Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Library Guide for ARTH 551:

 Winslow Homer

Professor Marc Simpson, Fall 2005



Karen Bucky, Collections Access & Reference Librarian


General note:  In this online version of the Library Guide, hyperlinks have been made to databases and websites where possible. If at any point a connection to a database does not work, connect to the Electronic Resources page and try to connect from there. For most databases, authorized connection is by IP range and therefore is only possible from within the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute or Williams College libraries.



Library Materials:

Online Catalogs and Union Catalogs


Search our collection:

Use the Clark online catalog to access our own collection on Homer, whose call number is ND237 H6. In addition to other works, you can find bibliographies, and the catalogues raisonnés of Homer's paintings, drawings, and watercolors. Search Francis (the Williams College catalog) to find background material on the political, economic, and historical context of Homer's life and work.


In addition to material at Williams and the Clark library, you also have access through Francis to the BLC (Boston Library Consortium) Virtual Catalog, a union catalog of the holdings of other New England libraries such as Brown University, the Boston Public Library, Boston University, University of New Hampshire, and the University of Massachusetts. Materials found through BLC can be requested electronically on loan through Williams.



Search libraries worldwide:

Eureka and WorldCat are union catalogs that represent the holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide. Both are accessible through the Clark library's Electronic Resources page.  Materials not available in the Clark library can be requested through Interlibrary Loan. 

WorldCat's member libraries run the gamut of types of libraries: public, academic, research, special, and some larger school libraries. The database is larger and includes "popular" materials sometimes not available on Eureka. 

Eureka's member libraries are the major research libraries; the database is smaller but often includes scholarly material not available on WorldCat.



Search other art and research libraries:

From our Electronic Resources page, click on "Selected regional and other art library catalogs." Choose from among the listing of research libraries and art libraries to search larger research collections. Materials not in our collection can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.



Primary Sources I:

19th- and Early 20th-Century Publications


Electronic Indexes


Index to 19th-century American Art Periodicals

Index to "nearly all" art journals published in the United States between 1840 and 1907. Each issue is indexed completely, including articles, art notes, illustrations, stories, poems, and advertisements. A keyword search for "homer" yields items that include exhibition reviews, illustrations, and articles.

Clark Electronic Resources




Indexes and provides the full text of 47 core history and social science journals from their first issue to the last 1 to 5 years. Includes several journals that go back to the late 1800s/early 1900s (see the following select list).

Williams Electronic Databases and Indexes


American Historical Review 1895–1999

American Journal of Sociology 1895–2000

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 1890–1998

Economic Journal 1891–1998

Geographical Journal 1893–1998

International Journal of Ethics 1890–1938

Journal of Political Economy 1892–2000

Mind 1876–1996

Philosophical Review 1892–2000

Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 1838–1998

Quarterly Journal of Economics 1886–1998

Yale Law Journal 1891–2000



New York Times Historical

Index to New York Times articles published between 1851 and 1999. Recommendation: restrict a search to citation and abstract (rather than searching article text) to reduce search results to the more relevant articles. A simple search for "winslow homer" pulls up more than 200 articles, exhibition announcements and reviews, and other items.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



Nineteenth Century Masterfile

Index to English and American journal and newspaper articles published in the 19th and early 20th century, e.g. New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, London Times, and Harper's. Also indexes 19th-century monographs, legal periodicals, patents, and some U.S. government publications and presidential papers.  A search for "homer winslow" across all indexes finds items in the periodical index, in the book index, in newspapers, and in the index to periodical articles with full-text links (including Harper's and The Century).

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



PCI (Periodicals Contents Index), 1770–1993

A major retrospective electronic indexing project that covers mainly scholarly and academic journals in the humanities and social sciences from their beginnings to the 1990s. Some popular or general interest publications are included. Citations only. Finds a wealth of articles on Winslow Homer.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



Pro-Quest Index to Historical Newspapers

Indexes (among other titles) Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Full-text. Coverage varies from publication to publication; start dates from 1851 to 1890.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



Print Indexes


Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, 1802–1907.  Boston:  James R. Osgood, 1882–1908.

Index to 479 American and English periodicals, mostly general interest but with a few on special subjects. A subject index only. Points to bear in mind: 1) authors are not indexed; 2) articles having a distinct subject are entered under that subject; 3) articles having no subject (fiction, poems, plays) are entered by title under the first word not an article; 4)  To ascertain the date of a periodical (only volume numbers are given in the entries), check either the "Chronological Conspectus" in each volume, or use Date and Volume Key (see below). 

