This paper was written for a class on Information Access in the Social Sciences while I was completing my Master's Degree in Library Science. I wrote it, not as an expert in the fields of archaeology, museology, or art, but as a librarian who is extremely interested in the topic. The idea for this paper came from two things, the novel Lord Elgin's Lady and my husband's long-standing love for and study of archaeology.
The entries are, for the most part, annotated and use of the sources mentioned will provide further information on the topic. This document is not definitive of the topic, and if someone has suggestions for further inclusions, please e-mail me.
Latest entries are indicated by a [New].
This paper was last updated on June 28, 2005 to change way it appears. This version allows you to view one section at a time. If you choose to print it, the entire document will print at one time.
View the Table of Contents
Archaeology -- Law and Legislation
Antiquities -- collection and preservation
Antiquities -- collection and preservation -- moral and ethical aspects
Art -- forgeries
Art -- protection
Classical antiquities thefts
Collectors and collecting
Cultural property - protection
Cultural property - protection - law and legislation
Cultural property - protection - law and legislation - criminal provisions
Cultural property - protection (International law)
Cultural property - repatriation
Forgery of antiquities
Law -- antiquities
Law and art
Chamberlin, Russel. Loot! The Heritage of Plunder. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1983.
This book is an attempt to give a shape to the pattern of antiquities theft. It begins with the case of the Elgin marbles and concludes with Hitler. As well as being a history of well-known cases of antiquities theft, it also puts each occurrence into the context of the time period in which it takes place. The last section of the book focuses on the third world and the emergence of the belief that antiquities establish a people's indentity and discusses restitution.
This book is considered the best work on the topic of antiquities theft and trade for the general reader. It attempts to provide comprehensive documentation of the destruction and theft of the artifacts of the past. Within it are several extensive appendixes which include the United States Antiquity Legislation, a list of major art thefts from 1911-1972, and many other pieces of pertinent information. An extensive 24-page bibliography is also included.
Middlemas, Keith. "Archaeological Theft." The Double Market: Art Theft and Art Thieves. Fanborough, Great Britain: Saxon House, C.C. Heath Limited, 1975.
This source is based upon information received from thieves, receivers, antique dealers, security agents, auction houses, private collectors, and journalists, as well as national police forces. It is indexed and makes use of cross-referencing. There is no bibliography, however, it contains some bibliographical material on a chapter-by-chapter basis.
Pal, H. Bhisham. The Plunder of Art. New Delhi: Abhinav Publications, 1992.
This source focuses on the plunder of Indian religious artifacts. It discusses the psychological aspects of antique collectors who use illegal means to add to their collections and the psychological impact on the culture that loses its artifacts. Preventive measures are also discussed. There are three appendices which include the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property" adopted by the UN in 1970, reprints from newspapers and periodicals, and a table illustrating the acceptance of the UN's convention by 65 states. The index is not cross-referenced and is very short. This source also contains many illustrations of artifacts that have been stolen and mutilated.
The World of Archaeology: The Pioneers Tell Their Own Story. Ed. Ceram, C.W. London: Thames and Hudson, 1966.
An anthology meant to give as complete a survey as possible of the adventurous spirit of archaeology. Extracts, taken directly from the writings of known archaeologists, were chosen on the basis of what was interesting, however, when combined, the extracts give a view of the whole scope of archaeological discovery. Its purpose is not to be comprehensive, but to provide an overview of the scope of archaeological research, showing both the misdirections and the systematic. Extracts pertinent to the study of antiquities theft are "How to Steal Antiquities" and "Legalized Art Robbery."
Bator, Paul M. The International Trade in Art. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983.
Convention on the Means of Prohibiting
and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership
of Cultural Property. UNESCO, 1970.
for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.
1954. (This has never been ratified by Congress.)
Meyer, Karl E. The Plundered Past. New York: Atheneum, 1973.
Recommendation for the Protection
of Movable Cultural Property. UNESCO, 1978.
Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects. Rome,
June 24, 1995.
Though the information on antiquities theft within these sources is not substantial, they are the only encyclopedias, that I found, that contain any information on the topic. None of the archaeological, antique, or art dictionaries contained a definition of antiquities theft. There were however definitions of antiquity and archaeology as would be expected in a dictionary. Handbooks also contained the expected definitions and explications on antiquity or archaeology but contained nothing on antiquities theft.
"What is Archaeology." Larousse Encyclopedia of Archaeology. New York: Putnam, 1972.
This encyclopedia was translated from the French by Anne Ward. The purpose of this encyclopedia is twofold: 1. To define the discipline by tracing the development and indicating the principle methods of research; and 2. To have specialists in the field describe archaeological conquest. It does not provide a complete picture of ancient civilizations. It does, in fact, pass over medieval cultures, Christian and Islamic cultures, Asia, and Europe. It is not a practical handbook for the beginner. The opening essay, however, devotes several pages to antiquities theft and forgery.
