ARTstor is a unique database that features images rather than articles. The database began in the late 1990s with high resolution images of Buddhist art in cave grottoes from the Gobi desert and grew from there to include over one million images from a variety of topics, ranging from documentary photography to Islamic textiles.
Even though the database is made up of images, it can be useful for research in many different subject areas. One of the ways ARTstor allows you to browse images is by sample topic, which allows you to find images that might be relevant to your area of study, whether it’s languages and literature or the history of medicine and natural science. If you already have an idea of what you’re looking for, you can perform a search to find what you need. Once you find an image related to your research, you can then download the image to your computer or save them to online groups for later use (short registration required for this). ARTstor is always adding new collections images to their database. See here for the latest in their collection development.
Professor Anne Heath of the art department has found ARTstor to be very helpful in teaching and researching. She uses images from ARTstor to prepare lectures and presentations, as a study resource for students, and as a starting place for both student and her own research. Though Heath uses the database for art history, she knows that it is also useful for other subjects.
“They have a collection of documentary photographs that are good for political science,” she said. “They’re always getting new collections. It’s not just for art history.”
— Bethany Stripp, Library Student Blogger