Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Library Guide for ARTH 552:

Art, Visual Culture, and Class

Fall 2004, Professor Michael Leja

Williams/Clark Graduate Program in Art History


Karen Bucky, Collections Access/Reference Librarian


General note:  in this online version of the Library Guide, hyperlinks have been made to databases where possible.  If at any point a connection to a database does not work, connect to the Electronic Resources page and try to connect from there.  For most databases, authorized connection is by IP range and therefore is only possible from within the Clark Art Institute or Williams College libraries.



Background Information:

Reference Sources


The following reference sources may be helpful in finding background information on American history, culture, economics, and politics during the last half of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th. 


Finkelman, Paul, ed.  Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.

Alphabetical listing of articles, in themselves not substantial but providing a respectable overview and with good bibliographies.  Examples include advertising, political cartoons, civil rights, class, consumerism, labor movement, merchandising, museums, newspaper and the press, working-class culture, work.  (See also Kutler's Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century, below.)

Sawyer Ref   E169.1 .E626 2001


Greene, Jack P., ed.   Encyclopedia of American Political History.  New York: Scribner, 1984.

Articles cover the "most important concepts, themes, institutions, and patterns" of the history of American politics.  Examples include public opinion, race and racism, social welfare.  Signed articles include bibliographies.

Sawyer Ref  E183 .E5 1984


Kutler, Stanley, ed.   Encyclopedia of the United States in the Twentieth Century.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1996.

Articles by leading scholars on various aspects of American experience in the 20th century.  Relevant essays include class, family, social welfare, marketing, wealth and poverty, work, mass media, and popular culture.  Entries conclude with extensive bibliographic essays.  (See also Finkelman's Encyclopedia of the United States in the Nineteenth Century, above.)

Sawyer Ref  E740.7 .E53 1996


Morris, Richard B., and Jeffrey B. Morris, eds.  Encyclopedia of American History.  New York: HarperCollins, 1996.

Part 1 provides a basic chronology of military and political events; part 2 records in chronological listings "the nonpolitical aspects of American life" organized according to various topics (e.g. economy, science and technology, thought and culture, mass media); part 3 is notable biographies; part 4 is on the structure of the U.S. government.

Sawyer Ref  E174.5 .E52 1996 


Porter, Glenn, ed.   Encyclopedia of American Economic History: Studies of the principal movements and ideas.  New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1980.

Includes essays on economic development during specific time periods, e.g. from Reconstruction to 1914.  Organization is by broad subject area, with in-depth articles on specific topics, e.g. population, technology, advertising and PR, family, distribution of income and wealth, poverty.  Signed articles include bibliographies.

Sawyer Ref  HC103 E5 1980


Trinkle, Dennis A., and Scott A. Merriman, eds.  The U.S. History Highway: a guide to internet resources.  Armonk, NY:  M. E. Sharpe, 2002.

Lists hundreds of sites determined to be reliable and useful for the serious study of history.  Includes chapters on general history and overall U.S. history, for special groups such as women, African-Americans, and Native Americans, on time periods such as the Civil War, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, and many more.  All entries are annotated.

Sawyer Ref E175.88 T75 2002



Online Catalogs/Union Catalogs



Francis is the Williams College online catalog; not to be outdone, ours is [informally and  unofficially] called Francine.  In addition to material at Williams and the Clark Library, you also have access through Francis to the BLC Virtual Catalog, a union catalog of the holdings of other New England libraries such as Brown, the Boston Public Library, Boston University, University of New Hampshire, and University of  Massachusetts.  Materials found through BLC can be requested (electronically) through Williams.

The following list of subject headings may provide some good starting points for searching any online catalog.

Advertising – United States – History

American diaries –  Bibliography

Arts and society – History

Communication and culture – History

Mass media and culture – History – United States

Mass media – United States – History

Labor – United States – History

Visual communication – History

Working class – United States – History


Union Catalogs

Eureka and WorldCat are databases that represent the holdings of thousands of libraries worldwide.  Materials not available in the Clark or Williams libraries can be requested through Interlibrary Loan.


