History of Art

The history of art collection covers history, criticism, theory, and analysis of visual arts and culture. Particular collection strengths include the pre-twentieth century art and architecture of Islam, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. The collection also represents the art and architecture of antiquity, the early Christian world, and Byzantium; Romanesque and Gothic art of the medieval era; and the Renaissance, Baroque, early modern, and modern periods.

Our collecting practices have also expanded to include representation from people traditionally underrepresented and marginalized in art and visual culture studies, to facilitate the multidisciplinary study of art at the intersections of race, gender, social class, and technology. 

The collection aims to support the vast research needs of the History of Art department. Materials include books, exhibition catalogues, and publications issued by foreign and domestic museums and galleries. We collect in a variety of languages, particularly French, German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese. 

Important related collections 

Related collecting areas on campus include art and design and architecture.

The Fine Arts Library has its own special collections which includes folios, facsimiles, and other rare volumes.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey.


Deirdre Diane Spencer

Librarian for History of Art



University of Michigan Library

Our community

Privacy and copyright

Library Privacy Statement

Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. For details and exceptions, see the Library Copyright Policy.

Federal Depository Library Program

Have a question about this website? Contact the website team.

© 2021, Regents of the University of MichiganBuilt with the U-M Library Design SystemRelease notes