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Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong Baptist University Library

Visual Arts Subject Guide: Find materials

Finding Background Information

 Finding background information

When you are new to a topic, library-subscribed reference sources can help you define key terms and gain a general understanding. These are similar to Wikipedia, except that they are more authoritative. You can use such sources in your assignments with confidence.

Here are some reference sources that are relevant to the Visual Arts.

Journal articles

 Journal articles databases

Journals are serial publications where scholars and practitioners share the latest results of their work. Listed below are a selection of journals subscribed by the Library. For issues that are in print format only, you need to go to the Library to retrieve them from the shelves. 


 Finding art books in the Library

Apart from looking for books in OneSearch, an important method of discovery for artists is browsing the shelves. This will help you find useful titles that you may not have even thought of looking for!

Use these class numbers for visual arts books to help you browse:

LC Classification ( New Books in English or Chinese Language )

Class number Subject
N Visual Arts
NB Sculpture

Drawing, Design, Illustration,

Commercial Arts, Graphics

ND Painting
NE Print Media

Decorative Arts, Applied Arts,

Decoration and Ornament

NX Arts in General
TR Photography


English books

Class number Subject
069 Museology
700 Arts: Philosophy and theory
730 Sculpture
738 Ceramic arts
740 Drawing
741.5 Cartoons, comics
741.6 Textile arts
748 Glass art
750 Painting
760 Graphic arts
770 Photography


Chinese books

Lai system CLC system Subject
069 G26 Museology
477.8 J524.5 Book design
900 J0, J1 Arts: philosophy and theory
903 J-4 Art education
909 J110.9, J120.9 Art history
930 J3 Sculpture
940 J2, J29 Painting and calligraphy
948 J213 Watercolor, oil painting
949 J11 Western art
950 J4 Photography
962 TS88 Lettering
964 J51 Graphic design