WorldCat's member libraries run the gamut of types of libraries: public, academic, research, special, and some larger school libraries.  The database is larger and includes "popular" materials sometimes not available on Eureka. Connect via the Electronic Resources page.


Eureka's member libraries are the major research libraries; the database is smaller but often includes scholarly material not available on WorldCat.


Local/Art Library Catalogs

Check the Electronic Resources page, under Subject Guide: Art resources, to search the holdings of major academic, research, and art libraries around the world.  Examples include the Getty, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery, New York Public Library, Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale, and many more.



Indexes to Articles in Scholarly Journals


The following indexes will help you to find articles in journals in the humanities and social sciences. Articles in journals not held at Sawyer or the Clark may be requested through Interlibrary Loan, through Williams or through the Clark.


Because the topics you are researching are cross-disciplinary, and because terminology may in some cases be ambiguous, you may need to use the full capabilities of the databases you are searching.  In particular, databases such as America History and Life and BHA have complex structures that allow you to search by time period, specify which fields to search, and use proximity searching to make a search more precise.


Expanded Academic Index ASAP. 

Indexes scholarly journals, news magazines, and newspapers across all academic disciplines: arts and humanities, social sciences, science and technology.  Many articles available in full text.  Coverage is from 1980 to 2004. 

Electronic Resources page


America History and Life.

Provides abstracts to scholarly articles (approximately 1,800 journals indexed) and citations to dissertations and book/media reviews. Covers U.S. and Canadian history from prehistory to the present. Coverage is from 1964 to the present. Some links to full text. 

Electronic Resources page



Indexes and provides the full text of 47 core history and social science journals from their first issue to the last 1 to 5 years, including several journals that go back to the late 1800s/early 1900s (see the following select list).

Williams College Electronic Databases and Indexes


American Historical Review 1895-1999

American Journal of Sociology 1895-2000

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 1890-1998

Economic Journal 1891-1998

Geographical Journal 1893-1998

International Journal of Ethics 1890-1938

Journal of Political Economy 1892-2000

Mind 1876-1996

Philosophical Review 1892-2000

Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 1838-1998

Quarterly Journal of Economics 1886-1998

Yale Law Journal 1891-2000


Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA).

Provides citations and abstracts for materials on European and American art from late antiquity to the present.   Indexes journal articles, books, essays, conference proceedings, and exhibition catalogs in the field of art history.  Covers mostly visual arts.  BHA merges three databases: Bibliography of the History of Art (1990 -present), International Repertory of the Literature of Art (1975-1989), and Repertoire d'Art et d'Archeolgie (1973-1989).  To search further back in time, see the print title, below.

Electronic Resources page

Répertoire d'art et d'archéologie.  Paris: Bibliothèque d'art et d'archéologie, 1910-1989.

Clark Reference ZN5300 R46


Humanities Index.

Indexes articles on topics in the humanities, including archaeology, classical studies, folklore, history, journalism, literature, music, performing arts, philosophy and religion.  Coverage is from 1980 to the present.  For earlier coverage, consult the print indexes at Sawyer: Humanities Index (1974- ), Social Sciences and Humanities Index (1966-1974), and International Index (1907-1965) (see annotated entry under Articles in 19th-C/Early 20th C Periodicals).

Electronic Resources page



The PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service, Inc.) database is a bibliographic index to the literature of public policy, social policy, and the social sciences in general. Journal articles, books, government documents, statistical compilations, committee reports, directories, serials, reports of public, intergovernmental, and private organizations, and most other forms of printed literature from all over the world are indexed.  Coverage is from 1972 to the present.  This database cannot be connected to by a hyperlink; click on the link below.

Williams College Electronic Indexes and Databases



EconLit is a comprehensive, indexed bibliography with selected abstracts of the world's economic literature, produced by the American Economic Association. It includes coverage of over 400 major journals as well as articles in collective volumes (essays, proceedings, etc.), books, book reviews, dissertations, and working papers licensed from the Cambridge University Press Abstracts of Working Papers in Economics.  Coverage is from 1969 to the present.

Williams College Electronic Indexes and Databases



Government Documents


Williams College has been a depository for U.S. documents since before the middle of the nineteenth century. The Gov Docs collection is a rich source of information on U.S. history, economics, and politics found in Congressional hearings and investigations and in agency publications.