Supplements to Poole's:

Cumulative Author Index to Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (Sawyer Reference A13 W3)

Poole's Index, Date and Volume Key (Sawyer Reference Z674 A75 no.19)

Sawyer Reference Area 




Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1901–. H.W. Wilson, 1905– .

Began in 1901 as an index for small libraries, covering at first only a few titles; it expanded year by year and absorbed other indexes so titles vary over time. As of 1953, Readers' Guide indexes "U.S. periodicals of a broad, general, and popular character" and a selection of U.S. popular, non-technical magazines in the sciences and humanities. 

Sawyer Reference Area



International Index to Periodicals. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1907–1955.

International Index. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1956–1965.

Social Sciences and Humanities Index. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1966–1974.

Humanities Index. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1974– .

Social Sciences Index. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1974– .

An author and subject index to scholarly periodicals in the humanities and social sciences. Coverage varies. Social sciences and humanities journals were indexed together until 1974, when each split off into its own index.

Sawyer Reference Area



Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890–1899, with supplementary indexing 1900–1922. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1944.

Author, subject, and title index to 51 periodicals published between 1890 and 1899; of these a small number of titles were indexed as far as 1922.  Periodicals are mainly general-interest and literary, with some included from specialized fields. Full entry is under author's name. In many cases the authors of anonymously published articles (a common occurrence in publishing at this time) were ascertained from publishers' records.

Sawyer Reference AI3 .R496



Online Sources


Making of America (Website) 

Making of America (MOA) represents a major collaborative endeavor to preserve and make accessible through digital technology a significant body of primary sources related to development of the U.S. infrastructure. The complete MOA collection includes over 1.5 million images, representing approximately 5,000 volumes of primary source materials. Cornell has focused on the major journal literature of the period, ranging from general interest publications to those with more targeted audiences (such as agriculture). The Michigan project focused on monographs in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, science and technology, and religion.




Primary Sources II:

Archives and Special Collections


Archival Resources: Collections and Finding Aids 

A database of the archives of hundreds of research libraries worldwide. A simple search for "homer, winslow" yields 68 bibliographic records and 24 finding aids (bibliographic records being records that describe archival collections and items, and finding aids being detailed inventories that list where an archival collection came from, how it is arranged, and what it contains—some of these are searchable).  Examples include the music cover collection at the Library of Congress and a guide to the Century Company records.

Clark Electronic Resources



Archives USA

Current directory of repositories and collections of primary source material across the United States, together with information needed to contact a repository directly. Includes the entire contents of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC) from 1959 to present, and more than 5,000 links to online finding aids.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution Research and Information System (SIRIS).

230,000 descriptions of personal papers, manuscripts, photographs, oral histories, sound recordings, films, and organizational records from nine repositories. A search for Homer will bring up entries that include the Winslow Homer letter collection, the Winslow Homer and Homer family papers, the Philip C. Beam papers, and other collections. Many entries include links to finding aids and helpful bibliographies.  SIRIS materials on microfilm may often be obtained through Interlibrary Loan. - focus-




Shared online catalog of the collections of thousands of libraries worldwide: academic and research libraries, public libraries, national and regional libraries, special (law, art, music, corporate, medical, etc.) libraries, and K–12 libraries. Includes records for archival collections. Check the box for "Archival Materials" to limit a search to archival materials only.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources




Primary Sources III:

Exhibition Catalogs


Archives of American Art Collection of Exhibition Catalogs. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1979.

Lists exhibition catalogs selected from the holdings of major public, museum, and historical society libraries throughout the U.S. and microfilmed during the 1960s. The AAA created a card index to the catalogs arranged according to gallery, museum, and personal names. This volume is a listing, in a single alphabet, of art exhibition catalogs published in the U.S. from the early 19th century to the 1960s. Entries refer to the name of the exhibiting institution, the names of artists exhibited if there are three or fewer, the exhibition date, and the roll and frame numbers needed to locate the catalog on the microfilm. In theory, the AAA online catalog ( supercedes this print listing; however, the print  source can still be very useful.

Clark Reference Office  Z881 W3 A7e



Index of American Print Exhibitions, 1882–1940. Raymond L. Wilson. Metuchen, NJ:  Scarecrow Press, 1988.