"What is Archaeology." The Concise Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Ed. Cottrell, Leonard. London: Hutchinson, 1970.
This book was compiled to help amateurs who want to know more about archaeology. Articles are written by acknowledged authorities in the field. Entries are cross-referenced taking the place of an index. There is also a classified list for the topics covered. It covers archaeology in China, Ceylon, Indonesia, India, and South America. Classical Greece and Rome and medieval Europe are excluded because they are adequately covered elsewhere. The referenced essay gives an overview of the history of archaeology and includes coverage of antiquities theft.
There are no bibliographies of bibliographies that pertain specifically to antiquities theft. There are bibliographies of bibliographies on the field of archaeology, but I felt they were too broad to be included here. There are also bibliographies of bibliographies on antiquities of specific countries, religions, and in relation to archaeology. Again, I felt they were too broad to be included here.
Bator, Paul M. The International Trade in Art. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1981.
This book was originally published as an essay in the January 1982 issue of the Stanford Law Review. It surveys the issues of ethics, policy, and law relevant to the international trade in antiquities and assesses the measure of control currently in force. The major focus of the introduction is to provide a definition of antiquities theft. This paper also contains extensive bibliographical footnotes.
Ethics and Values in Archaeology. Ed. Green, Ernestene L. New York: The Free Press, 1984.
A collection of essays written by experts in the field of archaeology discussing the conflicts and dilemmas that have developed in their field over the past 15 years. Individual essays contain brief author and page references which are then fully referenced in the alphabetical bibliography contained at the end of the volume. The cross-referenced index is an alphabetical arrangement of authors and subjects. The illicit traffic in antiquities is touched upon in each essay within this anthology, however, it is dealt with most directly in the essay "The International Traffic in Antiquities: Archaeological Ethics and the Archaeological Responsibility."
Barelli, John Joseph. On Understanding the Business of Art and Antique Theft: An Exploratory Study. Diss. Fordham University, 1986. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1986. 8615718.
Sociological and criminological theory are explored through interviews with known art thieves and through the study of statistical data compiled by the New Scotland Yard, Art and Antique Squad. This study focuses mainly on England and Ireland because the British Government has a specific police force dedicated to antiquities theft which the United States does not. A 20-page bibliography is included.
The Ethics of Collecting Cultural Property: Whose Culture? Whose Property? Ed. Messenger, Phyllis Mauch. Alburquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, 1989.
This book focuses on the ethical dilemmas surrounding ownership of artifacts that face archaeologists and society as a whole. The essays, written by acknowledged experts, are about issues relating to ownership and preservation of artifacts of past cultures. This book is meant to stimulate discussion and thought about what will determine "the future of the past."
Greenfield, Jeannette. The Return of Cultural Treasures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
This book makes a distinction between antiquities historically removed and those illicitly removed, and the need to determine what objects should be returned based upon the means of acquisition and the nature of the object itself. It contains an extensive bibliography broken down by legal cases, books and articles, by organization, other publications, and national legislation by country. A comprehensive cross-referenced index is also included.
Protecting the Past. Eds. Smith, George S. and Ehrenhard, John E. Boca Raton: CRC Press, 1991.
The purpose of this source is to "present some of the current and ongoing work regarding archaeological resource protection in a topically organized format." Essays are written by experts in the field of archaeology, law enforcement, law, politics, education, museology, and marketing. It is a book intended for a diverse audience. Each essay concludes with a list of sources which will contain anywhere from 3 to 25 references. The appendix includes "Archaeologic Site Protection Policy Statements" from the Society for American Archaeology, the Society of Professional Archaeologists, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the American Association of Museums. It also contains a very good cross-referenced index.
Index of Stolen Art. New York: International Foundation for Art Research, 1977-
This annual index provides a survey of missing art
Anthropological Literature: Index to Periodical Articles and Essays. Cambridge: Tozzer Library, Harvard University, 1989-
This index is published quarterly and provides international coverage of the journal literature. The fourth volume of each year contains a cumulative index. Citations are grouped into five categories: Archaeology, Biological/Physical Anthropology, Cultural/Social Anthropology, Linguistics, and Related Topics. It contains an author index, a subject index, and a list of journals indexed. The subject index is not cross referenced, however, it appears to provide comprehensive coverage of the articles indexed.
