About Resource Library


Resource Library is a free online publication of Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO), a non-profit organization supported solely by donations. 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 methods and styles of artistic expression, changing cultural emphases over time, history of art museums, galleries and art centers, academies, associations and ateliers, art colonies, clubs and societies and other relevant information.

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 and its predecessor Resource Library Magazine have cumulatively published online over 1,350 articles and essays written by hundreds of identified authors, thousands of other texts not attributable to named authors, plus 24,000 images, all providing educational and informational content related to American representational art.

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.

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. Our pages are loaded blazingly fast. 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.


Overall trustworthiness and reliability

Trustworthiness and reliability of online publications are in the eye of the beholder, although there are indicators to help readers make informed judgments.  Here are some questions to consider, with related commentary about Resource Library:

-- How long has the publication been in existence?  Content published in Resource Library and its predecessor Resource Library Magazine has accumulated online since 1997.  This duration has allowed critics a long span of time to gauge the quality of content and overall quality of the publication.
-- What is the seasoning period of each published item? Articles and essays published by Resource Library are accompanied by publication dates in the Chronological Index. The longer the length of time between an item's publication date and today's date, the longer the public has to assay and challenge the quality of the material. Generally speaking, the longer the better.
-- Who can change publish and edit content? No one except TFAO is authorized to publish content on its website.
-- How many sources have contributed material to the publication? In the case of Resource Library see the Art Museum, Gallery and Art Center index and the Author Study and Index. In general, the more sources the better. Also, the more articles and essays connected to each source the better.
-- What are the credentials of sources? In the case of Resource Library, authors of articles and essays are accompanied by biographical information. For institutional sources, summary information about it is provided.
-- What mechanism exists for published material to be challenged for accuracy? TFAO, an archival publication, has a policy and procedure to address challenges about accuracy of published content.
-- What is the extent of criticism of the quality of the publication? Online searches can unearth egregious issues of reputation. Inquiries to sources of material cited in the publication can unearth issues regarding unauthorized use and inaccuracy. Resource Library encourages readers to contact sources when in doubt about accuracy or reliability of content.


Accuracy and reliability of texts with an identified author

Included with each published article or essay by a named author, Resource Library provides to readers information useful for judging accuracy and reliability of the content. Items include how to reach the named author and/or copyright holder, plus information about the grantor of permission to publish the content.


Accuracy and reliability of texts not attributed to an author

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 our 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. Included with each discrete article is information about the source of the material and how to reach that source for confirmation or further questions.


More about Resource Library:

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


(above:  Edmund Ashe, Hunter with Mule, c. 1920, oil on  masonite, 24 x 20 in. Johnson Collection, Spartanburg, South Carolina.  Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


How to find content on our site using search engines

Conduct keyword searches within our website and Resource Library, a collection of articles and essays honoring the American experience through its art, using the advanced search feature of these search engines:



Or, before entering keywords in a basic search, enter site:tfaoi.org

Also see Indexes and information retrieval for more information.


(above: J. P. Hazeltine, Editor of Resource Library and Founder, Traditional Fine Arts Organization. Photo 2024 by Tracey Hazeltine)


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Copyright 2024 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.