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Research Guides

Collection Guidelines: Art: Subject Info

Guidelines for collection scope and acquisitions strategies for Art.

About This Guide

These are the guidelines by which materials are purchased for the Art collections of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus). 

For questions or more information, please contact Head, Art Library (

UW Libraries Collection Goals

The UW Libraries is committed to providing convenient and timely access to collections and information resources that are outstanding with respect to their quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the University of Washington.

Subject Definition

The most elusive of terms, its validity is only vouchsafed in cultures which admit to such a concept. Broadly speaking, the term ‘art’ in the visual sense can be applied to any work/subject which engenders, by intent or otherwise, aesthetic and/or intellectual appreciation. In a teasing subversion of the title of his magisterial survey The Story of Art (1950) the great art historian Sir Ernst Gombrich declared, ‘There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists.’

Clarke, Michael, and Deborah Clarke. "art." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. : Oxford University Press, 2010. Oxford Reference. 2010. Date Accessed 2 Apr. 2014 <>.


Subject Classification

Library of Congress Classification (LC):

AM:  Museum Studies

E:  Native American Art

K:  Art Law

N:  Visual Arts, including art theory, exhibition catalogs, art as a profession, and public art

NA:  Architecture

NB:  Sculpture

NC:  Drawing, graphic design, illustration, and commercial art

ND:  Painting

NE:  Print Media, including printmaking and engraving

NK:  Decorative Arts, including religious art, decorative design, ceramics, glass, and metal- and woodwork

NX:  Arts in General, including art administration

TR:  Photography

TS:  Manufacturing, including industrial and product design

TT:  Handicrafts, arts and crafts

Z:  Printing, including graphic design and typography