The Bibliography of the History of Art. Santa Monica: J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Art History Information Program, 1991-
This resource is indexed in both French and English and is international in orientation. It is a current bibliography that covers all art forms except film. It indexes books, journals, conference proceedings, festschrift, essays, catalogs, dissertations, and microform publications. There are three indices: author, journal, and subject, and each is cross-referenced. The citations are in their original language and are annotated. The classification plan is broken down by general works then further by country then by person. It indexes about 3000 titles.
Art Index. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1929-
This source is available on CD-ROM, online, and in paper form. As a Wilson publication, the journals chosen for inclusion are chosen by subscriber vote. It indexes both foreign and domestic periodicals and includes yearbooks and museum bulletins. It is a dictionary index. Book reviews are also included at the end of the publication. The CD-ROM version provides all of the same information as can be found in the paper version, but it is more easily accessed and provides information on illustrations. About 300 journals are included in this index and the material is current.
Criminal Justice Periodical Index. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1975-
This index is published three times a year and indexes over 100 United States, British, and Canadian journals. The third issue of each volume supplements and replaces the first two issues. Each issue also contains both an author and subject index. The subject index included both authored and unauthored articles interfiled alphabetically by key words. It is extensively cross referenced.
Abstracts in Anthropology. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1970-
This source abstracts several hundred periodicals in eight issues per year. It provides international coverage of archaeology, cultural and physical anthropology, and linguistics. A table of contents, showing the focus for each issue, is located on the back cover. Each issue contains a list of periodicals that are covered and both a subject and author index. The subject index is not cross referenced and does not provide comprehensive coverage. This bibliography is better accessed through the use of the table of contents and through browsing.
British Archaeological Abstracts. London: Council for British Archaeology, 1967-
This is a current bibliography providing comprehensive coverage of 350 British and Irish periodicals. Its scope encompasses archaeology from the palaeolithic to the present. Articles less than a half page in length are omitted. It also excludes articles on the topics of heraldry, industrial history unrelated to archaeology, and painting. The second issue of each volume contains both author and subject indexes and the indexes are cross referenced. The subject index uses a controlled vocabulary based upon the British Archaeological Thesaurus. This index enables specialists to discover what is happening in other fields.
Directory of Published Proceedings: Series SSH - Social Sciences/Humanities. Harrison, NY:InterDok, 1968-
This bibliography cites preprints and published proceedings of congresses, conferences, published proceedings of congresses, conferences, summer schools, symposia, meetings, and seminars held worldwide. It is published quarterly and the final volume contains cumulative indexes. Its primary arrangement is chronological by year. A list of publishers and their addresses is included along with an editor index, a location index, an acronym list, and a subject/sponsor index. It is best used by browsing through the subject/sponsor index.
Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts. Marina del Rey, California: The Getty Conservation Institute, 1966-
These abstracts are also available online through BCIN of the Conservation Information Network. This resource includes approximately 1,030 abstracts with a time lag of about one year. It covers technical information, investigations, analyses, restoration, preservation, and technical documentation of works of art having historic or artistic significance which it abstracts from articles, reports, news items, books, and other media. Titles are given in their original languages and then translated. The abstracts are written in English. It includes three appendices which include a list of contributors, an author index, and a source directory and index. This best use of this resource is through the table of contents to locate the area of interest and then browsing that area.
Tillotson, Robert G. Museum Security. Paris: International Council of Museums, 1977.
The book is written in both French and English and is based on the research conducted by the International Committee on Museum Security in 1976. Though mainly a book dealing with security measures, the chapter "Protection against theft and burglary" also gives a definition of antiquities theft and deals with the reasons behind such theft. The bibliography included at the end of the book "is not intended to be complete" and is instead indicative of the special sources of technical information. The bibliography is subdivided into nine areas and entries are abstracted. The section on "Art thefts, illegal trafficking, ethics of acquisition" is three and a half pages, and contains 16 entries.
The Politics of the Past. Eds. Gathercole, Peter and Lowenthal, David. London: Unwin Hyman Ltd., 1990.
This book is one of 20 volumes resulting from the World Archaeological Congress held at Southampton, England, in September 1986. Several unique case studies which illustrate the nature of political influences on archaeology are discussed in essays written by experts in the field. References to antiquities theft are scattered throughout the volume and must be located through the index. Citations are given at the end of each chapter and the book contains a very good cross-referenced index.
Relevancy, in this case, was based upon the name of the conference proceeding.
Art Crime: Protecting Art, Protecting Artists, and Protecting Consumers. Landmark Parkroyal, Sydney. December 2-3, 1999. Australian Institute of Criminology.
Discussed the nature of art fraud and heritage crime, raised awareness of the problem, and searched for better ways to maintain records of theft and loss.
4th International Symposium on Works of Art, Antiques, and Cultural Property. Lyons. October 5-7 , 1999. INTERPOL.
