How to do research in Museum Studies

Library Resources for researchers working in museology and related topic areas.


Topic-specific keywords will help improve your results in a general multidisciplinary database like Google, Google Scholar, HOLLIS, or Academic Search Premier.

Add keywords like these to your search:

  • Broader subject - museum management, art objects, collections, user research
  • Narrower focus - repatriation, fundraising, exhibits, social media
  • Names of people, movements, historical periods, or objects - George Grosz, Impressionism, Enlightenment, Shelburne museum, Little Dancer 


The best tool for your project may be a specialized search engine, also known as a database. These databases are subject-specific or format-specific search tools:

Social Sciences Premium Collection (via HarvardKey) will search various disciplines in the social sciences, for museum studies topics within education, anthropology, sociology, and more. (If you need a subject-specific database rather than a cross-disciplinary database, the MUSE E-102 Research Guide recommends databases by subject.)

Business Premium Collection (via HarvardKey) is one of the best databases for business related topics, including management, marketing, economics, and more. 


Dig Deeper

The MUSE E-102 Research Guide provides a helpful overview of library research for museum studies, including how to find books near you, a list of museum organizations, and recommended databases for specific topics within museum studies.



Mary Frances Angelini and Jonathan Paulo, library liaisons for Harvard Extension School, are available to support researchers through Zoom consultations or email.
Museums at Harvard is a helpful web page that organizes and highlights the various museums at Harvard University.

Service Alert:
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Talk to a librarian for advice on defining your topic, developing your research strategy, and locating and using sources. Make an appointment now.

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