Guide to Essay Writing - Bibliography


4.0 Bibliography

  • 4.1 Bibliography
    This should contain a list of the works you have read in the preparation your essay (except for, say,, general encyclopaedia which you might have consulted as background - unless you have used a particular article from a specialist work such as the Encyclopedia of World Art).
    A bibliography should be set out in alphabetical order at the end of your essay. If it is long and complicated, it can be useful to arrange it in different sections, e.g., primary material (that written in the period under discussion), secondary material (later texts).
    It is often hopeful, however, when listing primary material, to do so chronologically. In this way, one can show, for example the evolution of the interpretation of a particular artist's works. There are, of course, many other ways of breaking up the bibliography. Do not however separate articles from books. Probably the simplest organisation is alphabetical.
    If you list several works by an author, or authors, these should be listed chronologically.
    Forms of references
    The material and form of bibliographic references are the same as those for footnote/endnote references, with one exception: since the listing is alphabetical, the surname of the author should precede his/her given name or initials. Always use the name as it is given on the title page - in full.
    If you have consulted a book which has been edited more than once, make sure that you have indicated the number and date of the edition, since different editions may have changes in page numbering.
    e.g. Smith, Bernard, Australian Painting, 2nd ed., Melbourne 1971
    Many works are published by an institution or collectively.
    e.g. The University of Sydney, Arts Faculty Handbook, Sydney, 1981 edition
  • 4.2 Useful Guide to special problems
    Style Manual, Canberra (several editions)
  • 4.3 Abbreviations
    Abbreviations in common use in bibliographes/notes (do not use in the body of the text):
    ch. = chapter
    ed. = editor, edited by, edition
    et al.= (Latin = et alii = and other authors)
    ff.= and the following pages (e.g. Smith, Australian Painting, 16ff.)
    n.d. = no date
    trans. = translated by
  • 4.4 References to works of art
    Since illustrations of works play a major role in our subject, you should master the conventions in using them. The following is standard modern practice.
    Whatever you do, be consistent.
    In the text underline or italicise the titlies of works - do not use quotation marks.
    e.g. Margaret Preston's Implement blue
    This is controversial. Museums now tend to drop all capitals except for the first word; most publishers capitalise the first word and first noun; it is rare today to find almost every word capitalised as in the nineteenth century image (see the Tom Roberts below).
    Always give the exact title. If in doubt consult the catalogue of the relevant museum in which the work is located, reputable exhibition catalogues, or the artist's catalogue raisonne (the complete works with full details of their history, their condition, their bibliography).
    If it is a very long title, you could shorten it after the first time you mention it in your text (e.g. Tom Roberts, Evening When the Quiet East Flushes Faint at the Sun's Last Look - henceforth referred to as Evening'), but tell your reader you are going to do so. Sometimes an artist will use a nondescript title (e.g.Landscape ), or will repeat the same title, so be careful to specify which work is meant, either by using a date, measurements or location
  • 4.5 List of illustrations and captions
    The form for paintings and sculpture is:
    Artist's full name
    Title (underline or italicise)
    Measurements (height by width)
    e.g. Frank Kupka, The First Step, c.1901-10. Oil on canvas, 81 x 127. The Museum of Modern Art, New York
    You could introduce the list of illustations by saying: 'All works are executed in oil on canvas unless otherwise stated. All measurements are in centimeters.' It is often helpful to indicate the source of your illustration, particularly if this is obscure.
    The form for buildings is:
    Name of building (not underlined)
    Location Date
    e.g. Thomas Rowe, Kelly's store (formerly Mechanics' Institute), Yass, 1869

Prof. Virginia Spate / 22.4.98
University of Syndey
Department of Art History and Theory
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