You might not think of the library first for the fine or performance arts. After all, you learn art by ‘doing’ – putting pencil to paper, or flute to lips. Words alone can’t fully articulate what it is. Sure, art students can frequently be found sketching in the library – the strong architectural and perspective lines here are great for compositions – but do they need to do research?
The answer, of course, is yes. Art without context loses a lot of its meaning and power. And research helps both understanding and technique; whether you are yourself an artist training in new styles or merely a scholarly connoisseur. There are lots of resources available, including ProQuest Arts for scholarship and criticism in the fine and performance arts to the Naxos Music Library for streaming music – over two million tracks of it.
But some of the most formidable art databases are Oxford Art Online and Oxford Music Online. These feature detailed artist and musician biographies (and extensive galleries of artwork, in the case of fine artists), in addition to articles on theory, technique, style, or time period. They also include acclaimed ebooks like Grove Music Online, Grove Art Online, and the Benezit Dictionary of Artists. And Oxford is currently in the process of updating these databases, adding improved search capabilities, enhanced options for discoverability, and the ability to share material through social media.
Of course, IU East is a very art-friendly campus, from Room 912 in downtown Richmond (offering gallery, classroom, and studio space) to the sound-proof rooms in Springwood Hall for classroom instruction, individual lessons and practice sessions. And the library also has ways to actually make music, too! We now have an EDIROL Midi Keyboard available for checkout – you can get it at the front desk. The library is the place to be for the artistically inclined!
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