Scholarly Texts from Institutions



An emphasis of Resource Library, a publication of Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO), is making available to its online readers scholarly texts beneficial for the study of representational art in the United States covering numerous topics and artists throughout the nation's history. For a list of Resource Library's published authors and a count of their articles and essays please see the Author Study and Index.


Why is this publication valuable to the public?

Comprehensive source

Resource Library is the most comprehensive online source of information on American representational art. It is of value to scholars, teachers, students, individuals Shaping an Art Collection and the general public worldwide.


Access to information

Few libraries hold numerous scholarly texts related to American art. Resource Library readers from all corners of America and the world have access to extensive texts and images provided by many institutional and private sources. Click here to view an estimate of TFAO's total quantity of image and text files. Some text files contain many thousands of words.
TFAO is unaware of any other online source of information within its field of interest that provides indexes with the depth of those found on TFAO's website. TFAO indexes articles and essays in up to five ways. Readers may access thousands of texts published online in Resource Library via Topics in American Art, a TFAO catalogue which lists all articles and essays. Topics also explains how to research topics not listed. Texts are also listed by source in the Art Museum, Gallery and Art Center Index, the Author Study and Index, which lists articles and essays by author name, and the Chronological Index, which lists articles and essays by date of publication. Also, if a Resource Library text discusses deceased American artists, it may be referenced in America's Distinguished Artists, a TFAO catalogue.
All content in Resource Library is accessible by search engines, sharply reducing time needed to find relevant information when compared to other methods.
Privacy of users is important to TFAO. User tracking cookies are not installed by TFAO on its website. A benefit of avoiding cookies is accelerated page access. TFAO users access pages very quickly, often within a fraction of a second. There is no time lost to cookie site communication. The high quality of servers used by TFAO also accelerates page access.
Resource Library's "word-wrap" method of online content presentation allows widths of lines of text to automatically adjust to fit all screen sizes. Pages to be easily read on all devices that connect to the Web including smartphones and tablets. (left and right: the Apple iPhone and iPad, which contain Web browsers, are examples of devices that provides access to the full contents of TFAO's web site. Images courtesy Apple Computer)

Aid for the handicapped

Visual impaired individuals can easily increase the size of Resource Library texts they are reading.

Freedom from economic constraints

Since Resource Library does not bear the cost burden of printing and distributing articles and essays on paper, complete texts can be economically published online instead of condensations imposed by some magazines. Also, there is no charge to readers.

Information on authors

For each article or essay attributable to a named author, Resource Library welcomes a 100-150 word narrative biography of the author to enable readers to become familiar with the author's education and accomplishments. This knowledge helps readers judge scholarship quality and provides stimulation for seeking out more of an author's works.

Information on catalogues

Where applicable, accompanying each essay Resource Library welcomes a 100-150 word description of the catalogue containing the essay, a photo of the front cover of the catalogue, plus guidance to readers on where to purchase the catalogue.

Multimedia connectivity

In Resource Library editor's notes following many articles and essays are links to earlier articles and essays published in Resource Library related to the subject of the texts. Also, links are made to appropriate Topics in American Art, which contain links to Resource Library texts, online texts from sources outside of Resource Library, online audio and video materials, plus references to DVD videos and paper-printed books and magazine articles. Links are also provided to America's Distinguished Artists to enable readers to access further biographical information on artists referenced in the articles and essays.

Offline reading convenience

Some individuals prefer to print on paper texts for later reading. Other individuals find uncomfortable the reading of lengthy texts on a computer screen. For these reasons Resource Library's method of online presentation makes possible the option of printing online contents on paper.


One of the features of Resource Library's method of presentation is that every published page can be easily translated to a variety of languages through simple online instructions.

Other Issues being addressed

Please see more on issues regarding scholarly texts being addressed by Resource Library.


Why is this publication valuable to the institutional copyright holder?


