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Research Guides

Art: Books

This guide offers the top recommended resources for Art, Art History, and Design.

Selected list of Keywords & LC Subject Headings

The library's catalog utlizes subject headings to link similar items together for easier access. Here is a very brief list of subject headings and keywords to get you started.

Subject Headings

  • Art, British -- 18th century -- Exhibitions.
  • Art, British -- 19th century -- Exhibitions.
  • Art, British -- 20th century -- Exhibitions.
  • Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions.
  • Decoration and ornament.
  • Decorative arts.
  • Graphic design (Typography)
  • Graphic design (Typography) Data processing.
  • Interactive multimedia.
  • Industrial design -- United States.


  • Art and design
  • Applied art
  • Semiotics
  • Typography
  • Universal design
  • Visual communication
  • Visual anthropology
  • Visual persuasion
  • Visual intelligence
  • Specific movements, for example:
    • "Art Nouveau"
    • "Pre-Raphaelitism"
    • "Dadaism"
    • "Surrealism"
  • Specific artistis, for example:
    • "Olafur Eliasson"
    • "Stefan Sagmeister"


Selected bibliographies by topic from the Seattle Art Museum Library

Browsing Art & Design Books

Big Book of Art


N Visual Arts
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Drawing. Design. Illustration.
ND Painting
NE Print media
NK Decorative arts
NX Arts in general
TR Photography


For a more specific breakdown of the call numbers see the Library of Congress Classification Online.