Skip to main content
“Brandeis

Guide to using Artstor at Brandeis

This guide was originally created in September 2006 by Deborah Vincelli at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who graciously offered to share it with Brandeis University. It has been altered by Darwin Scott & Lisa Zeidenberg to fit Brandeis community needs

Browsing Artstor

From the Artstor Welcome Page, you can Browse or Search collections.

Browse by Collection:

To browse a collection, choose from the collection categories listed under the Browse menu on the upper left of the Artstor home page. You can select a collection from the list under each category. Click on a collection to browse images.

About the Collection:

The Artstor Digital Library features a wide range of multidisciplinary content from some of the world’s top museums, artists, libraries, scholars, and photo archives, including rare collections not accessible anywhere else. New contributions are added regularly..

Browse across Multiple Collections:

For Artstor Digital Library collections, you can also switch browsing mode to browse across collections by Classification or Geography. For example, you could browse by Photographs: subdivision Indonesia, or conversely, browse by Indonesia: subdivision Photographs. (The Humanities and Social Sciences classification relates to material culture objects and the like. The Maps, Chart and Graphs classification is a good one to remember for historical geography.)

More on browsing Artstor (from the Artstor Support site)

Searching Artstor

You can search Artstor using keywords or advanced features.

Keyword Search:

The following is excerpted from Artstor supporti:

  • On the home page of the Digital Library, the keyword search box is located in the top center of the page. On a search results page, the keyword search box is located found near the top center.
  • Enter your keyword(s) in the search box and click enter on your keyboard, or click the magnifying glass.

Please note: Keyword Search will return results that include all of your search terms, so there is no need to include “and” between terms.

  • Use the filters on the left panel to further refine your search by collection type, classification, geographic location, or dates, when applicable.
  • Further refine your search replacing the keyword(s) in the search box with new words or phrases, and selecting Search within results.

You can search across all collections or select a specific collection from the pull-down menu.

  • A keyword search allows you to search for words or phrases that appear anywhere in Artstor's object record (Title, Creator, Description, etc.).
  • AND is the default Boolean operator, e.g. A keyword search on Monet poplars will return image records that have both of these words somewhere in the record.
  • OR searches are available in the Advanced Search but can also be used in Keyword Search. (When in doubt, use the Boolean operators provided in the Advanced Search.)
  • Use Quotation Marks to search for a phrase, e.g. “Camera degli sposi”.

Wildcard & Truncation Symbols:

  • Use the asterisk to truncate a word. It will look for zero, one, or several characters, e.g. wom*n will return records with the term woman or women. Brueg*l will return records with Brueghel or Bruegel.
  • Ital* will return records with Italia, Italy, Italian, Italianate, etc.
  • The underscore (_) can represent any one character, e.g. m_net will match “monet”, “manet”, etc.

More on searching Artstor (from the Artstor Support site)

Advanced Searching

Advanced Search:

The following is excerpted from the Artstor support site:

  • Enter a search term in the first search box (or leave keywords blank)
  • Use the drop-down menu to the right of this field to specify the scope of your search: in any field, Title, Creator, Location, Repository, Subject, Material, Style or Period, Work Type, Culture, Description, Technique, Number, SSID, Repository ID or SSID.
  • Use the drop-down menu at the beginning of the second row to select a Boolean operator (AND/OR/NOT).
  • Enter another search term in the field provided.
  • Click Add Query to add additional keyword fields. You can add up to ten queries for each search.

In this interface, you can narrow your search to a collection type, object classification or geographic area (continents and countries).

You can narrow your search by date or a date range.

Using the drop-down menus in the top left of the Advanced Search interface, you can search for terms in any field of the object record, or exclusively in the title, creator or any other specified field. Choose Boolean operators (AND/OR/NOT) from the drop-down menus to the left of the search boxes.

You can enter multiple words in each search box. As in the Basic Search, AND is the default Boolean operator.

Sample Searches:

  • Search for Watteau as Creator and Judgment of Paris as Title.
  • Search for Bodhisattvas silk in any field. Select the Dunhuang Research Academy collection.
  • Search for: “Birth of the Virgin” as Title
  • Ghirlandaio as Creator “Scala archives” in any field
  • Search for: Mantegna “ovetari chapel” in any field date range: 1445-1450 limit by Geography: Italy

More on searching Artstor (from the Artstor Support site)