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David Owsley Museum of Art, Ball State University: David Owsley Museum of Art Subject Guide

Resources for researching works of art in the collections of the David Owsley Museum of Art, Ball State University

Visit the Museum of Art


Admission to the David Owsley Museum of Art is free and open to the public year-round. Regular hours are:


  • Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday–Sunday, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

The Museum of Art is closed on most university holidays, and open during school breaks.


See the university calendar for more details.  The program and tour list may be found here.


To orient yourself when you visit, be sure to pick-up a map of the galleries.  


And visit us online 24/7!

Reading a DOMA Label

Check out the explanation here:  


Welcome to the David Owsley Museum of Art Subject Guide, available from the Bracken Library Quick Links page, and also here at  Bookmark it today for easy reference later.  

The David Owsley Museum of Art is an important resource accessible to all students and researchers. Our mission is to cultivate lifelong learning and recreation in the visual arts through our collection of original works of art, engaging exhibitions, and educational programs for the university community and other diverse audiences.

Review the Museum of Art Subject Guide for what you need, and make suggestions for improving the resource for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1.   Can I take pictures for my research?

Yes, you can take pictures, however you will be asked to sign a waiver.  Please visit the guard at the front desk to learn more.

2.   How do I cite a work of art in my paper?

There are many styles for citing a work of art and other material used for a research paper.  The examples below are recommended when no suggestion is provided. 

Work of art 

Artist, Title, material, date made, museum, city, state, day viewed.

Example: Family Group, oil on canvas, about 1640-1650, David Owsley Museum of Art, Muncie, IN, January 1, 2000.

Reproduction of a work of art 

Artist’s name, Title of work of art. In name of book, by author, page number. City published: Publisher, year.

Example: Krasner, Lee. Right Bird Left. In Lee Krasner: A Biography, by Gail Levin, Color insert. New York: William Morrow of Harper Collins Publishers, 2011. 

3.   How do I cite an object label or other related information in my paper?

Signage, thematic boards, and label information in the Museum of Art are called didactic information.  To any of them, since Chicago Manual of Style does not currently make a specific recommendation, you may use the following format:


Title, Format of information (wall text, object label, gallery guide, etc.), Gallery Name, Number or Exhibition Title, Museum Name, City, State.

Example: “Family Group,” Object label, Balcony, David Owsley Museum of Art, Muncie, Indiana


4. How should I cite the David Owsley Museum of Art website?

In addition to various text-based pages on the website, databases of the collection are available in Search the Collection and may be cited similarly. 


Author(s), “Title of document,” (date of visit).

Example: David Owsley Museum of Art, “Exhibitions,” (29 July 2011).

5.   How do I locate David Owsley Museum of Art images?

You can use DIDO.  DIDO, or Digital Images Delivered Online, is an ongoing project to provide high quality images of the 11,000 artworks in the David Owsley Museum of Art's collection in a searchable database. There are now approximately 1,000 images available. As the project continues additional images from the museum's collection, covering a range of six continents and 5,000 years of culture, will be added.  To use the images and incorporate them into your projects, right click to copy, and then paste it where you need it.

Clicking below will take you to the DIDO project search page and indicates your understanding of the Terms and Conditions. Information regarding the publication of images in the museum collection can be found at Rights and Reproductions. 

If you do not find the high quality image you need, request it from the Museum of Art at

6.   I don't understand everything on the label.  How do I learn how read one properly?

See "Reading a DOMA Label" to the left.  Or check out the explanation here:  David Owsley Museum of Art labels begin typically with the title, followed by the date.  When the artist's name is known his or her name will appear followed by the nationality, and birth (and death dates) if applicable.  Interpretation about the importance of the work of art and/or artist will usually also follow.  The last remaining information includes how it entered the collection, followed by the accession number.

7.   What's an accession number?

The accession number is a finding number in a museum's inventory.  At the David Owsley Museum of Art, the first four numbers refer to the year it entered the collection, followed by a unique identiying number for the donor, and the order in which it was given by the donor.  For example, 2007.012.003, tells us it was given in 2007 by donor #12, and it was the 3rd one that year.  Note: A donor receives a different identifying number every year they give.

8.   How do I use the OneSearch function available through Bracken Library, especially if I want to find information related to a work of art in museums such as the David Owsley Museum of Art collection?

An overview of OneSearch is available in the Subject Guide section available from the University Libraries and can be found here or To find works of art related to your subject, use the "Advanced Search" function available near the search box. If you know the artist's name, it is best to use the "Written/Created by" search box. You can also add the general word "museum." Then go to the "Content Type" section and select "Image" to narrow your options.




Contact the Museum

Welcome to the David Owsley Museum of Art Subject Guide. The purpose is to provide students, researchers, and scholars access to information about the Museum of Art and its collection.

For your research questions 24/7, email:

We will respond as quickly as possible.

General inquiries may be directed to or

(765) 285-5242.

Quick Links

For Museum of Art images, search the David Owsley Museum of Art Collection on the Digital Media Repository.  Email to request one, if it is not available.
For Museum of Art database, see options at  
For full text of 420 scholarly journals, including a number of art titles, see  JSTORNote: Archives journals back to first issues, but does not include most recent 3-5 years or more for most titles.
For artist photographs, journals, interviews, etc., search the Archives of American Art.
For books, search CardCat.
For articles, search Art Full Text.
For videos, search CardCat--Advaced Search with "DVD Videos" selected in the "Format" drop-down menu.
For other images, search the Art History Images collection in the DMR (Digital Media Repository) or the Art Museum Image Gallery.

Writing Help

Ball State University Learning Center

Ball State University Writing Center

EndNote Subject Guide

Style Manuals

For the Chicago Manual of Style Q&A online

For Modern Languages Association (MLA) Style online

For the American Psychological Association (APA) Style online

For Associated Press (AP) Style online