Index to prints and printmakers represented at the annual salons of leading art societies, at national and international exhibitions, and in the annual publications Fine Prints of the Year (1923–1938) and Fifty Prints of the Year (1925–1944). Included are the catalogs of the New York Etching Club, the Chicago Society of Etchers, the California Society of Etchers, the Printmakers Society of California, the Brooklyn Society of Etchers, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the New York World's Fair. Index by artist with list of works, but unfortunately not by title.

Clark Reference  Z NE507 W54



Index of American Watercolor Exhibitions 1900–1945. Raymond L. Wilson. Metuchen, NJ:  Scarecrow Press, 1994.

"These exhibition lists reflect a time when very large juried (or invitational) exhibitions of paintings and prints, often of hundreds of works, enjoyed a popularity across America. These exhibitions reveal a vanished day and age when exclusive professional societies and their annual salons often determined the course of an artist's career," particularly given the lack of public places to see and show art and the lack of media such as art books, magazines, and newspaper art reviewers. This work provides an index to the catalogs of watercolor exhibitions held by the American Watercolor Society, the Brooklyn Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the San Francisco Art Association, the Oakland Art Gallery, and the California Water Color Society.  There is an index of artists listing their works, but unfortunately no title index.

Clark Reference  Z ND212 W55



National Museum of American Art's Index to American Art Exhibition Catalogues: From the Beginning through the 1876 Centennial Year. Compiled by James L. Yarnell and William H. Gerdts.  Boston:  G.K. Hall, 1986.

"Highly important reference work" that supplies a detailed survey of art exhibited in the U.S. and Canada from 1773 to 1876. Index to 952 catalogs of early American exhibitions not published previously in any other major art exhibition catalog index (though it does include the catalogs of the American Society of Painters in Water Colours held at the National Academy of Design). Includes artists from any nationality or school working in the fine arts. Entries include title, medium, price, owner, catalog number in original publication, and any original annotations. Material may be accessed using several indexes:  exhibition title index (by location), artist index, owner index, and subject index. Updated and expanded database of this work is available online (see Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index, below) but the print version may still be useful.

Reference Z N5198 S55



Pre-1877 Art Exhibition Catalogue Index (Smithsonian Institution)

Index to "136,494 records describing fine art works exhibited in this country and in Canada up through 1876. The Catalogue is comprised of information from 1,057 exhibition catalogs, broadsides, newspaper articles, and gallery notices. It does not duplicate information from already published exhibition summaries" (e.g. catalogs from the American Academy of Fine Arts & American Art Union, Boston Athenaeum, Brooklyn Art Association, National Academy of Design, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Combined Art Organizations of San Francisco). Each record includes, when given: artist name, life dates, address, and nationality, object title, creation date, media, support, dimensions, owner name and address at time of exhibition, exhibition catalog title, and narrative notes. Broad subject terms have also been assigned.





Secondary Sources:

Indexes to Scholarly Materials


America: History and Life

Historical Abstracts

These two databases index scholarly articles, dissertations, and book reviews in the field of history and culture. AHL covers North America (United States and Canada), from prehistory to the present; HA covers world history excluding the United States and Canada, from 1450 to the present. They are produced by the same company, and once logged into one database you can switch to the other by clicking a button on the sidebar. Hotlinks will take you to articles in e-journals owned by Williams. AHL includes a fair amount of material on Homer.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



Art Abstracts

Art Index Retrospective

A good starting point for locating articles in fine arts journals, book reviews, and articles in museum bulletins for any period or genre of art, from classical antiquity to the present. Subjects such as archaeology, architectural history, museum studies, and the decorative arts are also included.

AA coverage is from 1984 to the present, with abstracts from 1994. AIR covers 1929 to 1984.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources

Related print title: Art Index.  New York:  H.W. Wilson, 1929– . (Library has 1929–1984.)

Clark Reference Z3957 A7



Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)

Provides citations and abstracts for materials on European and American art from late antiquity to the present. Materials indexed include art-related books, conference proceedings and dissertations, exhibition and dealers' catalogs, and articles from more than 2,500 periodicals.

BHA merges three databases: Bibliography of the History of Art (1990 to the present), RILA: International Repertory of the Literature of Art (1975–1989), and Repertoire d'Art et d'Archéologie (1973–1989). To search further back in time, see related print titles, below.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources

Related print title: Répertoire d'Art et d'Archéologie. Paris: Bibliothèque d'Art et d'Archéologie, 1910–1989.

