Database – Dictionary of Art and Dictionary of Music and Musicians

Just as the names imply these databases contain information about art, artists, music and musicians.  They are designed for middle school students and up. We have had these databases since 2003.

New Portals to Music and Art Databases

Oxford University Press (OUP) has launched two new portals that will take users into expanded and enhanced versions of its art and music databases, including the Dictionary of Music and Musicians, The Dictionary of Art and Encyclopedia of Popular Music.  On our A-Z list we are still calling them Dictionary of Art and Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  Name changes are very difficult to deal with as patrons and staff learn the names and have problems remembering the new names so we are sticking to the old names for now.

 Dictionary of Music and Musicians integrates online music resources. A number of changes have been made, including:

  • New structure – now groups together all Grove articles on a single subject (e.g. Mozart or Paris) under one search result. The first article linked to by a search result is now the primary Grove Music Online article on the subject and is subject to a regular updating and revision program.
  • Improved search functionality – has grounded the new search in authority files and taxonomies developed by the Grove editorial team and tailored to research in music. Both browsing and searching can now be limited by a subject classification.
  • More frequent updates – is increasing the number of major updates to three per year.
  • New partnerships – three new partnerships will offer subscribers links to both Grove and each of the new partner sites. (We currently don’t subscribe).

Dictionary of Art
Oxford Art Online is the new gateway for the redesigned Grove Art Online. Through Oxford Art Online, users will now be able to cross search and browse a suite of art reference publications simultaneously with Grove Art Online. In addition to upgraded site functionality and a new graphic design, other new features include:

  • The ability to search and browse for Grove images and image links in a single place. Users will find more than 5,000 images available from OUP’s new image partners – the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Art Images for Collection Teaching (AICT) and the Artists Rights Society.
  • Help for students and educators through the new Tools and Resources feature, including lesson plans from MoMA, new thematic guides on major topics in art history and new timelines of world art.
  • More than 85 new and updated articles with death dates for distinguished contemporary artists, along with expanded articles on important artists, architects and collections based on new research.
  • Provide links to websites for external images which is pretty cool.

Tip: Highlighting of search terms can be turned off just by clicking the “Highlight on/off” link up at the top of the page.

Wow Factor: Both provide timelines. The Art database provides beautiful photos as well as an in-depth timeline by continent. Access to it is easy to from the Timeline link in the right hand column of the home page. The Dictionary of Music timeline is a little hard to locate – it’s under “Learning Resources”. Once there you will find several timelines including Women in Music and Contemporary Music.

 Disappointed:  What is disappointing is the lack of audio samples.  In order to get audio samples we would need subscriptions to Classical Music Online or the Database of Recorded Music (DRAM). Direct links from Grove articles to those sites would be provided, allowing readers to access relevant sound recordings available through these two outstanding resources.

 Usage Statistics: This is one of the original databases we purchased when the Virtual Library started.  It is interesting to see the usage growth of these two databases:

2004-05            2007-08

Art             744 visits            3,914 visits

Music        594 visits            3,645 visits


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