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Rutgers University Libraries

Art Library Research Guide: Photography

Visit this research guide for books, articles, images, websites, and other resources for your art and art history classes.

Catalog Subject Headings



Photography--History--20th century.

Photography--History--19th century.

Photography, Artistic--Exhibitions.

Art and photography--Exhibitions.

Photographic criticism.


Portrait photography.

Color photography.

Documentary photography.

Nature photography.

What is it?

Photography is a term used to describe the technique of producing an image by the action of light on a chemically prepared material. Although used privately as early as 1833, it was not until the public discussion of the first processes in 1839 that the term popularly attributed to Sir John Herschel came to be used in its present general sense.

J. P. Ward, et al. "Photography." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press, accessed January 3, 2013,

Resources from research centers, museums, & libraries

First check resources in the Find Articles tab of this LibGuide, and then return here for more specific materials.

American Museum of Photography

Center for Creative Photography. University of Arizona "The Center for Creative Photography is an archive and research center located on the University of Arizona campus. It retains the archives of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand, Harry Callahan, and other great twentieth-century photographers." (quoted from website)

George Eastman House, Harry Ransom Center, Fotomuseum

Getty Research Institute. Photo Study Collection Database The Photo Study Collection Database can be searched via the Internet from any computer terminal. It includes approximately 300,000 descriptions of photographs that act as pathfinders to over 700,000 photographs browsable in the Research Library." (quoted from website)

Helios: Photography Online (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

International Center of Photography Museum (New York City)

Library of Congress. American Memory. America's First Look into the Camera.  "The daguerreotype collection consists of more than 725 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection. The collection also includes early architectural views by John Plumbe, several Philadelphia street scenes, early portraits by pioneering daguerreotypist Robert Cornelius, studio portraits by black photographers James P. Ball and Francis Grice, and copies of painted portraits." (from website)

Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)  PPOC "contains catalog records and digital images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units of the Library of Congress. ... The collections of the Prints & Photographs Division include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings." (quoted from website)

Maison Européenne de la Photographie

Metropolitan Museum of Art. Works of Art Collection Database. Photographs descriptions often accompanied by images of over 29, 000 photographs in this Museum's photograph collection.

Museum of Contemporary Photography (Columbia College of Chicago) "The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) is the only museum in the Midwest with an exclusive commitment to the medium of photography. By presenting projects and exhibitions that embrace a wide range of contemporary aesthetics and technologies, the Museum strives to communicate the value and significance of photographic images as expressions of human thought, imagination, and creativity." (quoted from website)

Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

New York Public Library. Digital Gallery Picks  "The Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's vast collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more." (quoted from website)

Royal Photographic Society



Revenge of the Goldfish by Sandy Skoglund 1980

Journals RU subscribes to for Photography


Some of the resources from this page were found on the Photography libguide created by Dr. J.Z. (Joe) Zhou, Head of Reference Department at California State University- Sacramento

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