Clark Reference ZN5300 R46 (Library has 1910–1989)



Dissertation Abstracts

Indexes U.S., Canadian, British, and some European theses and dissertations from academic institutions in North America and Europe. Dissertations can be a particularly rich source for materials on a subject, and they include exhaustive bibliographies. Most dissertations can be obtained through Interlibrary Loan in microformat.

Coverage: 1861 to the present. Abstracts for dissertations after 1980; abstracts for theses after 1988.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



Expanded Academic Index ASAP

Indexes mainstream scholarly journals in all academic disciplines as well as a selection of general-interest periodicals and major newspapers. Here you can find scholarly articles from art and history journals, exhibition reviews and news on Homer sales from the New York Times and news magazines such as USA Today, as well as articles from Smithsonian, the Economist, and other magazines that may provide alternative points of view.

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources



Humanities Abstracts

Indexes articles on topics in the humanities, including archaeology, classical studies, folklore, history, journalism, literature, music, performing arts, philosophy and religion. 

Coverage is from 1980 to the present. For earlier coverage, consult the print indexes in the Sawyer Reference area: Humanities Index (1974– ), Social Sciences and Humanities Index (1966–1974), and International Index (1907–1965).

Clark/Williams Electronic Resources


Auction Sales Catalogs:

Indexes and Union Lists


Union Catalogs: Print Sources


American Art Auction Catalogs, 1785–1942: A Union List.  Harold Lancour, comp.  New York:  New York Public Library, 1943–44.

Union checklist of 6,000+ catalogs of auction sales of art objects held in the United States from 1785 to 1942. Organized in chronological order, with an index of owners and artists whose names appear in the catalog title. Entries include sale date, owner, catalog title, number of pages and whether illustrated, auction house, number of lots, and abbreviations of libraries holding the catalog.

Clark Reference  N8650 L35



Art Sales Catalogues, 1600–1881 [microform].  Leiden:  IDC, 1994.

Art Sales Catalogues, 1826–1860  [microform].  Leiden:  IDC, 1997.

Complements Frits Lugt's Répertoire des Catalogues de Ventes Publiques, Intéressant d'Art ou la Curiosité (see below). Includes all the art sales catalogs from 1600 to 1800 listed in Lugt, as well as other catalogs not listed in Lugt but found in various libraries. Each catalog is filmed in its entirety. Multiple examples of catalogs are included where unique annotations occur. Printed guides accompany each section.

Clark Microfiche Collection, Ground Floor Compact Shelving



Répertoire des Catalogues de Ventes Publiques, Intéressant d'Art ou la Curiosité: Tableaux, Dessins, Estampes, Miniatures, Sculptures, Bronzes, Émaux, Vitraux, Tapisseries, Céramiques, Objets d'Art, Meubles, Antiquités, Monnaies, Médailles, Camées, Intailles, Armes, Instruments, Curiosités Naturelles, etc.  The Hague: Nijhoff, 1938–64.

Indispensable for ascertaining provenance of works of art and for locating copies of auction sales catalogs. May be used with the microfiche Art Sales Catalogues 1600–1881 and 1826–1860 (see above).  Information reported for each entry: catalog number; date; location of sale; name of collector, artist, merchant, or proprietor; contents; number of lots; auctioneers; number of pages in catalog; libraries in which catalog may be found and whether it is priced.  See also Lugt's Répertoire Online and Scipio, below.

Clark Reference  N8650 L8  (4 vols.)



Union Catalogs: Online Sources


Lugt's Répertoire Online

Electronic version of Fritz Lugt's inventory of art auction catalogs, published 1600 to 1900, that are held by European and American libraries. Can be searched by date or place of sale, provenance (in French), auction house, content of sale, and library holdings. (See print version, Répertoire des Catalogues de Ventes Publiques, Intéressant d'Art ou la Curiosité, above.)

Clark Electronic Resources



Online union catalog of auction sales catalogs from American and European auction houses. Search Scipio to find the location of a specific catalog, or to see whether a library owns a catalog that is annotated or includes a price list. Coverage is 1600 to the present. Note that our own auction sales catalogs are in our online catalog, which is more up-to-date than Scipio.

