Art History: Find Books

Request a Book from the Library Catalog

If a print book is either checked out or not in the PSU Library collection, you can request the book from another library. Be sure to sign in to see your request options! 

request from other libraries option for book

Where are Art Books in the Library?

Browsing the library shelves by call number ranges is another strategy for locating information on a topic; call numbers can help you get to the "right neighborhood" in the library stacks.

Portland State University Library Catalog: Search the PSU Library Catalog for information about books, journals, videos, government documents, and other materials owned by the Library. You may search by keywords, author, title, or subject headings.


Browsing: One can search the library shelves by call number in order to locate information on a topic; call numbers can help get you to the "right neighborhood" in the library stacks. Most art materials which circulate (Location = "PSU Library Shelves") will be found in the "N's" on the 3rd floor. All Reference books (Location ="PSU Library Reference Collection") will be found on the 2nd floor. The "N's" can be subdivided as follows:


N Visual Arts. General
NA Architecture
NB Sculpture
NC Graphic arts: drawing, design, illustration
ND Painting
NE Print Media: printmaking, engraving, woodcuts, lithography, etc.
NK Decorative Arts. Applied Arts. Decoration and Ornament.
NX Arts in general, including works dealing with two or more arts (for example, the performing arts and the visual arts)


Photography (TR) and Crafts (TT) are located on the 5th floor.


Worldwide Art Catalog Collection


The Millar Library subscribes to a service that provides dozens of exhibition catalogs every year. Most of the catalogs are shelved under the general call number N405.W6. When you have searched the catalog and retrieved a book cataloged under this call number, you will know that it is an exhibition catalog. You need to write down the 5-digit number that appears at the end of the call number: for example, N405 .W6 no. 17569. Books with N405 .W6 call numbers are shelved on the third floor, in numerical order according to these final, 5-digit numbers. More recently published catalogs are shelved by the main subject of the exhibition such as a particular artist or artistic movement.

From the collection