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AHST 1104: Art of Asia (Covaci)


Museum Object Research Project

My name is Lisa Thornell and I am the librarian who will be helping you begin your research project in class today. You can use this course guide as a starting point for your research in our library research session and for the remainder of the semester. 

Research Librarians (like myself) are here to help you with your assignment so please contact us should you need any assistance. View all the ways to get help from a librarian (24/7 chat, research appointments, Zoom drop-in hours). Additional information about library hours, citation help, etc. is located on the library home page.

See your course Quip folder for the complete assignment information and the worksheet you will complete during the library session. In this assignment you will learn to combine your skills of visual analysis with using library resources to identify, research and answer a question raised by a work of art from a museum collection. You can find an image of your artwork and helpful information about it through one of the following links:


Getting Started

Now that you have selected your object:

  1. Review your library session prep worksheet that you completed prior to this class. Look at the keywords you want to explore the and questions that you have. You can add more keywords as your research progresses. Your questions might change once you start finding sources.
  2. Open the link to your museum object from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Yale Art Gallery or other museum. Check to see if there are links or citations to other sources. If your object is from the Met, there may be a link to the Heilbrunn Timeline, or Met Publications.
  3. Open up the Library Worksheet on Quip and start searching the links listed on the sheet. It is recommended that you complete the tasks on the sheet in order so that you start with finding background information from Oxford Art Online and the Met's Heilbrunn Timeline, then find books or ebooks about a topic/genre/region. After completing the Library worksheet, when you search for additional resources for your annotated bibliography this semester you can proceed with finding more focused information from scholarly journals on library databases such as JSTOR.
  4. Follow-up with your professor if you would like to use a website that is not listed on this course guide. Follow-up with a librarian if you would like further help finding or citing sources. Contact Lisa to schedule an appointment OR view all the other ways to get help from a librarian (24/7 chat, research appointments, Zoom drop-in hours)

Class Example

Buddha Offering Protection


Research questions:

  • what kind of Buddhism was practiced in Sri Lanka in the 10th century? how would the statue be used?
  • what is the Polonnaruva Period?
  • who might have owned or commissioned a statue like this?
  • what does “gilding” mean and what technique was used?
  • what is the meaning of “offering protection” in Buddhism?

Key words (found on the Met’s entry and audio segment):
Sri Lanka, Polonnaruva, gilding, Buddha / Buddhism, Theravada, abhaya mudra


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Research Librarians
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