(includes Art Practice and History of Art)
Contact: Kathryn Wayne
Scope of Collection
The Fine Arts Collections are primarily housed in two locations, the Art History/Classics Library and Gardner Stacks in the Doe Library. Other libraries that complement this Collection include Environmental Design, Anthropology, East Asian, South/Southeast Asia, Bancroft and the Media Resources Center.
The Fine Arts Collections have been built over the years to support the academic and research programs in History of Art and Art Practice as well as the Berkeley Art Museum. Numerous other students and faculty in related disciplines such as classical studies, visual culture, literature, studio art, dramatic arts, film studies, architecture, history, cultural studies, archaeology, museum studies, material culture, new media, area studies, and philosophy actively use this collection.
The strengths of the Fine Arts collections reflect faculty specializations: Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Northern and Southern Baroque, 18th and 19th century Europe and America, Modern, Contemporary, Asian, India and Southeast Asia, China and Japan. Core journals for the 19th century are very comprehensive. Other strengths are its exhibition catalog collection, catalogue raisonnés for numerous artists, microfiche collections, videos (held in MRC) and digital resources, such as ARTstor.
The Fine Arts are collected at a comprehensive research level within the Library of Congress Classifications of N, NB, NC, ND, NE covering all languages (except CJK) all geographic locations and all periods. AM (Museums) is collected selectively, with emphasis on English language materials published in the U.S.A. and UK. Architecture (NA) is collected very selectively due to the strengths of the Environmental Design Library collection and is primarily focused on gothic, renaissance and baroque. NK was once collected by Environmental Design in support of its Decorative Arts program eliminated in the early 1970s. Currently, NK is collected selectively by the Fine Arts Librarian. TR, artistic photography, has numerous gaps for titles published during the period 1988-2000 due to funding. However, this situation has been corrected somewhat as a result of donations of books. A recent endowment for photography will ensure that this area is covered for the future. Textile design, costume history and fashion have gained popularity and are studied by several disciplines across campus, but current funding does not support comprehensive collecting in either area. Graphic design, commercial art and contemporary ceramics are not collected. The Anthropology Library collects art-related titles for anthropology and archaeology.
Art History/Classics houses one of the most comprehensive collections of core art periodicals for the 19th and 20th centuries. A rare book collection is housed in Art History/Classics along with important microfiche collections. The East Asian Library houses a special collection of Chinese/Japanese/Korean materials related to art history and it is considered one of the strongest in the Western world. The Bancroft Library has numerous archives for California artists, original medieval manuscripts, artists' books and a pictorial collection of 8 million items in a variety of media, documenting and illustrating the history of California and the American West. Berkeley Art Museum houses artists' archives and a substantial collection of artists' books.
Primary Languages and Formats
An emphasis is placed on English and Western European languages, however materials are collected in all languages except for Chinese, Japanese and Korean (covered by the East Asian Library). Formats include books, monographs, facsimilies, exhibition catalogs, periodicals, digital resources, compact disks, DVDs, videotapes (housed in Media Resources Center), and microforms. Original prints and art objects, slides and photographs are excluded.
For information about research tools, library guides, and related pages, see the Art History / Classics Library.