UndergraduateGraduateContinuing EducationSpecial ProgramsAbout SVAStudent LifeAttend SVASVA Alumni


Conducting Research

Research and Documentation
Online version of Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age by Diana Hacker.

How to Read a Citation
A visual description of the different components of a citation.

Citation Styles
Examples of different citation styles - Chicago, APA, MLA, Turabian and AMA.

Son of Citation Machine
Put in your information and out pops a citation in your choice of styles.


Writing Guides
How To Write A Term Paper
A guide to the whole process - choosing a topic, doing the research, and crafting a final result.

Writing About Art
A detailed online text on ways of describing and analyzing art.

Research Tools
Assignment Calculator
Plug in the date your paper is due and the steps you need to take to get it done on time are outlined.

Glossary of Library Terms
Clear definitions of library jargon.

Guide to Library Research
Brief and useful tutorials from Indiana University that cover such topics as Library Terms & Research ConceptsSelecting Search TermsEvaluation Information Sources and Writing & Citing.

Library Research Guide
Tutorials on topics such as Using the WebChoosing a Topic and Citing Sources.

A tutorial from the University of Western Michigan.

Finding Articles

A tutorial from Ohio State University on locating and evaluating articles from a variety of sources.

Primary & Secondary Sources
Descriptions and examples of both types of sources.

Comparing Magazines and Journals
A side-by-side listing of the traits of each.

Keyword vs. Subject Searching
A brief explanation of the differences between searching by keyword or subject.

Boolean Tutorial
Demonstrates how to effectively search using the words AND, OR and NOT.


Definitions for over 3,600 terms specific to art and visual culture.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary/Thesaurus
Find definitions, syonyms, antonyms, and more.

Visual Dictionary - Merriam-Webster
Browse or search for images as definitions.


Look up synonyms and antonyms from the authority, includes Roget's Theasaurus.

Visual Thesaurus
Browse related terms in a word cloud display.


Tales from the Public Domain: BOUND BY LAW 
An online comic book about copyright law basics.

Copyright Basics
The Artists Rights Society's guide to copyright for artists.

U.S. Copyright Office
Find information about copyright law from the source, register your work online, and more.

Copyright & Fair Use - Stanford
An extensive guide to copyright and fair use practices and law.


The Plagiarism Court: You Be the Judge
A plagiarism avoidance tutorial from Fairfield University.

Avoiding Plagiarism
A detailed guide on what does and does not constitute plagiarism, help on deciding when to give credit and determining common knowledge, plus exercises.

Plagiarism Quiz
Test your knowledge of what is and is not plagiarism - from Empire State College.

SVA's Academic Policy Handbook (for Plagiarism, see page 8)

Reference And Instruction Services

Reference Desk
A professional librarian is available at the reference desk:

Monday - Thursday 10am - 8pm
Friday 9 am - 6 pm
Saturday 2 pm - 5 pm
Sunday 2 pm - 6 pm

Location: 380 Second Ave (corner of 22nd St) on the Second floor.

If you need research assistance and no one is at the reference desk, please ask for help at the circulation desk.
Tours and Class Instruction
At the beginning of each semester, the library offers general tours, open to all students. As part of the library instruction program, all students in introductory history of art, design, photography, and interior design classes participate in a comprehensive class session in the library that emphasizes basic research methods. Faculty members who wish to bring in their classes for specialized tours, which highlight either a subject area or specific kinds of sources, should contact the head of reference services to set up an appointment.

METRO Passes
The library is a member of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) and can issue METRO referral cards. A METRO card is a librarian-to-librarian referral that allows a patron to gain limited access to collections that are usually closed to the public. In order for the library to refer a patron to another non-public library, the desired item must be unavailable from the Visual Arts Library or from any branch or research center of the New York Public Library. Some area libraries will only allow METRO card entry for a specific item, while others will allow subject-area access. Speak to the head of reference services regarding METRO referrals. 

The Visual Arts Library offers interlibrary loan and document delivery (via METRO). Some restrictions apply. Please read and fill out the ILL form completely and contact a reference librarian for processing of your request.


For assistance with research or using library services, contact a reference librarian via Ask a Librarian.

Website Evaluation

Evaluating Websites

Evaluating Web Content

Hoax? Scholarly Research? Personal Opinion? You Decide!
Great and fun exercises to learn how to evaluate websites for accuracy and objectivity.

Blog Feed

  • Thursday, August 20, 2015

    West Side Library Space Coming Soon!

    The SVA Library will soon be opening a satellite space on the lower level of 133 West 21st Street, down the hall from Moe’s Cafe. The space will feature displays of periodicals, new books, DVDs...

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587