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Art: 60:202: Library Research as Art Practice: Research Best Practices

Principles for Research and Learning Outcomes for Undergraduate Art Students


                                                                                                              Concept map by Lowry Burgess


Library research is part of the artistic process

  • Proficiency in library research requires that art students…
    • develop a lifelong habit of inquiry as it connects to studio practice
    • use diverse approaches to finding information
    • seek a balance of inquiry through human and machine resources
    • understand the ethics of using and sharing information
    • recognize the importance of internal, emotive and current intellectual knowledge as important to informing “creative output”


 Basic learning outcomes

  • Know system of library organization at Carnegie Mellon Libraries
    • Library of Congress (LC)
    • How to browse
  • Familiar with librarians, staff and library services
  • Understand the nature of basic library resources (print and electronic) and how to search them
    • Library catalog (Cameo database)
    • Reference works such as Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Directories..
    • Periodicals and Article Databases
    • Unique collections (e.g. artists’ books; rare books)
    • Media collections (visual, audio..)
  • Know where to access library resources, print and electronic
    • Carnegie Mellon Libraries
    • Local libraries (Pitt, Carnegie Public…)
    • Other libraries; Interlibrary Loan    
  • Proficient in evaluating information     
    • recognize levels of reliability for various resources
    • peer reviewed, scholarly, popular resources
    • primary and secondary resources
    • web evaluation requires special attention to knowledge of source/authors, accuracy (validity), objectivity, currency, and scope
  • Proficient in arts histories and arts technologies


Principles approved as a working document by the Carnegie Mellon Universiity School of Art Council, August 22, 2008. Art Library Committee Document Contributors 2007-2008: Lowry Burgess; Ting Chang; Mo Dawley; Elaine King; Melissa Ragona









Arts Library

Mo Dawley
Art and Drama Librarian

Contact Info:
Hunt Library
Art Library and Special Collections
Art Research Guide

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Research Intrigue

1. Research is rarely ever well-achieved in a straight line. It often involves a good amount of intrigue!

2. Start exploring as soon as possible! Use diverse resources. Navigate  the open-access web, scholarly subscription databases, books, journal articles... delve the shelves and various other resources  in order to make the strongest case for your research.

3. Ask: What types of resources will I need?