This database provides abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art. Coverage is equivalent to printed index for v.6 (1974) - present


The default search (if you just type in words and hit search) is a keyword, exact phrase search.


For more tips, or more details on these tools, see the Database’s Help screens.

WILDCARD SYMBOLS: To make your searching more flexible and return more results, try using wildcard symbols. The symbol "*" is a stand-in for one or more letters that may or may not be there. It can be used in the middle or at end of a word. For example, "cubis*" would return records containing cubism, cubist, cubists, etc.

PROXIMITY OPERATORS: These terms enable you to require that the words you search for are near each other in some fashion. Some of the proximity operators are "before", "after", and "near." "Before" and "after" require that the words be in the order you specify, (example: baroque before church) but not necessarily next to each other. "Near" means that the words must be within 10 words of each other in the record, but not in any particular order (example: woman near sculpture).

BOOLEAN SEARCHING: You can combine search terms within a single search using "AND", "OR", "NOT" as operations.

COMBINING SEARCHES: Sometimes you will do two separate searches that you would like to combine in some way. To do this, click on the "Search History/Alerts" button. There, you will see a list of all the searches you have conducted. Select two or more that you wish to combine. Then, under the "COMBINE MARKED STRATEGIES" heading on the left side of the screen, choose the type of combination desired ("OR" adds them together, "AND" selects only those records present in both searches) and click the "Search Again" button.


PRINTING OR EMAILING SEARCH RESULTS: Select the records you would like to print or email by clicking on the checkbox in the upper left corner of each record. Click on the blue "Save Marked Searches" bar at the top of the page. A new page will pop up--Enter your e-mail address plus Personal Password.

UC-eLINKS: This feature automatically looks up the journal or book in the MELVYL or PERIODICAL TITLES catalogs for you. It also provides a link to an electronic version of the item you want, if available.

SAVED SEARCHES and ALERTS: You can save searches from one session on ArtBibliographies Modern to be re-executed when you log on another day. You can turn a search into an alert—ArtBibliographies Modern will automatically run your search for you each week and send you an email with any new records. The steps to set up saved searches and alerts are similar—see the help screens for details.

This database has many other special features: If you plan to use it a lot, take the time to explore the help screens to see if any of them will help you find what you need more effectively.

Guide prepared by:

Daniel Goldstein, UC Davis
July 2002