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Art, Design and Architecture Theory

An introduction to library resources and learning skills support for students studying histories and theories of art, design or architecture.

Browsing and Searching for Theory

The Monash libraries use the Dewey Decimal Classification scheme to organise books and journals. A call number is printed on a sticker, attached to the book's spine. It classifies an item by subject. They are used so resources on the same topic are grouped together on the shelf, which makes it easier to browse materials in the same subject area. A call number shows you the exact position of the item within the Library - each shelf has a range of numbers listed on it.

Browse the following call numbers in the Caulfield Library:

  • 069 Museology, museum science
  • 111.85 Aesthetics
  • 126 The self
  • 142 Critical theory (philosophy)
  • 149.97 Postmodernism (philosophy)
  • 190 Philosophy (modern western)
  • 302.2 Semiotics
  • 305.42 Feminism
  • 325.3 Postcolonial discourse
  • 700.415 Symbolism (art)
  • 701 Philosophy and theory (art)
  • 701.17 Aesthetics (art)
  • 701.18 Criticism and appreciation (writing about art)
  • 702.8 Fine and decorative arts (techniques, procedures, equipment)

  • 703 Dictionaries, encyclopedias (art)
  • 704 Fine and decorative arts (special topics eg. iconography)
  • 706 Fine and decorative arts (organizations and management)
  • 707 Fine and decorative arts (education and research)
  • 708 Fine and decorative arts (galleries, museums and private collections)
  • 709 Fine and decorative arts (periods of development eg. impressionism)
  • 750 Painting and paintings
  • 752 Color (colour)
  • 753 Symbolism, allegory, mythology (art)
  • 759 Painting, historical, geographic, persons
  • 770 Photography

The Caulfield Library holds many catalogues of Australian and International artists' exhibitions. Search the library for an artist's name and the word exhibitions, e.g. Mueck exhibitions

Or, Search for the artist's name as a phrase, e.g. "Ron Mueck" (make sure to include the "quotation marks")


You can also search for art history books and articles on particular topics.

To find items by subject :

  1. Go to Advanced Search on the Library website
  2. Change the drop down box from 'Any field' to 'Subject'

Some example subjects you could try searching for:

  • Architectural criticism
  • Art appreciation
  • Art critics
  • Art criticism - authorship
  • Art criticism - history
  • Art philosophy
  • Art terminology
  • Writing and art