January 24, 2022

Research Tools: Penn State University Libraries Publishes ‘Art History Dissertations’ Online Bibliography

From Penn St. University Libraries:

Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing recently launched “Art History Dissertations and Abstracts from North American Institutions Bibliography,” an online bibliography compiled by Catherine D. Adams, digital support specialist, and Carolyn J. Lucarelli, manager of the Center for Virtual/Material Studies in the College of Arts and Architecture. The original data set is from the CAA Reviews website of the College Art Association (CAA).

The bibliography represents more than a year of collecting, collating, amending and researching art history Ph.D. dissertations submitted to CAA since 1980. With more than 6,000 dissertations from more than 80 North American institutions, the data set presents a rich area of study for the ways in which the art history field has evolved over the last 40 years.

“When we first began to compile this data set, we immediately realized the far-reaching potential for a vast variety of projects focusing on the evolving field of art history,” said Adams.

“The fact that colleagues from other institutions were also interested in the data set further motivated us to publish the content as a searchable bibliography through the Libraries’ Open Publishing program,” added Lucarelli.

The searchable bibliography organizes content using keywords and includes the abstracts for most of the entries, which the original data set did not contain. Adams and Lucarelli plan to update the bibliography yearly when new dissertation information becomes available. The site also houses supplemental pages discussing the bibliography’s creation, information about the contributors, articles written using the bibliographic data, and forms to report errors and missing information. All records in the bibliography can be exported in a variety of formats.


Libraries Open Publishing, the University Libraries’ Open Access imprint, is a unit within the Research Informatics and Publishing department. Libraries Open Publishing provides tools and support for Penn State-affiliated authors and groups to publish full-featured electronic scholarly journals, searchable annotated bibliographies, monographs and topical web portals using a variety of digital platforms. All publications are free to view online and download. Copyright is retained by the individual authors, where possible, or by the journals or sponsoring entity. Almost all are licensed for use under a Creative Commons license.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.