Forum for international police officers to discuss the protection and prevention of cultural property theft.
Art, Antiquity and the Law: Preserving Our Global Cultural Heritage. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, October 30 - November 1, 1998.
Addressed ownership, preservation, and the transfer of cultural property issues.
Workshop on the Protection of African Heritage. Amsterdam, 22-24 October 1997. Sponsored by ICOM.
Protecting Cultural Objects in the Global Information Society. Amsterdam, 27-28 May 1997. The Getty Information Institute.
Cultural Treasures Moved Because of the War: A Cultural Legacy of the Second World War Documentation and Research on Losses. Bremen, November 30 - December 2, 1994.
Conference included country reports of losses and recoveries, archival records, and the grey market. There is also a bibliography and a list of participants.
Symposium on Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology. San Francisco, 1992.
Davis, R. H. "Indian Art Objects as Loot." University of Texas South Asia Seminar. University of Texas: Texas, 1990.
Symposium on Small Bronze Sculpture from the Ancient World. Malibu, 1989.
52nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. On Plunders, Profiteers, and Public Archaeology: Practical Approaches to Preventing the Looting of Archaeological Sites and the Traffic of Antiquities. 1987.
Theft of Indian Artifacts from Archaeological Sites Oversite Hearing Before the Subcommittee on General Oversite and Investigations of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, One Hundredth Congress, First Session, on Theft of Indian Artifacts from Archaeological Sites, Hearing Held in Cortez, CO, October 19, 1987. United States. Congress. House.
Public Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management Congress. On Archaeological Heritage and Management in the Modern World. Southampton, Great Britain, 1986.
Museum Association Security Committee, Washington, DC, Art Theft Seminar, "FBI Stolen and Recovered Art File." June 1984.
National Conference on Museum Security. The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, February 1984.
Smithsonian Institution, Sixth National Conference On Museum Security. Washington, DC, February 1983.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Theft Seminar for FBI Agents. May 1983.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum Security and Art Theft Conference. May 1983.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum Security and Art Theft Conference. January 1982.
University of Minnesota, Museum Security Conference. April 1980.
University of Delaware, Art Theft Conference. 1978.
Cino, Conference. On La Confederation Internationale Des Negociants En Oeuvres D'art. Paris. March 1977.
Law and the Visual Arts Conference. Portland, Oregon, March 1974.
Without Context: The Newsletter of the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre.
Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, 1997-
Published twice a year, this newsletter reports on the detrimental effects of the illegal trade in antiquities on culture and heritage. Contents include news briefs, book reviews, editorials, and articles on such topics as the trade in Mesopotamian antiquities.
IFAR Reports. New York: International Foundation for Art Research, 1977-
This newsletter is published 10 times per year. It covers articles on art theft, authentication and fraud, as well as containing a stolen art alert. It also provides a catalog of art theft reports and recovery listings. It was formed by the merger of Art Research News and the Stolen Art Alert. It supersedes the Art Theft Archive Newsletter.
The remainder of the journals listed here are not browsable on a regular basis. However, when antiquities theft does occur, these are the journals most likely to contain pertinent information. The law journals included at the end are browsable on a fairly regular basis for topical information as trials about the ownership or the reparation of antiquities are of a fairly long duration and can result in the development of new laws.
Oxford University Press, 1927-
This journal reports on specialist work in archaeology. It is an academic or scholarly publication. It contains book reviews, bibliographies, and provides a cumulative index for every 50 issues. It is published quarterly. The online version of this journal contains a browsable index covering 1927 through 1996 (volumes 1-70).
New York: Archaeological Institute of America, 1948-
This journal is published bi-monthly. It contains articles, book reviews, newsbriefs, film reviews, exhibition schedule, and a section on further readings. It is indexed in the Expanded Academic Index, and Art and Archaeology Technological Abstracts.
Art, Antiquity and Law. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996-
This academic journal focuses specifically on the impact of law on heritage. Articles cover a wide variety of issues including, cross-border theft, title disputes, war loot, limitation periods, liability risks, and more. It is indexed in Legal Journals Index.
Art Documentation. Tucson: Art Libraries Society of North America, 1972-
This journal is published quarterly. Its mission is two-fold: 1. to report on the activities of the sponsoring body; and 2. to encourage discussions relating to the documentation of art. It is indexed in LISA, RILA, and other library literature.
ARTnews. New York: Artnews Associates, 1902-
This is a general interest art magazine which contains profiles of artists and surveys of gallery exhibits. It also covers international art news. It is indexed in the Expanded Academic Index, Artbibliographies Modern, and Art Literature International.
