Reference books are usually encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, atlases, etc. They are intended to provide quick, reliable information, summaries of complex matters, and, very importantly, bibliographies--suggestions for futher reading.Some are in print; others online.
These reference materials are customarily written by experts in their fields, so they are more trustworthy than Wikipedia--all have gone through a process of editorial review. For an illustrated explanation, see the home page presentation, "What is a referred or scholarly article?"
The Dictionary of Art. New York: Grove’s Dictionaries, 1996. 34v. Ref N31.D5 1996. Also online.
Encyclopedia of World Art. New York, McGraw-Hill [1959-c1987]. 17v. Ref N31.E56
The Oxford Dictionary of Art Ref N33.O93 2004
The HarperCollins dictionary of art terms and techniques. Ref N33.M37 1991
Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Saur. München: Saur, 1992-2002. 33 v. N40. A63 1992
Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Paris: Gründ, 2006. 14v. Ref N40.D5213 2006
Dictionary of Women Artists. 2 vols. Ref N8354 .D53 1997
Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975. Ref N6536 .W56 1999 +
Who's Who in American Art. Ref N6536. W62
Who's Who in Art. Ref N40. B46 1999
The architecture student's handbook of professional practice. Ref NA1996 .A726 2009
A dictionary of architecture & landscape architecture Ref NA31.C864 2006
Encyclopedia of architecture: design, engineering & construction. Ref NA31.E59 1988
Encyclopedia of 20th century architecture. Ref NA680 .E495 2004
Encyclopedia of the vernacular architecture of the world. Ref NA208.E53 1997
The Oxford guide to classical mythology in the arts, 1300-1990's. Ref NX650.M9R45 1993
Brill's New Pauly : encyclopaedia of the ancient world. Ref DE5 .N4813 2002
The Oxford companion to classical civilization. Ref DE5 .O92 1998
Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. Red DE5 .S7 1867
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