The MFAH libraries maintain a broad selection of subscription databases as well as free online resources devoted to art research. Access to these resources is freely available to MFAH members, docents, and the general public in the reading rooms of both the Hirsch and Powell libraries. Below you will find a selection of these resources. Please note that some of these sources must be accessed on-site.

Dictionaries, Encyclopedias & Style Manuals


Britannica: Academic Edition (on-site use only)

The Chicago Manual of Style (on-site use only)

Dictionary of Art Historians

Getty Vocabularies

Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Merriam-Webster Unabridged (on-site use only)

Oxford Art Online (on-site use only)

Books & Periodicals

Art Index Retrospective & Art Abstracts (H.W. Wilson) (on-site use only)

ARTbibliographies Modern (on-site use only)

Arts: Search (on-site use only)

Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)

The Burlington Magazine Online Index (on-site use only)

Cfile.daily (on-site use only)

Contemporary Artists Index, Cleveland Institute of Art

Design and Applied Arts Index (​DAAI) (on-site use only)

Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture (public version)

Handbook of Latin American Studies (HLAS), Library of Congress

International Bibliography of Art (IBA) (on-site use only)

International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR)

JSTOR (on-site use only)

Making of America, Cornell University Library

Museology Bibliography (BMUSE), University of Delaware Library

Print Council of America

Répertoire de la litterature de l'art (RILA)

Variety (on-site use only)

WorldCat (on-site use only)

Newspapers & Online News Sources

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

CultureMap Houston

Glasstire {Texas visual art}

Hispanic American Newspapers, 18081980 (on-site use only)

Houston Chronicle

Houston Press

The New York Times

Local Library Catalogs

Harris County Public Library

Houston Public Library

Menil Collection Library

Rice University Fondren Library

University of Houston

University of Texas at Austin Libraries

National & International Library Catalogs (union catalog of more than 30 art libraries in the United States and Europe)

The British Library

DPLA: Digital Public Library of America

HathiTrust digital library

Internet Archive

Library of Congress


AATA Online Abstracts of International Conservation Literature

AIC American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

BCIN Bibliographic Database of the Conservation Information Network

CAMEO: Conservation & Art Material Encyclopedia Online, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Specialized Art Databases or Collections

Archives of American Art

Art Inventories, Smithsonian American Art Museum


Documents of 20th-Century Latin American and Latino art

The Getty Provenance Index Databases

Google Art Project

The Handbook of Texas Online, Texas State Historical Association

William J. Hill Texas Artisans and Artists Archive


Payments to Artists Database

The Portal to Texas History

In This Section