Provenance research establishes a record of ownership of works of art by providing an accurate account of the location of a work of art from the time and place of its creation to the present. Compiling a credible provenance for an object requires careful scrutiny of confusing or inaccurate information as well as researching objects for which there is little or no data, even false claims to provenance. Information must be verified using archival material, museum and gallery records, auction and sales information, websites reporting lost or stolen art, and other research resources.
This guide was developed to facilitate provenance research for art objects from the ancient Mediterranean world but it also includes resources for provenance research for art from all periods. While the guide is not comprehensive, chosen web sites sponsored by museums, universities, national and international governmental entities provide links to additional resources for cultural heritage and provenance research. Consult the research guides to Classical Art and Archaeology and Art History for other journal databases and resources not specifically related to provenance research.
Student assistants Bryce Deskins and Katherine Borden contributed to the content and formatting of the guide.
Yeide, Nancy H. The AAM Guide to Provenance Research. Washington D.C.; American Association of Museums, 2001
Art N3999 .Y45 2001
This is a book, available at Fondren Library, that details how to go about studying provenance. It also provides comprehensive appendices relating to collectors, dealers, and other helpful information.