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March 2003 Web News
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Favorite Web Sites: Fine Arts

The web sites featured this month have been critically evaluated and selected by the IU Northwest librarians as well as a group of academic and public librarians across the United States who compile a yearly Best Free Reference Web Sites List  for the American Library Association. Here is a list of selection criteria initially created by the MARS Best Free Websites Task Force to choose these sites. The Library hopes our readers will find these web sites useful for locating reliable, accurate and authoritative information on the Internet. John Malyon, the creator of Artcyclopedia, says that he wants this site to become "the definitive and most effective guide to museum-quality fine art on the Internet." It is certainly true that a lot has been accomplished in the short amount of time since this website first went online in February 1999. The number of entries has steadily grown to 80,000 works by 7000 different artists on 700 leading arts sites. The criterion for inclusion in the Artcyclopedia is that the artist must be included in an arts museum collection somewhere in the world. The site's best search is by artist, but the user can also search for artworks, art museums, or browse by movement or medium. An artist search brings up links to online museums, image archives and articles about the artist. There are the ubiquitous links to and to purchase related merchandise, but otherwise the site is mercifully banner-free and the author pledges to keep it that way.(Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee) Great Buildings Online provides a wealth of information on many of the most famous buildings in the world. It includes photographs and architectural details for each building as well as links to information on the architects and a bibliography. The site enables users to view three-dimensional models of many of the buildings after downloading free viewing software. This is a commercial website and so many of the bibliographical entries link to items for sale by either Amazon or Artifice, but there is still a great deal of basic building information to be accessed here for free. The entire site is searchable by either simple or advanced methods and is easy to navigate. (Summary used by permission of the MARS Best Free Websites Committee)   AskART contains detailed information on nearly 28,000 American artists. Artist information can be accessed through a well-placed search box and an alphabetically arranged artist index. Artist entries include a biography, number of museums holding their artwork, a bibliography of books and periodicals about the artist and an image gallery of the artist's works. The image gallery features superb color reproductions of paintings, sculpture and other art mediums. In addition to artist data, the web site also provides directories on museums, dealers, auction houses, professional organizations and an art glossary. Furthermore, it arranges specific periods of art into categories of interest such as Impressionists Pre 1940 and the Hudson River School. Although AskART does offer fee-based services through optional registered membership, the contents on the site's main page (e.g. artist and museum information) is free. Since AskART primarily focuses on American art and artists, it is a nice companion to  Artcyclopedia.

NetLibrary E-Books Now Available Through IUCAT

The IU Libraries recently signed a contract with NetLibrary to acquire e-books for all the Indiana University campus libraries. Accessible through IUCAT,the online book catalog, the collection current contains nearly 800 titles on a wide assortment of topics. Approximately 400 of these electronic books are Cliff's Notes.

This collection is available on or off campus to all IU Northwest students, faculty and staff with a Valid IU Northwest e-mail account.

  1. To access this e-book collection, go to the IU Northwest Electronic Information Page and click the Connect to IUCAT link.
  2. At the main menu, type the keyword netlibrary in the Search box and click the Keyword Anywhere button. NOTE: E-book titles will be identified as Electronic Resource in the IUCAT title results list.
  3. After selecting a specific title, click the Display button to view the e-book record. To read the full-text, click on the the NetLibrary web link.
  4. Before reading the e-book with Adobe Acrobat(r) Reader, users must register with a unique user id and password and provide their first and last name, country (the default is the United States) and their IU Northwest e-mail address.
  5. These electronic books can checked out for 2 hours as well as printed out. For more information on how to access and use NetLibrary, visit

, Library News Web Editor