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The first place to look when beginning research on a topic is in reference material: specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias or handbooks.

These allow you to check or find:

  • Names
  • Dates 
  • Places
  • Additional information
  • Unknown terms
  • Proper spelling

They are particularly helpful for finding basic background information on a topic, and are often the only place many students may need to look to find answers to their questions. They may include bibliographies (lists of additional materials on a topic, usually considered by the author to be the best materials on that topic or at least the material that author used) that you can use to find other materials. 


If you're interested in printmaking, you may also be interested in our subject guides on Book Arts and on Type and Type Founding.

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Call numbers are for the Greenfield Library unless otherwise indicated.
For an overview of the history of printmaking:


Reference Materials


Graphic Arts Manual. New York: Arno Press, 1980. 

REF 686.20202 G767 1980
Directed toward graphic arts rather than fine art prints, nevertheless a thorough manual that may be useful.







Pocket Pal: A Graphic Arts Production Handbook.

Memphis, TN: International Paper, 1992. 
REF 686.2028 P751 1992
Directed toward graphic arts rather than fine arts but a classic title, very useful.








Turner, Jane. The Dictionary of Art. New York: Grove, 1996.
REF 703 D561t Vol. 25, pp. 596-633.


Check the index for more specific entries. See also separate entries for woodcut, wood-engraving, collagraph, aquatint, broadside, etching, drypoint, etc., and under names of countries. The index for this title is quite deep; check through it carefully.


The HarperCollins Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques.

New York, NY: HarperPerennial, 1992.

Ralph Mayer and Steven Sheehan 

REF 751 M45h 1992
A good basic dictionary of all kinds of art terms. Definitions are longer than most other dictionaries.





Looking at Prints, Drawings, and Watercolours : A Guide to Technical Terms

London: British Museum Press ; Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2006.

Paul Goldman 
REF 760.03 G569L

Concise definitions of terminology of process and materials used in printmaking, including digital printmaking.




The Encyclopedia of Printmaking Techniques.

Philadelphia: Running Press, 1993.

Judy Martin

REF 760.28 M346e
Step-by-step printmaking processes and tools; lots of photographs.



Circulating Books


Health Hazards Manual for Artists. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2008.

Michael McCann

702.8 M126h 2008    









How to Identify Prints : A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Ink Jet.

Bamber Gascoigne

New York: Thames and Hudson, 2004.
769.17 G211h
Considered by some experts to be the best source on how to identify prints.











Oxford Art Online

From library.uarts.edu click Reference Sources under Online Resources//

Grove Art Online
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms
Encyclopedia of Aesthetics
The Oxford Companion to Western Art 

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