Getting Started

The encyclopedias and companions listed in this section have helpful introductory essays on all aspects of ancient art. Each essay recommends sources for further reading.

Grove Encyclopedia of Classical Art and Architecture

Brill's New Pauly Online
Covers all aspects of art in the classical world.

Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Wiley-Blackwell)
Click on Search in this Book to find essays on ancient art. The Encyclopedia has helpful overview articles about Roman and Greek art. Try the following keywords to find more specific entries on ancient art: wall painting, mosaics, furniture, architecture, sculpture, fresco, graffiti, villa, paint and painting, vases, glass, etc.

Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt
Topics covered include art, architecture, religion, language, literature, trade, politics, everyday social life and the culture of the court.

Dictionary of Art
34 volumes. Print only. Shelved on the second floor of the library.

Greek Art, A companion to
Introductory chapters on all aspects of Greek art from architecture to mosaics and coinage.

A Companion to Ancient Egypt (Wiley-Blackwell)
The Companion has eleven chapters on the visual arts (chapters 35-45).

Oxford Classical Dictionary (4th ed., 2012)
Entries of varying lengths on all aspects of art in the classical world.

Cambridge Ancient History
A comprehensive ancient history in fourteen volumes spanning prehistory to late antiquity.


Books are an important source of critical literature. Take advantage of the search options available in the library's catalog. Start with a keyword search and use the hyper-linked Library of Congress subjects to focus your search results. Alternatively, use available facets such as topic and language to narrow search results. Subject searches can significantly increase or decrease search results.

Falvey Library Catalog
Discover records of all print and e-books available at the Library. Books that are currently checked out can be requested through EZBorrow or interlibrary loan.

WorldCat (FirstSearch)
Presents a combined catalog of the catalogs of more than 10,000 libraries worldwide. WorldCat highlights publications available at Villanova University. Other items can be requested via an inter-library loan request form.

Includes books and journal articles. This is only a small subset of what is published on any topic, but everything is available in full text online.

EZBorrow and Interlibrary Loan
Interlibrary loans are only available for books and journals which are not owned by Falvey. The EZBorrow service can be used for books which the library owns, but which are currently checked out. EZBorrow books are provided by a local library network and tend to arrive faster than interlibrary loans.

Journal Articles

Art Full Text (EBSCO)
Art Full Text indexes and abstracts the content of art journals.
Click on findit to link to the online articles or use the Get a Scan button.

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals (ProQuest)
Indexes academic journals, book and exhibition reviews, interviews, and obituaries in the fields of architecture, city planning, interior design, historic preservation, and archaeology. Includes abstracts of journal articles. Published by the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. Coverage goes back to 1934.

A searchable and browsable archive of full-text core journals in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics. Use the Advanced Search feature in order to limit to architecture and/or art journals.

Art Index Retrospective: 1929-1984 (EBSCO)
Indexes articles from art and architecture periodicals published from 1929-1984.

Below are two lists, which decode the abbreviations commonly used in ancient history and art journals, book series, and reference works:


Artstor (ITHAKA)  Access Instructions
Image archive with high-resolution art images. ARTstor requires online registration in order to download images.

Wikimedia Commons
Offers public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips).

Features over 1 million freely available high-resolution photos.

Falvey Library Catalog
Books often include images. Add the keyword "exhibition" to your search to find exhibition catalogs.

Citation Management

Chicago Manual of Style Online
The 17th edition of the Manual is the most current. The online version includes a Citation Quick Guide with examples. The Library's website offers a short introduction and overview to the Notes and Bibliography System commonly used in the humanities.