Judgement of Paris

IC Library Print and Media Resources

Aesthetics: Subject Searches

Art appreciation
Aesthetics--Early works to 1800
Aesthetics History
Aesthetics, Modern
Aesthetics, Modern--18th century
Aesthetics, Modern--19th century
Aesthetics, Modern--20th century
Aesthetics, American
Aesthetics, British
Aesthetics, French
Aesthetics, German
Avant-garde (Aesthetics)
Aesthetics--Psychological aspects
Aesthetics in literature 
Music--Philosophy and aesthetics
Nature (Aesthetics)
Environment (Aesthetics)
Landscape architecture--History
Landscape in art
Decoration and ornament, Architectural
Decoration and ornament
Decorative arts

For the aesthetics of a particular style of art, try searching the style:
Art, Ancient
Art, Classical
Art, Chinese
Indian art
Art, African
Art, Islamic
Art, Gothic
Art, Renaissance
Neoclassicism (Art)
Romanticism in art
Gothic revival (Art)
Realism in art
Impressionism (Art)
Expressionism (Art)
Modernism (Art)
Pop art

Form (Aesthetics)
Harmony (Aesthetics)
Proportion (Art)
Symmetry (Art)
Composition (Art)

Sense (Philosophy)
Senses and sensation
Visual perception
Color--Psychological aspects
Color in art
Light in art
Sound--Psychological aspects
Sound in art
Smell--Psychological aspects
Food preferences
Texture (Art)

Beauty, Personal
Beauty, Personal--Psychological aspects
Beauty, Personal--Social aspects
Feminine beauty (Aesthetics)
Male nude in art
Human figure in art
Human body (Philosophy)
Human body--Social aspects
Body image in men
Body image in women
Body image
Fashion--Psychological aspects
Fashion--Social aspects

Truth (Aesthetics)
Idealism in art
Sublime, The
Paradise in art
Paradise--Comparative studies
Heaven in art
Sacred space
Transcendence (Philosophy)
Art and religion

IC Library Databases (Articles)

Recommended Databases

     General OneFile is the most user friendly of our comprehensive databases--covering virtually any topic from a wide range of disciplinary angles. Use the default Subject search to find an appropriate Subject Heading for your topic and then open the "Subdivisions" link underneath. For example, under “Aesthetics” find “Analysis,” “Criticism & Interpretation,” “Ethical aspects,” “History,” “Psychological aspects,” “Social aspects,” and “Standards.”
     If the best available Subdivision is still too broad, open the set of articles and add Keywords in the "Search within these Results" slot at the upper left.
     User Advisory: When viewing any retrieval set in General OneFile, note that you are first viewing only the Magazines and must click on the "Academic Journals" or "News" tabs to see those resources.

        ProQuest Research Library : is another comprehensive database with substantial full text.  At the home page click on the "More Search Options" tab at the bottom to see all available search fields, including Subject, to the right of which you can click on "Look up Subjects" and preview what headings are available.  This can be a more efficient way to search than Keyword, since it guarantees that the articles retrieved actually be about the Subject--not just use a particular word. 
     Above each set of retrievals ProQuest will display related Subject searches to either broaden or narrow your focus. Start with a Subject search on “Aesthetics” and look at some of the combination searches displayed above. Or add Keywords.
     User Advisory: ProQuest is fussy about entering Subject searches in the designated slots. If your subject is a person, enter the name--last name first--in the Person slot; if a named group of any kind--the Catholic Church, Microsoft, the New York Mets, the Democratic Party, the Rolling Stones--enter it in Co/Org; if a place enter it in Location.

     Philosopher's Index : No full text, but the “ArticleLinker” arrows at the end of each citation will search for full text in our other databases. Subject Headings—called Descriptors here—include “Aesthetics,” which can be combined with “Art,” “Literature,” “Ethics,” “Beauty,” “Truth,” “Ugliness” etc.

     JSTOR has very good full-text coverage of the Humanities, including Art, Literature, and Philosophy.  There is no Subject searching, so remember to put search phrases in quotation marks. “Aesthetics,” “Beauty,” and “(Ugly or Ugliness)” all retrieve interesting results.
     JSTOR access to journal articles begins 1-2 years prior to the present--so don't look for any criticism from the last couple of years--but coverage always extends back to the first issue of each journal--in some cases into the 19th century and beyond. This allows you, for instance, to compare ideas about aesthetics beauty from early and late in the twentieth century. And if you want to target a time period, just set a “Date Range.”

     Project Muse , although a smaller database, it complements JSTOR. LIke JSTOR it provides 100% full text of mostly scholarly journals, but its coverage is entirely current--mainly spanning the last 10-15 years.  Muse uses a "black box" search approach--you enter your search terms in one slot with no designated field options--but in addition to slapping in keywords, you can use the same Library of Congress Subject Headings that work in the Library catalog (see above under "Subject Searches").  This broad approach to searching tends to generate large retrievals, so it's best to be as specific as possible.  And note--once you have a retrieval set, you can add more search terms by clicking "Modify Search" at the top.

