Category Archives: databases

Reviewing Artstor

  • Overview: What search options does the database offer? What information is provided on the digitization of the contents of the database?
    • Search options:
    1. General keyword search
    2. Advanced search option (limit classification/medium, geography, date range, etc.)
    3. Browsing (by geography, classification/medium, collection such as the Met)
  • Facts: Date range; Publisher; Publisher About page; Object type; Location of original materials; Exportable image?; Facsimile image?; Full text searchable?; Titles list links
    • Some of this metadata is dependent on the institution it is coming from. However, when available the metadata is fairly consistent and includes the following items:
      • Creator
      • Title
      • Date/Date range
      • Location
      • Material
      • Measurements
      • Repository
      • Collection
      • Accession number
      • Rights statement (usually a blanket statement)
      • Download size
    • If you create your own account after logging into the database through the library proxy server, you can then save and print images. You can also create image groups or folders and download the images and descriptive metadata as zip files or export this information into PowerPoint all at once. 
    • The metadata is not hyperlinked like in some library databases focused on articles and e-books.
  • History / Provenance: Original catalog?; Digitized from microfilm?; Original sources [note – this information may not be available in the database itself – you may have to search for reviews or other discussions of the database]
    • The metadata tells you the collection that the image comes from. This may be a museum that houses the original object. However, it may also be a digitized version of a slide from a university collection like those from UCSD.
    • Sometimes this information about the collections includes a link to their websites.
  • Reviews
    • N/A
  • Access
    • You can access this database through the library homepage and log in through the library proxy
    • Once you create your own account in Artstor while on campus, you can go directly to and log in with your own account log in and password.
    • Access to the Artstor Digital Library is limited to institutions, but the Shared Shelf Creative Commons is open.
  • Info from Publisher
    • N/A
  • Other Info
    • The high resolution of the images in Artstor allows you to zoom in to see minute details of the object. These details can then be saved, downloaded, and printed.
    • Artstor is continually adding new collections, but its greatest strength is Western fine art (American and European paintings, sculpture, etc.).
  • Citing
    • Options include:
    1. Save citations for image group
    2. Save citations for selected images
    3. View and export citations
    • The citation information still needs to be formatted according to the selected style guide (MLA, APA, Chicago).