Most of Williams' government documents are not listed or indexed in Francis, but can be located by using the following indexes.  Contact Rebecca Ohm at Sawyer for help in searching and locating government documents.


 Congressional Indexes, 1789- 1969.

Index to microform collections of historical (1789-1969) Congressional documents including U.S. Serial Set 1817-1969, American State Papers, published and unpublished Congressional committee hearings, Congressional committee prints, Senate Executive Documents and Reports; other publications associated with bills and resolutions.  Most documents available at Sawyer.

Williams College Electronic Indexes and Databases


GPO on SilverPlatter.

Use GPO to find published government documents, including maps, audiovisuals, catalogs, reports and many other types of documents produced by specific federal agencies, and Congressional hearings.   Coverage is from 1976 to the present.  This database must be used at Sawyer or in the Clark Library.  GPO is not on the list of indexes and databases; to connect to it do a title search in Francis for GPO and connect from the record.

Williams College Library Catalog



Newspaper and Magazine Articles in 19th-/Early-20th-century Periodicals


Electronic Indexes


Nineteenth Century Masterfile.

Index to English and American journal and newspaper articles published in the 19th and early 20th century, e.g. the New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, and Harper's.  Citations only.

Electronic Resources page


PCI (Periodicals Contents Index, 1770-1993).

A major retrospective electronic indexing project that covers mainly scholarly and academic journals in the humanities and social sciences from their beginnings to the 1990s.  Some popular or general-interest publications are included.  Citations only.

Electronic Resources


Pro-Quest Index to Historical Newspapers.

Indexes (among other titles) the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe.  Can search for advertisements.  Full-text.  Coverage varies from publication to publication.

Williams Electronic Indexes and Databases


Print Indexes


Poole's Index to Periodical Literature, 1802-1907.  Boston:  James R. Osgood, 1882–1908.

Index to 479 American and English periodicals, mostly general-interest but with a few on special subjects.  A subject index only.  Points to bear in mind:  1) authors are not indexed;  2) articles having a distinct subject are entered under that subject;  3)  articles having no subject (fiction, poems, plays) are entered under the first word that is not an article.  4)  To ascertain the date of a periodical (only volume numbers are given in the entries), check either the "Chronological Conspectus" in each volume, or use Date and Volume Key (see below). 

Supplements to Poole's:

Cumulative Author Index to Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (Sawyer Ref A13 W3)

Poole's Index, Date and Volume Key (Sawyer Ref  Z674 A75 no.19)

Sawyer Reference Area 


Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1901 - .  New York: H. W. Wilson, 1905 -.

Began in 1901 as an index for small libraries, covering at first only a few titles; it expanded year by year and absorbed other indexes so titles vary over time.  As of 1953, Readers' Guide indexes "U.S. periodicals of a broad, general, and popular character" and a selection of U.S. popular, non-technical magazines from important scientific and humanistic fields. 

Sawyer Reference Area


International Index to Periodicals.  New York: H.W. Wilson, 1907-1955.

International Index.   New York: H.W. Wilson, 1956-1965.

Social Sciences and Humanities Index.  New York: H.W. Wilson, 1966-1974.

Social Sciences Index.  New York:  H.W. Wilson, 1974 - .

Humanities Index.  New York:  H.W. Wilson, 1974 - .

An author and subject index to scholarly periodicals in the humanities and social sciences.  Coverage varies.  Social sciences and humanities journals were indexed together until 1974, when the index split into two, one for each subject area.

Sawyer Reference Area


Nineteenth Century Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature, 1890–1899, with supplementary indexing 1900–1922.  NY: H.W. Wilson, 1944.

Author, subject, and title index to 51 periodicals indexed 1890 to 1899; of these a small number of titles were indexed as far as 1922.  Periodicals are mainly general-interest and literary, with some included from specialized fields.  Full entry is under author's name.  In many cases the authors of anonymously published articles (a common occurrence in publishing at this time) were ascertained from publishers' records.

Sawyer Ref AI3 .R496


Online Resources


Making of America Journals: 19th-Century.

