artstor – St. Thomas Libraries Blog
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Art, Database Highlights & Trials, Services

Featured Librarian: Kate Burke

It’s time for the third in our Featured Librarian series!

This week I spoke to Kate Burke, a reference and student experience librarian at the St Paul campus.   You’ll see her in a wide variety of classes as well as heading up many of the fun activities that happen around the libraries.  Here is what she had to say:

  1. What departments are you a liaison for?kate
    I am responsible for Art History, Philosophy, Air Force ROTC, Mathematics, Physics, Geography, and Geographic Information Systems and Computer and Information Sciences.
  2. What resource – in your topic area – do you think is the coolest?
    I love ARTstor
  3. What’s one cool thing that resource can do?
    ARTstor can be used by all students to help them create awesome presentation using fabulous artwork

Getting to know Kate…

  • What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
    Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Chocolate Chip.
  • Who is your favorite author?
    I love Jane Austen and Sue Grafton.
  • Do you prefer the Minnesota Twins or the St Paul Saints?
    As a native St. Paulite, I am going with the Saints.
  • Is there something random about you that you’d like us to know?
    I make a wicked Angel Food cake.  There is no box involved.  It is completely homemade.  All my children ask me to make it for their birthdays.

Kate may be contacted by email, or by phone at (651) 962-5027.  See more information about her on the library website.

News & Events

May Day Images from ARTstor

AMICO_SAN_FRANCISCO_103844510[1]May Day has many different meanings for people all over the world.  It started as a spring festival to celebrate the warmer weather.  Now May Day is identified with labor rights.  Here are a few images from Artstor that reflect the festival nature of the day.                                                                         SCALA_ARCHIVES_10310473914[1]

Database Highlights & Trials

Looking for paintings by Pieter Claesz?

Whenever you are looking for art, it’s easiest and fastest to search Summon for the artist’s name. Then you simply limit to painting or image (or art or drawing or photograph… you get my point).  Here’s how it works. From the library homepage, use the Summon tab to search your artist:


I chose Picasso cuz he’s one of my favorites.  Once you get the results, click MORE under CONTENT TYPE to limit to images.


Depending on the artist, you’ll have a lot of image  types to choose from.  Click as many as you like.

You might have to play with your pop-ups. If asked, permanently allow pop-ups from this provider.

You can even search by the title of a painting or photograph (or any type of work of art) if you’d like to get more specific.  These images are coming mostly from ArtSTOR, which you can search separately. If you search ArtSTOR directly you can create albums (after you sign in) and save images to albums.  You can also take ArtSTOR on the road with its mobile app.  You have to first create an account in ArtSTOR in order to use the mobile app.

We have a lot of really cool art resources.  For your one-stop shop on background information, you cannot go wrong with Oxford Art.  It’s very thorough and includes the once-famous Grove Dictionary of Art & Artists.  But Oxford Art is bigger than even Grove.  If it’s articles you have a hankerin’ for, a quick search in Art Full Text will get you what you need. I already told you about ArtSTOR.

If you’re not keen on using multiple tools, just stay in Summon for all of your information needs.  For example, if you want background info on an artist, choose REFERENCE as a content type. Reference is the same as dictionaries and encyclopedias.  In the case of art, you’ll find articles from Oxford Art by searching Summon and limiting CONTENT TYPE to REFERENCE. If it’s articles, stay in Summon and limit to SCHOLARLY JOURNALS INCLUDING PEER REVIEWED. And if you want images, well… I already covered that.

This all actually came about because a student was recently looking for works by Pieter Claesz.  There were 31 found in Summon.  All paintings.  Here’s one of  ’em.  When I limited to REFERENCE information, I found him mentioned in the “Encyclopedia of Death and the Human Experience” in an article called “Symbols of Death and Memento Mori.”




Database Highlights & Trials

Core Curriculum – Fine Arts

Art history! Music! Theater!  Now we’re talking my language, people!  This is where I shine </jazz hands>.  As a former art librarian, I am happy to tell you we have wonderful art resources here in the library, the greatest of which has to be ARTstor.  Simply the greatest collection of digital art images for museums and universities.  You can rotate the works, zoom in, crop, save, and/or download images  Admittedly, I’m a bit biased towards this project cuz I was involved in AMICO – the forerunner to ARTstor.  It has since merged with ARTstor.  Hence the love.  Also, it’s wicked awesome! Oxford Art  provides all of the text to accompany the images in ARTstor. It’s a HUGE encyclopedia (think of Wikipedia just for art) on all things art – from artists, works, movements, periods, techniques, and more.  More art resources. Art guides.

We have terrific music resources, my favorites being the streaming audio databases.  Literally hundreds of thousands of songs played directly to your computer.  So much fun. Look up genres, instruments, song titles, composers, etc.  My particular favorite is the Smithsonian Global Sound because I’m more interested in traditional and world music than classical.  But hey, that’s not to say the classical and jazz resources are shabby.  These are cool, too –  just not my bag.  But if it’s information about music you need, and not the actual music, then Oxford Music has got it covered. From world to jazz and classical to folk, this is a one-stop shop for background information on all things music.  Also, it’s fun to flip through.   More music resources. Music guides.

Theater.  Ahhh… all the world SHOULD be a stage.  In my previous humanities-based core curriculum entries I’ve given Blackwell Reference a big shoutout.  Gonna do it again here people!  It’s huge for theater.  If you’re the type who likes to watch their theater instead of read it (first, bless you.  There’s little that compares to the experience of live theater.  Secondly, I hope you support local theater), be sure to check out VAST and Films on Demand for wonderful adaptations of your favorite (or required) plays.  Maybe you’re a Dr. Who or Harry Potter fan.  Well I’m happy to report that we’ve got David Tennant’s turn as Hamlet from the Royal Shakespeare Theater’s production.  This is quality stuff!  If you need theater criticism or background, Literature Criticism Online and Literature Resource Center have got you covered.  More theater resources.