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MFAST - Studio Art (Low-Residency MFA)

About this Guide

Here is a research guide for the Studio Art Low-Residency MFA (MFAST). Get in touch with Kathy Cowan (liaison librarian) with questions or to arrange in-person research consultation in the studio or the library.

Image from Amalgamations (2015) by Tori Christgen, MFAST Thesis

Catalog Search

Use the Decker Library catalog to find:

  • Books
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • Journal articles
  • and many other resources!

Basic Library and Citation Skills

Information Literacy (video)
This video on gives an excellent overview of the research process in an art and design context. Sections include: Types of Resources | Search Strategies | Resource Evaluation | Ethical Use of Information | Citation

Chicago-Style Citation

Interlibrary Loan during your MICA residency and at your home location during the year
Decker Library's Interlibrary Loan form is here | Allow up to 2 weeks for delivery of books & media

  • When you are off-campus, find a library in your area that provides Interlibrary Loan, as do most public libraries.
  • To identify resources on your topic, you can use: WorldCat | Google Scholar | Book and article bibliographies!

Evaluating Sources

Resource Evaluation (a section of the Information Literacy video) covers these topics in 20 minutes:
Beyond Google | The Web vs. Databases | Scholarly vs. Popular Publications | Criteria for Evaluating Information | Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Writing About Contemporary Art | Hardcopy or Online | Where to Find

  • Decker Library catalog includes books, circulating DVDs and streaming videos
  • Decker Library's subscription databases are a good starting point:
    • Art & Architecture Source -  Art writing back to 1929, much full text, scholarly and popular writing, eBooks
    • JSTOR - Journals from art and humanities journals and many other disciplines. All scholarly, all full text. Will not include the most recent 3-5 years.
    • National Newspapers - Includes New York Times, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun in full text, back to the late 20th century.
    • ... more here ...

Books on Art Writing

Book Delivery to Hurwitz Study Center

In Summer 2019, the Decker Library will provide a book delivery service to the Hurwitz Study Center.

  1. Patrons use the library catalog and put their requested items On Hold (watch video demo).
  2. Patrons fill out the Holds to Send to Hurwitz Study Center form to list the items they are requesting.
  3. Library staff pull the material and check it out to the patron. Material is pulled twice daily on Monday-Friday.
  4. Library staff package the materials, which are retrieved by MICA's Postal & Print staff.
  5. Postal & Print staff deliver the material at the Art Education Office along with the rest of the building’s daily deliveries.
  6. Items will be routed to the Hurwitz Study Center and placed on a shelf by patron's name for retrieval at their convenience.
  7. Items can be returned to the library at any time using the after-hours drop (this is preferred). Or items can be sent back via interoffice mail in an appropriate container which will be retrieved by Postal & Print staff and delivered to the library along with the rest of the department’s daily deliveries.
  8. Access Services staff will discharge the item(s) from the individual’s account.


Note: The patron is responsible for any lost or damaged materials, as is the case for all materials checked out from the Library.

Decker Library Hours

Decker Library at the Maryland Institute College of Art | Location: 1401 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217 | Mailing: 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave., Baltimore, MD 21217

Research Help: 410-225-2273 / | General Questions: 410-225-2272 /

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