History: Study dealing with a particular period, style, or civilization; studies of a particular art form or technique.
Monograph: Study dealing with a single artist.
Catalogue raisonne: Systematic, descriptive, and critical listing of all known, or documented, authentic works by an artist, or all his/her known works in one medium. Each entry provides all ascertainable information concerning the work:
1) title, date, signature; size and medium
2) present location or owner and provenance (previous owners and history of the work)
3) description, comments, analysis, or literary documentation
4) bibliographic references to books and periodical articles
5) listings of exhibitions and reproductions
Examples: Cohen, Charles, E. The Art of Giovanni Antonio da Pordenone: Between Dialect and Language. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996. 2v.
Davis, Stuart. Stuart Davis: A Catalogue Raisonne. Edited by Ani Boyajian and Mark Rutkoski. New Haven: Yale University Art Gallery in association with Yale University Press, 2007. 3v.
Oeuvre Catalog: Complete critical listing and reproduction of an artist's work, but often omits the extensive bibliographic detail and provenance for each work provided by the catalogue raisonne.
Corpus: Very specialized, scholarly catalog comparable to the catalogue raisonne in form and bibliographic detail, but much more comprehensive in scope. A corpus attempts to classify and document all known works of a special kind of category.
Example: Corpus vitrearum Medii Aevi. 70+ titles on stained glass of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, 1956-2009; still publishing.
Collection Catalog: Catalog of objects in a museum's permanent collection. Some contain entries as extensived as those in a catalogue raisonne. Most museum catalogs describe only a portion of the entire collection,
Example: Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Museum, 1986- . 16 v. projected set (as of 2011, 13v)
Exhibition Catalog: Printed record of a temporary exhibition held in a museum, public or private gallery or organization. Serves as a guide to the exhibit, and in some cases, is the only printed documentation on a particular artist.
1) one-man show
2) group show
3) retrospective one-man show
4) commemorative exhibition of an internationally significant artist
5) national or international show exploring a special theme.
Sales (Auction) Catalog: While sales catalogs are of great importance to curatorial staff of museums and galleries, they are not as heavily used by the academic community. Art historians use sales catalogs to help establish the provenance of a particular work of art. In some cases, a good sales catalog might have extensive historical information on styles of painting which may not have been give full treatment elsewhere. For example, sale catalogs of London auctioneers of the 18th and 19th centuries are a rich source of the history of British painting. In order to be truly useful, a collection of sales catalogs by a particular auction house should be as complete as possible. The best access to information locally about auction catalogs is offered by Scipio: Art and Rare Book Sale Catalog, an online database available at the Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts Houston. This union catalog of art and rare book auction records describes the sales catalogs from all major North American and European auction houses, as well as important private sales. Coverage begins with the late sixteenth century and extends into the future for scheduled auctions that have not yet been held. The database identifies libraries owning the sales catalogs. Much of the data contained in Scipio is now available in WorldCat, but Scipio offers specialized search options to retrieve more specific information on contents. The Museum of Fine Arts has the most extensive collection of auction and commercial gallery catalogs in Houston.
Collected Essays and Commemorative Volumes: Festschriften, Melanges:
1) Collected works of an art historian offers the convenience of the book format over locating articles published in diverse journals.
2) Festschriften and Melanges contain essays written to honor an influential art historian and are a reflection of his/her influence within the field and across generations of art historians. Festschriften may also provide a brief biography of the honoree and a complete bibliography of his/her books and journal articles.
The Bibliography of the History of Art and the International Bibliography of Art databases index the contents of Festschriften and Melanges, 1975 - present.
For Festschriften and Melanges published prior to 1973 consult:
Rave, Paul. Kunstgeschichte in Festschriften. Berlin: Velag Gebr. Mann, 1962.
Lincoln, Betty. Festschriften in Art History 1960-1975. New York: Garland, 1988.
Example: Romanesque Art and Thought in the Twelfth Century: Essays in Honor of Walter Cahn. Edited by Colum Hourihane. Princeton University Press, 2008.
Periodicals and Series:
Periodicals or serials are issued periodically or serially, usually at fixed intervals. Most art periodicals appear monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly. Those issued once a year are designated annuals or yearbooks. Periodicals present recent scholarly research and may contain current information on art trends, reviews of exhibitions, news items, and book reviews.
A series is a number of separate works issued in succession, each volume bearing a collective title which appears at the head of the title page, on the half title page, or on the cover. A series is normally issued by the same publisher in a uniform style and frequently in numerical sequence. Librarians often refer to them as monographic series. Some series, which have a well defined focus, are classified together. That is, all volumes bear the same call number with volume numbers. In other series, each book is cataloged separately according to the Library of Congress subject headings and receives it own call number. In compiling a bibliography, accurate notation of series titles and all number notations is very important.
Example: Caviness, Madeline Harrison. The Windows of Christ Church Cathedral Canterbury. Corpus vitrearum Medii Aevi, Great Britain, v2. London: Oxford University Press, 1981.
Most information extrapolated from: Muehsam, Gerd. Guide to Basic Information Sources in the Visual Arts. Santa Barbara: Jeffrey Norton Publishers, 1977.