Drew University Library


Introduction to the history of American interiors

Fall 2006





Locating Monographs:

To identify books that are available, start by checking Drew Library’s catalog (http://catalog.drew.edu).  Doing a keyword search for “interior design” or “furniture” will help you identify the specific subject headings you should use within library catalogs in general.  Follow up on any cross-referenced subject headings.

Other databases to check include:



The combined holdings of some 20,000 libraries.  Because it is such a large database, find the terms you want to search in the Drew Catalog first.



New York Public Research Library’s catalog, including the holdings of the Art and Architecture Division (http://catnyp.nypl.org/ )


Local public library catalogs

Select a library that’s strong in local history, such as Morristown/Morris Township Library – but be aware that they may have material in their local history section that does not show up in the catalog. (http://web2.morris.org/ )



Locating Journal Articles:

To find journal articles on your topic, consult the following indexes to historical or technical literature (if no call number is provided, the index is available at the “Research Resources page):



America:  History and Life:  Indexes articles on US and Canadian history.  Try searching “material culture.” 


Per Rom



Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts:  Consult the “Subject Index” in the back of each volume, and look up the entry number in the front.



Bibliography of the History of Art: Indexes publications in art history.



Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals:  This index is the most specialized for the field.  Drew does not own or have access to it.  It is available at Rutgers, NJIT, New York Public Research, and Princeton.  The first three are accessible to the public.  Check with the Drew Reference Desk concerning admission to the Princeton libraries.


Locating Images:

Use the Drew Catalog or WorldCat to locate books on art, containing paintings that might include interiors.  A keyword search for painting and 18th and ‘united states may retrieve books with illustrations of 18th century American painting.  Browse the books themselves.


Also consult Grove Dictionary of Art, which provides access to electronic images, both of works of art, and furniture.  Online at “Research Resources”.  "Art Resource" and Bridgeman, both in Grove, contain multiple images of household furnishings. Bridgeman permits you to narrow your search by century. Google Images can also be productive

Special Collections and Materials:

A host of other material, including local historical maps, microfilm images of census enumerations, and church records, can be housed in special collections or archives within libraries, and often not included in the library’s catalog.  Some suggestions: