Artist and Composer Resources for Intro to Fine Arts (Hennig)
Use the catalog to search for books about a person
How do you find books about an artist or author?  Follow these steps.
  1. Go to the MLC catalog, or use the "Search for Books" box on the MLC Library website.
  2. Enter the name of the artist or composer.  First name plus last name will be most accurate.  Be sure you spell it correctly!  Capitalization doesn't matter. 
  3. For this assignment, you probably don't want children's books.  Use the "Refine by: Collection" box on the left to select Adult.
  4. If you're writing about a composer, you probably want books about a composer, not music composed by him or her.  In the Refine by: Format" box, select Book.
  5. You probably want things about your artist or composer, not written by him or her, so in the "Refine by: Found in" box, choose Subject
  6. Unless you are fluent in another language, you'll probably want to read in English.  In the "Refine by: Language" box, choose English.
You now have narrowed your search to a more manageable and accurate list of the items you need.  On the left side of your screen, you'll see a box like this:

In some cases, we won't have a book that's just about a particular artist or composer, so your results may include books that have a section or chapter about your artist or composer.  Use the table of contents or index of the books to find the pages that have the information you need.

Be smart! Catalog searches aren't perfect. 
  • Try searching with different limiters, or without any, and see if anything else pops up that is relevant.
  • Try searching for just the last name, and see if any new results show up.
  • Try searching for the name of a painting or musical work, or an artistic or musical style (impressionism, baroque).

If you need help finding books in the library, ask any of the helpful people who work in the library.  When you find a book on the shelf, also look at the books to the right and left of it.  There may be other good books on the shelf that didn't show up in the catalog search.
Use Discovery to search for articles or ebooks about a person
How do you find articles or ebooks about an artist or author?  Though you may be able to find information with a Google search, through the library you also have access to much more information for your research.  Follow these steps to search Discovery to find information on your topic.
  1. Go to the MLC Catalog, or use the "Search for Electronic Resources: Discovery" on the MLC Library website.
  2. Enter the name of the artist or composer.  First name plus last name will be most accurate.  Be sure you spell it correctly! Capitalization doesn't matter.
  3. Discovery includes listings for books in our library, but you probably already checked for those.  In the Refine Results "Limit To" section on the left side of the page, click Full Text to search for digital resources only.  This will exclude paper books that are on the library shelves.
  4. Discovery includes many different types of digital resources.  You probably don't want audio files, reviews of books, etc. for your research.  Go to the "Limit by Resource Type" section and click "show more" at the bottom of the list, then select some or all of these choices:  Magazines, Academic Journals, Books, Biographies, eBooks.  (The distinction between books and ebooks is sometimes unique to the resource -- I suggest including both.)  You can select each type individually, or several at once, however it makes the most sense for you to do your searching.
  5. Since you are doing research on a person and not a broader subject, you will probably want to use the "Limit by Subject" refinement to select the name of the person you are researching.
  6. Unless you are fluent in another language, you'll probably want to set "Limit by Language" to English.
  7. The other limiters are optional.  If you know you're looking for something from a specific publication, content provider, or publisher, go ahead and use those limiters.
By limiting your results to the types of information you need, you'll have a more manageable set of information to look at.

Once you have your list of results, you can start looking at them.  
  • Click on a title to find out more about the article or book.
  • Look for something that says "Full Text" in order to get the content you need.
If you don't find what you need, or you still have too much, try a different search.  Maybe you can add the title of the work or composition along with the author/composer name.  Maybe you can add the word "composer" or "artist" to help narrow things down.  Think of what it is that will make your search unique and get you the results you need.

If you need help with your search or with accessing any information, please ask our helpful library staff.

Additional Sources: Digital
Quick Links
  • MLC Library Website: Information about the library and its resources.
  • MLC Help Site:  Help with passwords, Moodle, and more.
  • DiscoveryOne-stop source for digital library resources. 
  • MLC Catalog: Books in the MLC Library.
  • TdS CatalogArea public libraries--request items for pickup at MLC, usually in 3-5 days.  
  • MNLINK: Minnesota libraries--Request items for pickup at MLC, usually in 5-10 days.
  • ILL (interlibrary loan): Items that you can't find in MLC, TdS, or MNLINK, usually arrive in 1-3 weeks.

By Subject

By Topic

By Course

Library Staff
Library Phone Number:  507-233-9131

Jan NassJan Nass
Databases, Magazines and Journals, Reserves, Website


Liz WesselLiz Wessel
Curriculum Library, Makerspace, Checkouts, Fines and Bills, Lost Items


Grace BasesGrace Bases
Catalog Records, Call Numbers, Interlibrary Loan


Linda KramerLinda Kramer
Library Director, Selecting Materials, Research Help, Reference, Children's Literature