell Library, 1949-2012
Fortune. Terrell Library, 1930-2009
Life . Terrell Library, 1936-1972; 1936-1972 in Google Magazines
Saturday Evening Post. Terrell Library, 1899-1974

Women's Interests
Good Housekeeping. Terrell Library, 1887 - 1909 (some gaps); 1916 - 1976
Harper’s Bazaar. Terrell Library, 1867 – 1929 (some gaps); 1963-1975
The Ladies’ Home Journal. Terrell


Barb Prior

Profile Photo
Barbara Prior
Clarence Ward Art Library
Allen Art Building
she, her, hers