The Dictionary of Art Historians (DAH) is a privately funded and free to access bibliographical dictionary of historians of western art. It began in 1986 as a project (on notecards!) to index the historians cited in four major art history works. It was inputted electronically in 1996 and was migrated online in 2002. In early 2010, it became associated with the Duke University Department of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies.
Its mission is to compile documented facts about an art historian’s life to better understand specific texts. Compiling art historians mentioned in major art historiographies, can serve as a starting point for research. Inclusion in the dictionary is due to inclusion in the historiographies, and not the choice of the editors of the DAH. A bibliography is provided so users can look for source works.
The navigation bar at the top provides a link to the complete list of art historians as well as a list of recent entries and their status. There is also a search bar, provided through Google Search, so users can search a specific historian.
Though some entries will be more complete than others, a typical entry contains as much bibliographic information as possible (including, for example, birth date and place, home country, and death date and place). A biography is next, and is cross referenced to other art historians in the dictionary. Lastly, a bibliography of works is included.
Though very light on graphics, this is an excellent source to begin research into the scholars who have written about western art history. Learning about the historians behind the histories can be a daunting task, and this resource provides a unique and easy to navigate starting point.