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*Art History

Art Book Vocabulary

While researching in Art History you will be working with several different kinds of books along the way, and you might see these differentiating names in any library catalog you are using. Here are a few definitions for some of the major types you might encounter:


  • Artists' Book
    • Perhaps not surprisingly, these are books created by artists. They can be traditionally made or might be composed of multimedia materials. FSU has an incredible selection of Artists' Books - find them in Special Collections!
  • Catalogue Raisonné
    • These publications catalog all known works by a particular artist - such as René Magritte - and typically include reproductions as well as biographical information. They are a great place to start your research!
  • Exhibition Catalog
    • An exhibition catalog is a companion publication to a museum or gallery exhibition. They usually contain scholarly essays relating to the exhibition's concept as well as images of the pieces included in the show.
  • Facsimile
    • A facsimile is a 1:1 copy of an existing book or manuscript. They attempt to faithfully recreate the original in order to be viewed and/or studied when the original cannot be. In addition to artists' books, FSU's Special Collections also has many facsimiles in their stacks.
  • Festschrift
    • This kind of publication is a compilation of essays or writings to honor a particular person. Here is one example from the FSU catalog for the famous art historian Heinrich Wöfflin.
  • Index
    • An index, when published in book form, is a collection of citations for a given topic. They are also sometimes refered to more specifically as a "bibliographic index" or "citation index."
  • Monograph
    • A monograph is a book focusing on a single subject. It is not unique to Art Historical publications but is extremely common as they often focus on specific artists periods, and/or geographical regions.

Reference Books

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