London: Umberto Allemandi & Co. Publishing, 1983-
A newspaper meant to bring art to the masses. It covers exhibits, conservation issues, archaeological issues, the art market, and of course cases of theft.
of Cultural Property. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998-
This scholarly journal covers cultural property policy, ethics, preservation, economics and law. This site provides the table of contents and abstracts beginning with Vol. 7, Issue 1 to the present. There are also selected full-text articles.
Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society. Washington, DC: Heldref Publications, 1969-
This is a refereed serial of a scholarly nature. It is a continuation of the Journal of Arts Management and Law.
Journal of Field Archaeology.
Boston: Boston University, Field Archaeology, 1974-
Printed quarterly, this journal publishes articles that deal with reports of field excavations and surveys the world over. It also provides coverage of studies of methodological and technical matters as well as scientific advances in archaeology and larger interpretive sites. It is a scholarly publication. The online version provides access to author and topical indices covering 1985-1997 (volumes 12-24). Articles and book reviews from this journal featuring information on the illicit trade in antiquities are indexed here.
National Law Journal. New
York: New York Law Publishing Co, 1978-
That this publication is titled as a journal is a misnomer. It is actually a weekly newspaper. It provides news and analyses of the latest trends and developments in all areas of the law. The online version requires a subscription fee to read the articles. However, a searchable database is available covering October 1994 to the present at URL: http://www.ljx.com/nljsearch.html
New York Law Journal. New
York: New York Law Publishing Co, 1888-
This daily newspaper covers trends in the law and decisions of statewide and national interest. It includes commentary by experts in the field. Again, this journal requires a subscription fee. A searchable database though is available at URL: http://www.ljx.com/nyljsearch.html
DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1970-
This monthly publication disseminates information on all aspects of the sciences, as well as history and the arts. The online version contains a searchable database from 1990 through the present and gives abstracts of the articles.
Spoils of War.
Germany: Coordination Office of the Federal States for the Return of Cultural
This newsletter was published as part of the effort to document and research the cultural losses that occurred in WWII as a result of Nazi appropriation.
Burnham, Bonnie. Art Theft: Its Scope, Its Impact, and Its Control. New York: International Foundation for Art Research, Inc., 1978.
This report resulted from a feasibility study done on the creation of a central art theft archive as a means of combating art theft. It is meant to be an analysis on whether a clearinghouse of information on stolen art objects would be an effective weapon against art theft, and an evaluation on the reception of such a clearinghouse by the law enforcement community as well as the art community. References are footnoted on a chapter-by-chapter basis and the full citations are included in a separate chapter. There are five appendices which include, art theft statistics, list of important worldwide art thefts: 1975-1977, museum surveys, art dealer surveys, and IFAR program information. There is no index.
Gorvy, Brett. "To Catch a Thief." Antique Collector (U.K.). 62(9):68-71, October 1991.
The motives behind art theft are examined by the author. The article includes statistics that show art theft is on the rise and notes the difficulty in recovering stolen art works and convicting the criminals. Preventing and combatting art theft is also discussed.
Many of the databases listed below are available on a subscription basis only. In most cases, those subscriptions are restricted to libraries and other research facilities and not individuals. Contact your local public and university libraries to see if they have these databases available. Also, many university and public libraries offer a fee-based research service where they will do the searching for you. In most cases, this is a cheaper, more efficient option.
Art Abstracts. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1984-
Online version of Art Index. It is available through OCLC's FirstSearch Service. It is international in scope and covers journals, yearbooks, bulletins, exhibition listings, and more. Abstracts are available from 1994 though the present.
DIALOG is a commercial fee-based database service. It is now accessible via the web at http://www.dialog.com/. However, in order to use their databases, you must first establish an account with them.
DIALOG File 56: ARTBibliographies Modern
This international database is produced by CSA and includes dates from 1974 to the present. It covers 500 journals, exhibition catalogs, exhibition reviews, dissertations, and books.
DIALOG File 435: Art Abstracts [New]
Bibliographic database providing international coverage of 300 periodicals, yearbooks, museum bulletins, and art reproductions. Abstracting began in 1994 and continues to the present, but indexing began in 1984.
DIALOG File 439: Art and Humanities Search
This database is current and covers journal articles, editorials, notes, and letters. Its coverage is international and article titles are given in both English and their original language. It is produced by the Institute for Scientific Information.
DIALOG File 39: Historical Abstracts
This source is produced by ABC-CLIO and is also available on CD-ROM. Its scope is 1450 to the present. It excludes information about the United States and Canada, which are covered in AMERICA: HISTORY and LIFE. It includes all branches of world history, related humanities and social sciences, and works such as bibliographies and historiographies. It abstracts books, about 2,100 journal articles, and dissertations from 90 countries.