MOA is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through Reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains the full text of approximately 8,500 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th-century imprints. Journals included are: Appleton's (1869-1881); Catholic World (1865-1901); DeBow's (1846-1869); Garden and Forest (1888-1897); Ladies Repository (1841-1876); TheOld Guard (1864); Overland Monthly (1868-1900); Princeton Review (1831-1882); Southern Literary Messenger (1835-1864); Southern Quarterly Review (1842-1857); Vanity Fair (1860-1862).


The Nineteenth Century in Print: The making of America in books and periodicals.

Part of the Library of Congress American Memory project; integrates the two parts of the Making of America project at Michigan and Cornell.  Books and periodicals published mostly during the latter half of the 19th century.  Subject areas include education, American history, sociology, psychology, and science and technology.  Periodicals include Harper's Weekly, Atlantic Monthly, New Englander, North American Review, Punchinello, and Scientific American.  Full text.  Searchable by keyword, author, title, and subject.



History of Advertising


Williams College has a good collection on advertising; for a start, search in Francis for the subject headings "Advertising – United States – history" or "Advertising – social aspects" to find materials such as the books listed below.  Williams also has runs of general-interest periodicals, many of which include advertisements, that go back to the 1850s.  For a list, ask at the Sawyer Reference Office for the "List of 19th-century Periodicals in Williams College Libraries;" for suggestions check with the Sawyer reference librarians.


Presbey, Frank.  The History and Development of Advertising; with more than three hundred and fifty illustrations.  Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran, 1929.

Sawyer Stacks  HF5811 .P7


Sivulka, Juliann.   Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes : A cultural history of American advertising.  Belmont, CA : Wadsworth, c.1998.

Sawyer Stacks  HF5813.U6 S55 1998


Goodrum, Charles, and Helen Dalrymple.  Advertising in America: the first 200 years.   New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1990.

Sawyer Stacks  HF5813.U6 G64 1990


Ohmann, Richard.  Selling Culture: magazines, markets, and class at the turn of the century.  London and New York: Verso, 1996.

Sawyer Stacks  HF5813.U6 O35 1996


Reference Sources


McDonough, John, and the Museum of Broadcast Communications, eds.  Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising.  New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003.

Essays on 1) agency histories, 2) advertiser/brand/market histories, 3) biographies, and 4) theoretical, methodological, and practical aspects of advertising.  International in scope.  Includes essays on how advertising influences and is reflected in its culture.  Check "History – 19th century" and "History --- 1900 – 1920."  Articles give suggestions for further reading.

Sawyer Ref HF5803 .A38 2003


Online Sources


Medicine and Madison Avenue.

Images and database information for approximately 600 health-related advertisements printed in newspapers and magazines. These ads illustrate the variety and evolution of marketing images from the 1910s through the 1950s. The collection represents a wide range of products such as cough and cold remedies, laxatives and indigestion aids, and vitamins and tonics, among others. In addition to the advertisements themselves, the MMA website includes historical material -- non-graphical text-only documents -- that put health-related advertising into a broader perspective.


Emergence of Advertising in America.

Presents over 9,000 images relating to the early history of advertising in the United States. The materials, drawn from the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University, include cookbooks, photographs of billboards, print advertisements, trade cards, calendars, almanacs, and leaflets for a multitude of products. Together, they illuminate the early evolution of this ubiquitous feature of modern American business and culture.


Ad Access Project.

Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad Access concentrates on five main subject areas: radio, television, transportation, beauty and hygiene, and World War II.



Sources on Labor/Working Class History


Reference Sources


Filippelli, Ronald L.  Labor Conflict in the United States: An encyclopedia. New York: Garland, 1990.

On the premise that "there has been no period in our history from which the struggle between capital and labor has been absent," this encyclopedia lists and describes specific conflicts (defined as struggles that have taken place between workers and their employers over the terms and conditions of work) from 1636 to 1989.  Entries include brief bibliographies.

Sawyer Ref HD5324 .L32 1990


Index to Labor Articles; issued by the Labor Research Department, Rand School of Social Science.  New York:  [n.p.]

