Resource Library: Overview



Resource Library is an online publication of Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO), a non-profit organization supported solely by donations. Provided to the public without charge, Resource Library is devoted to American representational art. Please see How Resource Library differs from paper-printed art publications. The TFAO Free Online Digital Library permanently archives Resource Library's published articles and essays.


What you will find

Resource Library includes aspects of both a scholarly journal and a magazine for broad readership. Maintaining a balance between both emphases, it offers an interconnected body of knowledge including:

The content time line spans the pre-Colonial period to the present and covers significant artistic achievement in every state in the United States.

Since 1997 Resource Library has published online over 1,350 articles, essays and scripts written by hundreds of acclaimed authors and playwrights, thousands of other texts, plus over 22,300 images, all providing educational and informational content of exceptional quality. Every day, thousands of individuals from all corners of the globe access the publication.

Texts and related images are provided almost exclusively by nonprofit art museums, galleries and art centers. The vast majority of published materials relate to museum exhibitions. Pages on services to institutions and scholarly text from private sources describe how the publication serves both the public and its sources of materials.

Many Resource Library articles and essays concerning exhibitions are accompanied by materials such as checklists, gallery guide texts, wall panel and extended label texts, audio tour scripts and in-house magazine articles. These materials are often not available online elsewhere, providing scholars, curators, teachers, students, collectors and other individuals a rich source of knowledge.

Texts and images from institutions have typically been sent to Resource Library by staff members including curators, executive directors and media relations personnel. Certain texts not attributed to an author -- which may include gallery guide texts, wall panel and labels texts -- plus audio tour scripts and checklists, have been usually written or compiled by exhibition curators. News releases have been usually written by media relations staff, who gather information from curators before composing the releases. See descriptive information on staff positions and definitions in TFAO's Museums Explained. Less frequently, news releases have been written by media relations firms retained by nonprofit organizations. Resource Library does not inject its own critique or opinions into published texts.

In late 2016 Resource Library ceased inviting institutions and individuals to submit materials for publication consideration in favor of concentration in gathering online information from other sources to place in Topics in American Art, a TFAO catalogue containing Resource Library articles and essays; in-depth links to other online texts, video and audio recordings; references to DVDs, paper-printed books, articles, and more. For more see Recent Developments and Future.


What you won't find

User-tracking cookies are not installed on our website. Privacy of users is important to us. Also, pages are loaded faster without cookies. We want you to view Resource Library content as quickly as possible. Resource Library contains no advertising and is 100% non-commercial.


How to find content

To access thousands of texts published online in Resource Library, please see 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, another TFAO catalogue.


More about Resource Library:

History and Timeline
Recent Developments and Future
Linking within pages
Readership information
Content presentation guidelines


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Copyright 2003-2018 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.