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ART 190A : Writing for Artists

Art Books

"An Art Book today can be seen to occupy various different positions including that of a piece of theory, a catalogue, a printed exhibition, a piece of art in itself, a supplement to a pre-existing piece. It can be a proposal for the future or an examination of the present or what has passed." (Definition found at, accessed 1/17/2019)

What does an artist who is also a librarian have to say about the connection between both?:

“As both a librarian and an artist, I enjoy the accidental nature of looking for one thing, and finding something else. As a librarian, this happens as I help people indulge their curiosities, and find interesting ways to approach their questions ... As both a librarian and an artist, I’m committed to browsing, meandering, and grazing as valuable paths to discovery. I enjoy more calculated searching as well, but browsing is an area that has become overlooked as we’ve moved to online discovery tools.”

(By Kate Joranson, Head, Frick Fine Arts Library, University of Pittsburgh in The Artist & The Librarian in Tumblr (requires login; accessed 1/17/2019)


BROWSE In Person




WHERE are the Art Books in the Library?

  • Art books are shelved on the 4th floor of McHenry
  • Artist books are in Special Collections and Archives 
  • Art Reference Books (encyclopedias or dictionaries) are on the main floor
  • Many, many more books exist that are not in this Library's collection; use a search engine or catalog to find books; use UCSC Library's InterLibrary Loan service to request these.



  • The McHenry Library book shelves represent a tiny collection of all the art books in the world 
  • Use Library Catalogs, listed above, to find additional books 
  • Some books may be available only as ebooks from Library Search (sign in to see these)
  • Use InterLibrary Loan to have these shipped to you (for free, pick up at the library) 
  • If you hear of particularly good art books, you can always request that the library purchase them.