ADS 340: History & Philosophy of Design: Finding Sources

This guide provides suggested resources for researching design topics including articles, books, media, and more.

Finding Books and more at KU Libraries

The primary way to find books (both print and electonic) that the KU Libraries owns is to search the collection using the 'Quick Search' box located on the KU Libraries home page. This feature searches across millions of resources, including print books, ebooks, journal articles, videos, audio, images, and more. Keep in mind that this feature does not search all of the electronic resources and journal databases the KU Libraries has access to so if you are not finding what you need see the 'Finding Articles' column on this page.

Tip: Books related to art and design are often still published in print due to images and copyright restrictions. When searching for particular designers you may find you need to spend time in the library browsing books. Images are not listed in the online library record, meaning there is no way to know the true content of a print book until you have it in your hands. 

Artist & Designer Websites

When it comes to newer and currently working designers it may be difficult to find information on them and their work. If they have a website check to see if they have provided a resume or CV. Often this will list all of the publications that feature their work. You can then check the KU Libraries databases to see if we have access to these sources or you can request a copy through Interlibrary Loan. See the 'Finding Articles' box to the left. 

Finding Articles

To learn of an article in a journal on a topic that you are researching, you may need to use an online index (journal database). These tools can be searched using names, keywords, phrases, etc and are located under the Articles & Databases link on the KU Libraries home page. Some indexes will only provide a CITATION to the article while others may provide a full-text version. If there is only a citation, look for the KULINK symbol to learn if there is a full-text online version, a paper copy in the library, or, if KU does nto have access, an option to obtain a copy through Interlibrary Loan. If you know of a specific journal title you would like to search try using the e-Journals feature to see if the KU Libraries has access electronically.

Tip: Articles can be particularly helpful to find information about obscure or living designers, and often feature images and interviews.

Note: an * (asterisk) next to the databases listed below is a recommended place to start 

KU Libraries Journal Databases

Art, Architecture & Design Databases

*Design and Applied Arts Index, an international index to design and crafts journals, containing over 150,000 records published from 1973-present.

Design Abstracts Retrospective, part of Arts:Search. Serves as a retrospective complement to DAAI, covering design journals and yearbooks published between 1900 and 1987. 

ARTbibliographies Modern, abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and exhibition reviews. Covers all aspects of modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on 20th & 21st century art.

*Art Full Text, contains indexing and abstracting dating from 1984 to the present for more than 600 periodicals and 13,000 dissertations on the subjects of art, architecture, urban planning, and design. 

Art & Architecture Archive, comprises two subject specific collections covering architecture, design, art, and photography, spanning 1854-2015. Includes journals such as Graphis, Craft, Apollo, ID (Industrial Design), and more. 

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, the most comprehensive index to journal literature in architecture, urban design, historic preservation, and urban planning history covering more than 700 U.S. and foreign journals. Updated weekly.
*Oxford Art Online, an encyclpedia of art and architecture information and a good starting point for research. Content includes biographies, subject entries, bibliographies, and images. Artciles are signed by recognized scholars. 


Multidisciplinary Databases

Academic Search Complete, indexing and abstracts for more than 13,000 journals, with full text for more than 8,750 of those titles, over a broad spectrum of subjects. 

JSTOR, provides image and full-text online access of core academic journals in a variety of disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Google Scholar, a web search engine that provides a way to search scholarly literature. For best results, access the resource through KU Libraries database list to connect directly to available resources in the collection.

America, History and Life, indexes and abstracts the world's scholalrly literature in the history of the United States and Canada from preshitoric times to the present.