      Academic Search Premier  Comprehensive subject coverage with considerable full text.  Note that there is a “Subject Terms” link just above the search boxes, allowing you to search the index of Subject Headings--often a good first stop for more efficient Subject searching whereby you are guaranteed that your topic is indeed a main subject of the articles retrieved.
     A good initial strategy in this database is to search a likely topic in the Subject Terms and when you find it “explode” the term by double clicking it--this brings up a list of related Subject terms.  You can check as many terms as you like before "adding" them to your search by AND-ing or OR-ing them together.  Exploding "Aesthetics" brings up a long list or related Subject Headings that may prove useful.

     SocINDEX with Full Text : As the name implies, an excellent database for social issues. Click on the "Subject Terms" link above the search slots to find which Subject Headings will work here—for instance “Aesthetics” or “Beauty” (“beauty” here and in many databases refers primarily to personal beauty). Double click any Heading for a list of broader, narower, and related Subject Terms.

     ATLA religion database with ATLASerials : Our religion and theology database, where you will find many articles discussing the moral and spiritual ramifications of aesthetics.

     PsycINFO : The American Psychological Association use their own Subject vocabulary (called "Descriptors"), so a visit to the "Thesaurus" below the search slots is a good idea. There are many articles here on the psychology of “Aesthetics” and “Aesthetic Preferences.”

     : Surprisingly, this database is less helpful than those listed above on the topic of “Aesthetics.” But if you are interested in a particular art aesthetic—baroque or minimalist, for example—it could be useful. Also see the Subject “Taste (Aesthetics).”

     MLA International Bibliography  provides the most complete and fully indexed coverage of articles and books on modern literatures, linguistics, folklore, rhetoric, and composition from 1925 to the present. There is ample full text provided by ProQuest, as well as links to full-text articles in JSTOR and Project Muse. Full text from other IC databases is also readily available via the "GetIt" links below article citations.
     Because books, book chapters/essays, and dissertations will usually not be available full text, you may wish to limit your search to "Journal article" under "Source type."
     "Author's Work" and "Author as Subject" will be especially helpful search fields at finding literary criticism. And for additional search field options either click on "Show more fields," or, for the complete list, open the drop-down menus to the right of the "Anywhere" default for the top three rows of search slots. This list includes both "Literary Influence"--who influenced a particular author you have entered--and "Literary Source"--who was influenced by that particular author.
     If you set up a free "My Research" account with Proquest (top right), you can save all the articles you check, all the searches you want to remember, and set up e-mail or RSS notification for any new articles that match your search terms.

Where's the Full Text for This Article??

     Few databases offer 100% full text.  Most retrieve a mix of full text articles and article "citations"--article title, author(s), publication info, and usually an "abstract" or one-prargraph summary of the content.  When a citation makes you want the full text, look below it for this icon: 
     Clicking "GETIT" checks (almost all) the IC Library's other databases to see if any offers the full text of the article--or if the Library has a print subscription to the journal in which the article appeared. 
  • "GETIT" will usually find the full text in another database and open it in a new window.  
  • If none of our databases can access the full text but we have a print subsciption to the journal, "GETIT" will retrieve the Library catalog record for the journal so that you can see if the date of the article falls within the date range we have on hand.
  • If full text is not available from any database or from a print subsciption, "GETIT" will provide a link to the IC Library's Interlibrary Loan.  Log in (same as your IC e-mail)--and set up your account if you've never used it before.  "GETIT" will have populated the article request form with all the necessary information and you simply submit the request elecrtonically.  Most articles are supplied as digital files and will be sent to you via e-mail when they arrive.

Contact Us

picture of Lisabeth Chabot

Lisabeth Chabot

College Librarian
(607) 274-3182

Search Argos

And Don't Just Take My Word for It . . .

See Jennifer Strickland's Subject Guide for Art

Web Resources

Web Directories

     Web Directories differ from search engines like Google in that all the online resources have been selected and annotated by editors, thereby promising a much higher degree of quality control. 

Selected Web Sites

Aesthetics Online: from the American Society for Aesthetics.  Check the "Articles" and "Teaching Resources" links on the left and also "Aesthetics Web Sites," which is a good gateway to other online resources.

Contemporary Aesthetics: an online journal from the Rhode Island School of Design. Click “The Journal” on the left to access the archive of full text articles.

British Society of Aesthetics: Go to "Postgraduate," then "Postgraduate Journal of Aesthetics Online" and look at both the current and archived issues--all available full text.

Voice of the Shuttle: Contemporary & Modern Art : Links

Voice of the Shuttle: Art History : Links

Web Search Engines

Google Advanced Search: When doing research on the Web, always use the Adanced Search version of Google. This not only provides more flexibility in entering search terms, but more importantly it allows you to target the Web domains that are likely to provide the most authoritative information.
   Under "Need More Tools?" you will find the "Search within a site or domain" slot. You may enter only one domain at a time, but it's worth targeting each of the three domains likely to supply the best information: colleges and universities (enter the "edu" tag), nonprofit organizations (enter the "org" tag), and the United States government (enter the "gov" tag). 

Citation Help

MLA Citation

MLA is the citation style used by most disciplines in the Humanities. Here is my guide to the latest (2016) update of the MLA style.