Fulfillment of Mission

Texts from museums published online in Resource Library advance the fulfillment of the education element of mission statements.

Increased visibility and stimulus for sale of paper-printed catalogues

TFAO's website is among the world's most visited sites devoted to American art. Resource Library increases visibility of copyright holders' texts, guides viewers to copyright owners' websites and provides stimulus for physical site visitation plus additional catalogue sales -- at no cost to the owners of the texts -- to a large audience. Sources and source documents are thoroughly identified and credited. Complimentary links are provided to copyright holders' websites and appropriate phone numbers are provided.
Texts are usually unaccompanied by images and related captions to encourage libraries and the public to purchase publications from the institution's store and other distribution channels. Members of the public who want images accompanying texts are generally those seeking to purchase coffee table books. Online texts without images, however, are valuable to students and scholars conducting research -- and who are less likely to purchase books.[1]
To stimulate sales, many university presses and commercial publishers including Abbeville have made available on their websites online essays from art-related titles. In addition, numerous publishers have cooperated with Amazon and Google Books to allow online access to texts in their books. In the case of art books, often these texts are Introductions.
Michael Lesk, a professor at Rutgers University, provides related insight into consumer purchasing behavior. He says: "The National Academy Press has, for a few years, been putting all their new books on the Web for free access, and providing the complete text of each book. To the surprise of many, the result has been an increase in their print sales. Similarly the Brookings Institute has put 100 of its books online free, and the paper sales of those books have doubled. This result is perhaps similar to the experience of record companies, which found years ago that having their records played free on the radio increased disk sales."
Please see these texts published online by Resource Library as examples:


No charges to sources

Resource Library does not charge for publication of articles and essays. Choice of content is not influenced by gifts or sponsorships. Also, Resource Library does not accept advertising.

Protection of copyright

Texts are usually republished from paper-printed exhibition catalogues and gallery brochures. Approval is given by the owner of a text for one-time republishing -- with no dilution of the owner's copyright. Resource Library dissuades individuals from copyright infringement and plagiarism in its User Agreement page. TFAO encourages students to thoroughly learn about plagiarism and encourages teachers to explain the meaning of plagiarism, how it may occur, the harm it causes and the legal penalties for its practice. TFAO discusses plagiarism and copyright infringement in the General Resources section of its Resources for Collectors, Life Long Learners, Students and Teachers of Art History. For each essay or article by a named author, Resource Library posts with the text information describing its source of permission. This permission information informs readers that the text is not owned by Resource Library and provides a cue to contact the copyright holder for permission to further use the text.

Protection from unauthorized editing and posting

Unlike Wikipedia and similar open-editing websites, texts published in Resource Library cannot be edited or directly posted by the public. To provide oversight of source authenticity, Resource Library's editor has personally approved all content for publication since Resource Library's inception. Material changes to content provided by a named author are not made without permission of the author. For further information please see errors and omissions, acquisition and deselection of content for the TFAO Digital Library and digitizing initiatives.

Next steps


For next steps, please see information on guidelines for submitting materials. Also please see Resource Library's complete content presentation guidelines.


Additional options


Resource Library also suggests that institutions consider:



1. Although image captions are usually not included, captions for images included in paper-printed books may be appended to an essay at the request of the copyright holder, following a mutually agreed upon methodology. Also, as stated in Resource Library's Content Presentation Guidelines "In order to preserve the integrity of the original essay text, figure or catalogue image number references within the essay text are preserved. Examples are '...Western paintings (Cat. No. 4)' and '...classes at the Ferrer Center (figs. 23-27)'". 

If an institution is in a position to grant to Resource Library permission for inclusion of agreed upon images of art objects with online texts, and wishes this done, the request may be accommodated. Since some images in the possession of an institution may be held for the sole purpose of providing publicity for an exhibition or other restricted use, extra caution is in order to protect the usage licenses granted by copyright holders of images.

Go to:


Search Resource Library

Copyright 2015 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.