DIALOG File 191: Art Literature International
This database provides international coverage of journal articles, books, chapters within books, yearbooks, newspapers, conference proceedings, and exhibition catalogs. Titles are given in English and their original language. Abstracts vary in lengthy and are written either by staff or the article author. This database is produced by The Paul Getty Trust -- RILA.
DIALOG File 190: The Bibliography of the History of Art [New]
This databases indexes and abstracts current periodicals in the history of art. It continues Dialog File 191. It is produced jointly by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Institute de l'Information Scientifique et Technique.
Infotrac is a set of searchable databases provided by Infotrac. It is a commercial product available through many academic libraries and through subscription.
Expanded Academic ASAP
This database is provided by Infotrack and includes coverage from 1980 to the present. It indexes and abstracts approximately 1,500 scholarly and general interest periodicals. All major fields of study are covered in the humanities. It also includes coverage of the social sciences and science and technology. Use the suggested subject headings to focus on articles on antiquities theft.
Sponsored by the International Sociological Association, it is the CD-ROM version of Sociological Abstracts. It provides coverage of journals from sociology, related areas, such as anthropology, economics, education, medicine, community development, philosophy, statistics, political science, and humanities. It uses both informative and descriptive abstracts.
Dissertations Abstracts International
This resource indexes approximately 35,000 dissertations a year from its 550 participants. It provides a keyword index to title words and an author index. The abstracts are grouped by appropriate subject headings. It is a good resource to see what current in-depth studies have been done. It will also give the reader additional resources to find through the use of the citations in the dissertations. This resource is focused more on the humanities and all social sciences are grouped under the broad heading of social sciences. It is also available online.
I didn't locate any numeric databases that would pertain to antiquities theft.
Preservation Internet Resources
This resource is provided by ParkNet, part of the National Park Service. It provides a searchable database of online electronic resources that would be of interest to the preservation community. Entries are annotated.
This an index to approximately 240,000 reports on archaeological planning and investigation within the United States. The database is searchable by state, county, cultural affiliation, keyword, title, or author. In addition to the database, there is information on the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act with guidance on regulations and a summary of activities.
One way in which I made use of the internet for this profile was in posting a request to the listserve: Museum-L. In my request, I stated that I was a graduate student seeking information about internet resources on the topic of antiquities and art theft. I gave them information about the methods I had tried, such as gophering, veronica searches, WAIS, and www, which had produced no results.
As a results of my post, I received four messages. Two of the messages referred me to printed resources; one directed me to the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR); and one gave me a gopher address to the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
With all the recent changes that have taken place on the Internet, ICOMOS has moved onto a World-Wide Web server. This new server is very well organized and is a joy to use. It contains a searchable database of all the documents housed on their server. Also, the documents have been converted to HTML so that a visitor can move smoothly through the portions of a document that he is interested in and ignore others. Many of the documents housed on the ICOMOS server pertain to international declarations about antiquities theft. In addition to being able to surf through the documents, a visitor is still able to download the entire document in a text format if he so chooses. There are also links available to other sites of interest, including the World Heritage Centre, UNESCO, and others.
The web server is run by the Canadian National Committee of ICOMOS, ICOMOS Canada. ICOMOS is an international non-governmental organization dedicated to the conservation of the world's historical sites. It has national committees in over 60 countries. ICOMOS is UNESCO's principle advisor in matters of conservation and preservation of monuments and historic sites. It is a wonderful resource.
The recent explosion in Home Pages being posted on the WWW has led to the addition of this section. By using searching mechanisms, such as Lycos, Webcrawler, and Infoseek, I was able to locate these new sites. There may well be others that I have missed, but each of the above mentioned mechanisms only returns information on Home Pages that they have indexed.
This organization focuses specifically on artwork that disappeared during the Holocaust-Era due to looting, sales under duress, and stealing. They can provide information on victims, collaborators, and claimants.
Definitions of "Cultural
This site provides definitions of cultural property as defined by different international treaties and recommendations between 1874 and 1995.
The Documentation Project
The Project for the Documentation of Wartime Cultural Losses is adminstered by the Cultural Property Research Foundation. It is dedicated to disseminating information on art, archives, and other types of cultural property which have been displaced as a consequence of war. There are currently four research projects available, covering such topics as "Russian Law on Trophy Art" and "Art Looting Investigation Unit - Final Report."
"Looting Question" Bibliography
Written by Hugh Jarvis, this resource provides a bibliography of literary and web resources on the politics of private collecting, treasure hunting, and professional archaeology. This bibliography is intended to provide a balanced view of a highly emotional topic. It concentrates mainly on periodical literature and web resources, leaving out legal documents and most books, except for the classics in the field. The entries are annotated and are well organized.
