Visual Arts: Books

Browsing the Library shelves

Resources on a topic can often be found in the same area on the shelves [Image Source: UniSA Library]

Items on a similar topic can be found in the same area on the shelves by call number.



Here are some numbers that will help you to browse areas of interest:

700.1, 701 Art philosophy & theory  [European Graduate School, 'Jean Baudrillard lecturing at European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland', CC License: CC-by-SA 2.5 (, Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (]
730-736 Sculpture [Mitsuo Takeuchi. transfiguration 'link' XXIII. Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010. [Emily Orpin, 'Sculpture by the sea', CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (, Image Source: Flickr (]
738 Ceramics Kim Foale, 'Still Life'. [Veronica Foale, 'Still Life', CC Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]
739  Art metalwork, jewellery  [Simone Walsh, 'New handmade jewellery', CC Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]
741-743 Drawing, perspective [Scallop Holden, 'I can't stop drawing shapes', CC Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]
746 Textile arts [Georgie Sharp, 'Ink Spot', Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]


Elaine Miles, 'Reflections'. [Mimi_K, 'Reflections', CC License: CC BY-NC 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]

Painting and paintings 

[University of Adelaide, 'Open Day 2006 // Open Air Art: Artist @ work in the Adelaide Railway Station', CC License: CC BY 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]

Printmaking and prints 

[Jodi Green, 'rolling up', CC License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]



Photography, computer art, cinematography, videography

[Natalie Maguire, 'Photographer #02', Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]

Special Collection

Many art books have been placed in the Special Collection rather than on the open shelves in the Main collection, for a variety of reasons:

  • rare
  • valuable
  • limited editions
  • fragile
  • may be considered offensive

Kept on Level 2 of the Jeffrey Smart Building they can be found in the catalogue with the location City West (Special Collection) with an SP  as part of the call number, e.g.

 How an item from the Special Collection might appear in the catalogue

UniSA staff and students can access items for 4 hour in Library use only for more information contact Ask the Library


Generally, books provide much more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of a topic than a webpage targeted at the layperson.

You might find it useful to look for books on:Search hints - keywords [Image source: UniSA Library]


  • New to an area? Begin with a general work to gain an overview, then read more specific works
  • As you read, take notes of areas that you can follow up in further searches, e.g. artists, publications, theories, events
  • Some artists may not have a whole book about them, but have had their work featured in various journals or exhibition catalogues

Library catalogue search tips

[Horia Varlan, 'Hardcover book gutter and pages', CC Licence: CC BY 2.0, Image source: Flickr

  • Use double quotes to narrow your results e.g. "theory of craft"
  • Search in Title or Author by changing the drop-down menu from All fields
  • Sort by Date(newest) to see the most recently published editions
  • Limit to Format by selecting Book

Common title? Add in some extra information, such as the author's surname, using basic search, for example: art history stokstad - limited by Book

Is it scholarly?