The Library’s card indexes are no longer heavily used and understandably, as they have not been updated since 1992. Nevertheless, if you aim to gather as much information on a specific artist as possible, it would be unwise to ignore the name index of artists located to the left rear of the space occupied by the photocopiers and online public access catalogues (OPACS).
Although the Aleph online catalogue should always be your first option, do remember that some of the library’s pre-1992 non English language material has yet to be added.
As an A-Z name index, it enables you not only to quickly locate the required artist, but also indicates whether the artist worked in more than one medium, and if so, where (approximately) on the shelves you might find a relevant book.
To summarise, you would not expect to find mention of Grayson Perry, Ai Wei Wei or Banksy in the name index but suppose you were researching the Dutch artist Anton Mauve (1838-1888). The Aleph catalogue gives you two references to exhibition catalogues but no reference to the book at D653 M by E.P. Engel. This demonstrates the value of searching both name index and online catalogue.
As a general rule, the more obscure the artist and the less written in English, the more likely the name index will help. For certain artists, only the name index will work, e.g. Jan Wouwerman (Dutch) or Boguslav Zivkovic.
Assistant Librarian (Cataloguing / Short Loans)