Orginally started by the J. Paul Getty Foundation in 1993, Object ID is now continued by the Council for the Prevention of Art Theft. Object ID provides an international standard for describing cultural artworks/items. This standard has been adopted by museums law enforcement agencies worldwide. Use of this standard will help to protect antiquities.
A Discussion Document
Published by the UK Department of National Heritage, this document provides a discussion on why portable antiquites, such as coins and pottery, are important to the field of archaeology and should not be carelessly removed from sites without proper documentation. It focuses on the removal of these objects by the public who have found them using metal detectors. It provides background on the law of Treasure Trove and the options for reporting finds. You can also read a response to this discussion document.
Objects in the Global Information Society
This site provides background information on Object ID. Object ID is an international standard for describing art, antiques, and antiquities. It was developed through the collaboration of museums, police, appraisers, insurance companies, art dealers. This standard provides you with a checklist to record the necessary information you would need to prove than an item is yours.
Studies: Artifact Trade
This case study was done by a graduate student at American University. It focuses specifically on the illegal trade of Native American artifacts. It covers the legal, geographical, trade, and environmental ramifications of artifact theft. It also includes a good bibliography.
Protecting the Past for Future Generations
Written by Robert D. Hicks of the FBI, this paper discusses the problem of the loss of antiquities through naive hobbyists and deliberate lootings. It provides a good scope of the problem, citing that "half of the 6,000 recorded sites on national forest lands in Arizona have been destroyed by looters." It also discusses the various laws preventing such looting and how law enforcement agencies must cooperate in their investigations and prosecutions of these crimes.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, this site provides a partial listing of the INTERPOL database of stolen cultural property. The site provides an overview of the program, a searchable database, and information on how to report stolen antiquities.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
As part of their effort to prevent and investigate illicit trade in art and artifacts, the FBI has created the Art Theft Program. This site indexes stolen art and cultural property that has been reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies thoughout the United States. It provides images and physical descriptions of the missing items. The site serves two purposes: to aid in the investigation of the theft and to provide a source for analyzing art theft.
Fossil Collecting and
Artifact Hunting in Alaska
The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management has provided a FAQ on what types of fossils may be removed from public lands, how to obtain a permit to conduct scientific research and search for artifacts on public lands, and the penalities for violations of the laws protecting artifacts and fossils.
The United States Information Agency is responsible for implementing the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act. As part of their effort to do so, they have created this website to report on recent acts of looting, left, and prosecution; what efforts the U.S. government has made to decrease trade in stolen artifacts; and provides the text of many of the U.S. and international cultural laws that deal with this problem.
Provided in both French and English, this site provides an overview of INTERPOL. It also provides information on recent thefts, a list of Stolen Works of Art, recent discoveries, and a FAQ.
International Principles Applicable to Archaeological Excavations
Full-text of the recommendation that was adopted on December 5, 1956 at the ninth session of the General Conference of UNESCO at New Delhi. It includes defintions, recommendations on how to educate the public, how to regulate international collaborations, and how to prevent theft and the trade in antiquities.
Museum Security Network
This site is a wonderful resource whose main purpose is to provide in one place information on all aspects of security and safety for those who protect cultural property. It contains information on organizations, security products, consultants, safety and salvage plans, art crime reports, information on where to report art crimes, a mailing list, and articles. As an index, it is fairly well-organized and appears to be comprehensive. This site utilizes frames.
European Paintings Provenance Research
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston began researching the ownership of their European paintings in 1998. This research was intended to identify paintings that may have been looted or sold under duress during WWII. This site provides a list of artworks whose provenance is questionable or cannot be specified for the years 1933-1945. It includes their research methodology and contact information.
Getty Provenance Index
The Getty Research Institute provides a searchable database of over 50,000 records which are drawn from inventories and sales indexes from participating members. Those members include such organizations as the Hermitage Museum and the National Gallery of Art.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City provides a list of European paintings with incomplete provenance during the year 1933-1945 on their website. These paintings are currently owned by the Museum, and they are seeking the complete histories of these pieces.
This site provides a register of lost and stolen pieces of art. It requires a username and password to access. For further information please contact phone & fax **41 *61-813.09.05
Art Theft: World's Most Wanted Art
This site provides information on stolen art and its recovery. It was created as an adjunct to a television show produced on the subject.
This site provides a permanent database of stolen and missing works of art, antiques, and valuables. It was established in 1991 and is international in scope. Since its foundation, over 1000 items have been recovered. It was established through the cooperative efforts of insurance companies and art and antique dealers. Its main objectives are to increase recoveries and deter theft as well as reducing the trade in stolen art. The site provides information on items that have been recovered, a form to report theft, a FAQ, and links to antique companies, art organizations, auctioneers, insurance companies, etc.
