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How to Research Works of Art on Paper: Provenance

Barbara Polowy, Fall 2015

Recent Sales: Online Documentation

Collected Records of Sales & Auctions

Individual Auction Houses
Online catalogs with full descriptions of objects to be auctioned, results including hammer prices for past auctions.


Historical Sales Information for Works on Paper

Smith's Auction Catalogs Collection

Smith's collection of auction catalogs is housed in the libraries' West Street Storage Facility. Records for the publications are not included inthe Five College Library Catalog, but Hillyer staff will page specific catalogs on request.

1920s-present; most dating from 1980s-2011

  • 10,000+ items
  • Sotheby's, U.S., Britain, international sales. Christie's, New York only
  • Modern and Contemporary, Old Masters, Photographs, Latin American, American Art, Antiquities and Islamic Art, 19th-century European/Impressionist, Old Master Drawings, Prints

Indexes to Sales & Sales Catalogs

Provenance Research Guide

Collecting & Provenance Research Tools

Collection & Provenance Research, Getty Research Institute provides links to a variety of tools including:

Collectors' Marks

More Collecting & Provenance

Use these subject headings to find more in the Five College Library Catalog and other library catalogs:

  • Art -- Provenance
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Collectors' marks
  • [museum name] -- Catalogs
  • [collector's name] --Art collection