Clark Electronic Resources


Indexes: Print Sources


Art Prices Current: A Record of Sale Prices at the Principal London, Continental, and American Auction Rooms…with Indexes to the Artists, Engravers, and Collectors.  London: Dawson, 1907/08–1915/16; new series 1921/22–1972/73.

In two parts; A includes paintings, drawings, miniatures; B includes engravings and prints. Arranged chronologically by sale dates. Indexes of pictures, drawings, miniatures, engravings, and collections.

Clark Ground Floor Annex N8640 A76  (Library has 1907–1915; n.s. 1921–1972.  Some volumes missing.)




Images and Other Online Resources



AC's mission is "to become the definitive and most effective guide to museum-quality fine art on the Internet" and it includes links for "most well-known artists." The page for Homer lists links to museums and galleries with online Homer collections. Also includes links to other websites, to image databases, and to selected articles.



Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

Two comprehensive listings, the Inventory of American Paintings Executed before 1914 and the Inventory of American Sculpture, provide information on more than 360,000 artworks in public and private collections worldwide. IAP includes works by artists born or active in this country by 1914. Information about each work includes title, date, medium, dimensions, subject, owner, and reference (e.g. an exhibition catalog). Lists 1,108 works by Homer. The database does not include images.



Art Renewal Center (ARC)

"The largest art museum on the internet…with thousands of high-quality images of the greatest paintings and sculpture in history;" also includes essays, biographies, and articles by "the top scholars in the field."  Has a strong up-front and highly political bias against modernist and postmodernist art.  Click on "ARC Museum" and search by last name to find images and information on Homer.




A repository for hundreds of thousands of digital images and related data. ARTstor may be used with the ARTstor Offline Image Viewer, presentation software that allows you to manipulate and project images. Instructions for downloading and using the OIV is available on theARTstor website. ARTstor must be used on your own PC to use it in conjunction with the OIV. 

Clark Electronic Resources:



The Athenaeum

Has the goal of being "the web's biggest art resource." The site will eventually include images and information in all areas of the humanities (e.g. history, philosophy, literature, mythology, art history, religion, archaeology) that intersect with the study of art; however, "at the moment, The Athenaeum stores art, information about historical people, some geographic information, poetry, and a glossary." It also includes several hundred images of works by Winslow Homer, who is one of the "top ten" artists represented in the site.



Cooper-Hewitt, National Museum of Design

Search the collection for a cross-section of works by Homer. Information available for each image includes title, date, dimensions, medium, how acquired, a description, and exhibition history.



Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco ImageBase

Search the FAMSF collection for images of works by Homer. Images can be enlarged by selecting monitor size. Information accompanying image includes title, date, medium, dimensions, how the item was acquired, and a brief artist biography.


Google Images

It may go without saying, but don't forget to try Image searches on Google. You can find thousands of images of work by Homer, and along the way you may find other important sites.



Metropolitan Museum of Art

Search the Met's collection for works by Homer. Click on any title to bring up a record with a downloadable image and information on artist, title, medium, date, dimensions, and signature.



Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Search the MFA's collection for works by Homer. Click on any title for a large image and information on the work:  artist, title, date, medium, dimensions, provenance, and in some cases a curator's note/description.



National Gallery of Art

Search the National Gallery of Art's collection for works by Homer. For most works you may find extensive information, including a full screen image, bibliography, exhibition history, provenance, inscription information, gallery location if the work is on exhibit, and a virtual gallery tour with images and a list of which works are in which rooms.



Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library Online Catalog

Our own online catalog contains many images of work by Homer. Choose the Visual Resources scope and do a Name search for "homer winslow" to see records for slides, digital images, and remote resources (images on other museum websites), many of which include digital images.



Winslow Homer Civil War Prints

Odd little Sons of the South website that makes available Winslow Homer's Civil War illustrations done for Harper's Weekly from 1861 to 1864. Links at the top of the page provide access to a Homer biography and timeline, and a selection of other works and documents.



Winslow Homer the Illustrator: His Wood Engravings, 1857–1888

Website created for an exhibition at Fresno Museum. Includes explanatory text, a brief biography of Homer, and links to the Resource Library, a collection of websites for Homer exhibitions. Includes a link to the table of contents of the Resource Library Magazine, which contains "thousands of articles and essays on American art, calendars, and much more."


© 2006 Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267, 413.458.2303