Indexes labor articles in general periodicals and in some labor papers not indexed elsewhere.  Classified arrangement with no author index.  Library holdings cover 1939-40, 1947-49, 1950-53.  Look for historical studies.

Sawyer Stacks  HB1 .I5


Online Sources


Center for Working Class Studies: Working Class Bibliography.

Bibliographies in the field of working class studies, organized into such categories as class and culture, class perception in the U.S., labor history (this is a particularly useful section), and working-class voices: autobiographies and personal narratives.  For much more material on working class studies, click the home page button at the bottom of the screen.


Labor Arts.

Website containing "powerful images that help us understand the lives of working people," including posters, flyers, buttons, banners, and fine art such as painting and sculpture about work, as well as art and artifacts created by working people.  Check out the "pre-1920" section.  Unfortunately this site does not go back very far in time; on the other hand the "Resources" link is worth exploring.


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Description of library and archival collections, nonprint holdings, and oral history holdings, with links to finding aids, specialized guides, and online exhibits.  Under Specialized Guides, click on "Reference Sources in U.S. Labor Studies" and then click on Web Pages for an annotated list of more online sources.


WWW Virtual Library Labor History:  Libraries and Archives.

Alphabetical listing of libraries and archives around the world with collections on labor history.  Tedious to wade through but contains a wealth of sites and collections such as the American Radicalism Collection at MSU, the Center for Agricultural History at ISU, the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace at Stanford, and the Southern Labor Archives at GSU.  See the sidebar for links to National Repositories and Guides, Museums, and Data Archives.



Diaries and Letters


Print Resources


Arksey, Laura,  American Diaries: An annotated bibliography of published American diaries and journals.  Vol. 2: diaries written from 1845 to 1980.  Detroit, MI:  Gale Research, 1983.

Includes only diaries available in English, published as printed books or articles.  Diaries are arranged chronologically.  Information includes a citation and an annotation that gives occupation, rank, and place of birth or residence (where known).  Name, subject, and geographic indexes at the back of the book.

Sawyer Ref CT214 A74 1983


Brignano, Russell.  Black Americans in Autobiography:  An annotated bibliography of autobiographies and autobiographical books written since the Civil War. Durham, N.C. : Duke University Press, 1984.

Sections include 1) autobiographies and 2) autobiographical books (diaries, travelogues, collections of letters or essays, narrations of events).  Indexes allow finding autobiographical works by title, first publication years, locations and institutions, and activities/experiences/occupations/professions.

Sawyer Ref E185.96 B67 1984


Cline, Cheryl.  Women's Diaries, Journals, and Letters: An annotated bibliography.  New York:  Garland, 1989.

Lists "private writings of appreciable length," including some published as articles or extracts in longer works.  Most are in English.  Includes a section that lists other bibliographies.

Sawyer Ref CT3230  C55 1989


Goodfriend, Joyce.  The Published Diaries and Letters of American Women:  An annotated bibliography.  Boston: G. K. Hall, 1987.

Annotated listing of diaries and letters written in the U.S.  Organization is chronological, from the initial date of composition.  The key criterion for inclusion was that writing be personal, not intended as a public document, immediate rather than retrospective in nature.

Sawyer Ref CT3260 G66 1987


Matthews, William.  American Diaries in Manuscript, 1580-1954: a descriptive bibliography. Athens: University of Georgia Press 1974.

Supplement to the author's American Diaries. 

Sawyer Stacks E176 .M38a


Online Resources


Documenting the American South.

A collection of sources on Southern history, literature, and culture from the colonial period to the first decades of the 20th century, sponsored by the Academic Affairs Library at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Includes first-person narratives of the American South and slave narratives.


North American Women's Letters and Diaries, Colonial to 1950.

The collection includes some 150,000 pages of published letters and diaries from individuals writing from Colonial times to 1950, including more than 6,000 pages of previously unpublished materials. Drawn from more than 600 sources, including journal articles, pamphlets, newsletters, monographs, and conference proceedings, much of the material is in copyright. Represented are all age groups and life stages, all ethnicities, many geographical regions.   Some 300 biographies enhance the use of the database.

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