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The library holds a variety of noted research and reference collections on microfilm and microfiche. The library’s collection includes large sets of auction sales and exhibition catalogs, personal papers, dissertations, and rare periodicals.

Most microform collections can be found by searching the online catalog; however, individual titles remain uncataloged. Please contact the reference librarian for assistance.

Collections of Note

Auction Catalog Resources

Auction catalogs in a number of microfilm and microfiche sets supplement the library’s print holdings.

Biblioteca Cicognara

This microfilm collection allows unprecedented access to treatises, books, and pamphlets from the Fondo Cicognara of the Vatican Library. Five thousand titles on the history of art, from antiquity to the 19th century, address the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, philosophy, and literature. Each work has received full-level cataloging and can be found in the online catalog.

The Fowler Collection of Early Architectural Books

This is an invaluable collection of 448 significant architectural books, including multiple editions of works by such renowned architects as Vitruvius, Leon Battista Alberti, Sebastiano Serlio, Andrea Palladio, Giacomo Barozzi Vignola, and Vincenzo Scamozzi. The microform set includes Laurence Hall Fowler’s collection, which was donated to the Johns Hopkins University in 1945, as well as 36 supplemental titles added to round out the collection. Fowler’s titles are arranged alphabetically.

History of Photography Microfilm Collection

The 489-reel History of Photography Microfilm Collection is a comprehensive collection covering the history, technology, and aesthetics of photography. The set includes published works by pioneers in the field, ranging from purely technical to theoretical. The core of the collection is drawn from the holdings of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House. It also encompasses materials from the extensive collections of other major libraries, including the New York Public Library and Columbia University’s Epstean Collection. The monographs and serials within History of Photography are cataloged and searchable in the online catalog.

Image Collections Microforms

The department of image collections has more than 150 titles in microform, including the Marburger Index and the Witt and Conway Libraries of the Courtauld Institute of Art. The collection encompasses historical surveys, architecture, painting, sculpture, decorative arts, illustration, design, and photography. The microforms are fully cataloged and searchable in the online catalog.

The Knoedler Library’s Auction Catalogues on Microfiche

Composed of more than 20,000 sales catalogs, the majority from the late 19th and 20th centuries, this microfiche set provides a valuable source of information on provenance and pricing, particularly because many of the sales catalogs were annotated by Knoedler staff. Newspaper accounts frequently accompany the catalogs.

Lugt’s Art Sales Catalogues, 1600‒1900

This microfiche collection is based on the famous art historical reference work by Frits Lugt, Répertoire des catalogues de ventes publiques intéressant l'art ou la curiosité. More than 28,000 sales catalogs are organized chronologically. A print guide is available as well as a subscription index, Lugt’s Répertoire Online, which is accessible on-site within the library.

Nineteenth Century Books on Art and Architecture

Nineteenth Century Books on Art and Architecture reissues more than 2,000 titles on microfiche. Microfilmed from the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum National Art Library, this collection documents the artistic movements that defined the century. Reference works, historical surveys, instruction books, trade catalogs, artist monographs, and works of criticism are reproduced. Richly illustrated books cover the fields of architecture, painting, illustration, design, and photography.  Individual titles have not received full cataloging; however, a subscription database indexing each title is available on-site from the database list.

Sotheby’s London Catalogues of Sales  

The 10,000 catalogs in this set record 250 years of transactions at the prestigious art auction house, divided into five chronological units covering the years 1734‒1980, each with a corresponding printed guide.