Which art periodicals database is superior?
November 11, 2010 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Librarians, art historians, art researchers and scholars: From the perspective of art historical periodicals research with the widest range of relevance for art studio and art history students and instructors, which is the better database, Art Abstracts ~ or ~ Art and Architecture Complete?

While I'm hoping some of you have experience with both of these databases and have thought about the two comparatively, I'm also very interested in user comments on either of these databases. Any directions to other discussions of this particular database-dilemma elsewhere would also be appreciated.
posted by xod to Education (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
In my experience as an art historian, Art Abstracts is somewhat biased toward modern/contemporary/Euro-centric art, whereas Art and Architecture Complete (which if I understand correctly is a combined resource based on multiple earlier databases?) has more breadth. But I'm not sure I could give you an accurate assessment of their depth/comprehensiveness -- any serious scholar is going to search every database they have access to.

My university doesn't subscribe to it, so I don't know how it has fared in recent years, but my hands-down go-to art history database is the Bibliography of the History of Art. It's gone through some struggles but I received an email recently saying that it has re-emerged. Slightly off-topic in relation to your question, I know, but if you're thinking about how to spend resources, it's worth a look.
posted by obliquicity at 9:49 AM on November 11, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you, obliquicity. BHA and RILA is now free from the Getty. Which is completely awesome.
posted by xod at 10:00 AM on November 11, 2010

I thought the free thing was temporary? Looking up the email notice I got, it seems that ProQuest has taken over BHA's indexing role for new material, and they were offering me a free trial for a week in mid-October, which I did not take advantage of (dumb of me, really). So I guess the Getty's free BHA/RILA access is to the archival records, but it won't be updated except as ProQuest's International Bibliography of Art.
posted by obliquicity at 10:22 AM on November 11, 2010

Response by poster: Sorry, should have said the Getty database is up through 2007 only.
posted by xod at 10:47 AM on November 11, 2010

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