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Folk, Outsider & Self-Taught Art: Databases & Articles

This guide was designed to help begin research in the area of Folk Art, Outsider Art and Self-Taught Art including Southern Folk Art


ARTSTOR is an image database to which the USC Upstate Library subscribes.  ARTSTOR describes its database as "...a nonprofit digital image library with more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences."  You can search for images by title, creator, and keyword and can limit your search in a number of ways.  If you register on ARTSTOR (which is free to the USC Upstate community) and agree to the conditions of use, you may save groups of images and download images to PowerPoint.   For each image in ARTSTOR, information about the image is provided.  ARTSTOR also allows the user to zoom in on the images, in order to examine them more carefully.

Two collections on ARTSTOR that include American folk, self-taught and outsider art are the American Folk Art Museum Collection and the American Art Museum Collection.  You may search by Collection and choose one of these and then browse.  Or, you may search ARTSTOR by the name of the artists you are interested in.

Enter the requested information including a valid email address and password (please use only letters and numbers in your password). The email address you enter will be the username for your account and a place for ARTSTOR to send your password to if you forget it.

Once you have registered for an account, you can access the ARTSTOR Digital Library remotely from any computer connected to the internet. You will need to log in to your registered user account at your subscribing institution once every 120 days to maintain your remote access to 

Once you have registered for an account, you can access the ARTSTOR Digital Library remotely from any computer connected to the internet. You will need to log in to your registered user account at your subscribing institution once every 120 days to maintain your remote access to 

Getty Search Gateway

The Getty Search Gateway allows users to search across several of the Getty repositories, including collections databases, library catalogs, collection inventories, and archival finding aids.

This tool is designed to help researchers, scholars, and educators discover the variety of resources available across the Getty's collections, which include collections in each the four programs: the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, and the Getty Research Institute. Users can use the tool to browse our collections broadly, by type of resource (i.e., paintings, books, archives), or to search directly for assets related to very specific subjects—historical periods, artists, object types, etc.

While users can search some of these collections individually using online search engines associated with the specific repository, Getty Search Gateway brings records from several of these databases together under one umbrella. Most of these repositories are not searchable through the Getty website's search tool, and some are only searchable here through Getty Search Gateway.

J. Paul Getty Museum Collection Database

Records for objects in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, which includes Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities; European paintings, drawings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century; medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts; and photographs from the 19th century to the present.

Getty Research Institute Research Library Catalog

Records for over one million volumes of books, periodicals, and auction catalogs, as well as substantial special collections of rare books, prints and drawings, photographs and optical devices, and archives and manuscripts. The literature of art history, the methods and materials of artistic production, and conservation are core areas of the holdings in classical antiquities, medieval and Renaissance art, sculpture and the decorative arts, prints and drawings, and photography.

Getty Research Institute Collections Inventories and Finding Aids

These records are detailed guides to the contents of selected rare and unique materials from the 15th century to the present. Find records for rare books, single prints and drawings in albums and collections, rare photographs, manuscripts and archives, optical devices, and 20th-century multiples and videos.

Getty Research Institute Digital Collections

Find selected digitized materials from the Research Institute's collection that are free to view and download. Materials include over 2.5 million digital images of rare and public domain books, photographs, prints, manuscripts, sketchbooks, and archives.

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Getty Search Gateway vs. Website Search

The Getty Search Gateway tool is not the same as the search tool that is available on most pages of the website. This search box on only searches Web pages on the Getty website, and includes just a small portion of all resources in the Getty's collections and databases.

web page search tool

This search box on every page of does not search all of the records in the Getty's various repositories.


Browsing with Getty Search Gateway

From Getty Search Gateway Home you can choose to browse resources by source of repository or type of resource. On the results page, a set of filters on the left side of the page can be used to further refine the results.

Getty Search Gateway filters

Use filters on the left of the Search Results screen to refine and browse your results.

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