Provided by ICOM, this site provides a listing of archaeological objects at risk for looting in Africa. It was created as a result of the Workshop on the Protection of the African Cultural Heritage.
This site is meant to help "combat international Garden Statuary and Architectural Antique crime" by alerting dealers and providing them with information that will lead to the interception of stolen items. It is a wonderful site which gives information on the place and date of theft, a description of the item, a Crime Reference Number, and who to contact. It also includes a note which lists the source of the original information. It is extremely current.
Stolen Works of Art
This CD-ROM database is produced by Jouve using Interpol data. This product is intended for police, custom officials, museums, auction houses, antique dealers, and collectors. It contains over 14,000 stolen works of art which are searchable by title, artist, and physical description. The database includes images as well as details of export restrictions. This CD was produced in accordance with the Unidroit Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.
Lincoln, Betty Woelk. Festschriften in Art History, 1960-1975: Bibliography and Index. New York: Garland Publishers, 1988.
This resource is meant to fill the gap between Rave and RILA. It is inclusive and covers time from the beginning of the Christian era to the present. It includes 344 festschrift which include 4676 essays written by 3099 authors. It is a source that will be useful to librarians, art historians, and humanities scholars. It contains a helpful how to use section. The subject index is used to refer the user to the bibliographies which are alphabetical by essay author.
Law, Ethics, and the Visual Arts. Eds. Merryman, John H. and Elsen, Albert E. Philadelphia, PA: University of Philadelphia Press, 1987. 2 vol.
This two volume set covers how law and ethics apply to people and institutions in the art world. It is an anthology of cases, laws, articles, excerpts, and clippings. Each section contains bibliographical footnotes and ends with comments by the editors. The chapters in Volume One that would be pertinent are: "Plunder and Reparation," and "Illicit Trade." The chapters on the "Collector" and "Museums" included in Volume Two are also of interest for the study of antiquities theft.
DuBoff, Leonard D. Art Law in a Nutshell. St Paul, Minnesota: West Publishing Company, 1993.
This book is readily understood by the layman. It contains excellent and wide ranging legal references, cases, summaries, and citations that would even satisfy the professional lawyer. It is also indexed. The major section of interest is within the chapter, "Art: International Movement," and is entitled "Section C. Sanctions for Vandalism and Theft." Within that section the reader finds mention of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and Theft/Conversion Statutes. It defines theft laws and gives examples of cases that have resulted from violations. Within the index, one can also find mention of the AAM Code of Ethics for Museums.
Law and the Visual Arts. Eds. DuBoff, Leonard D. and DuBoff, Mary Ann Crawford. Portland, Oregon: Lewis and Clark College, 1974.
This handbook resulted from a conference of the same name. Sections IV, V, VI, and VIII all deal with the protection of antiquities both internationally and nationally.
The Protection of Cultural Property: Handbook of National Legislations. Comp. Burnham, Bonnie. Paris, France: International Council of Museums, 1974.
The purpose of this resource was to present "the national laws for the protection of cultural property which relate to the illicit destruction of cultural heritage." It is a guide to essential information on national laws controlling the sale, excavation, and export of antiquities. These areas were chosen for their direct impact on the problem of antiquities theft. This resource includes a very helpful chapter on "How to Use This Book." It is arranged alphabetically by country name followed by an abstract of relevant policies. It is not indexed, however, a selective bibliography is included.
Akinsha, Konstantin, Kozlov, Grigorii, and Hochfield, Sylvia. Beautiful Loot: the Soviet Plunder of Europe's Art Treasures. New York: Random House, 1995.
This authoritative book focuses closely on the genesis, organization, prosecution, and aftermath of the Soviet theft of antiquities from occupied territories, principally Germany, during and after WWII. The information presented is often highly specific with regard to the dates, locations, objects, and persons involved. It is organized chronologically and is enhanced by maps and photographs. The usefulness of this book is also increased by the inclusion of biographical information on the principal persons involved. The four-page bibliography includes sections on books, articles, interviews, and unpublished memoirs and diaries. The index though cross-referenced is not instructive. Artworks are not listed individually in the index; they must be sought under the name of the artist. Reviewed by Steven Robbins
Ho, Truc-Nhu Thi. Art Theft in New York City: An Exploratory Study in Crime Specificity. Diss. Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, 1992. Ann Arbor: UMI, 1992. 9227550.
The three-pronged focus of this dissertation is to examine the extent of art theft in New York City; study thieves; and develop qualitative models of decision-making in art theft. It includes analysis of police reports as well as personal interviews with art dealers.
Cranwell, Andrew. The
Price of Age: An Investigation into the Illicit Trade of Antiquities.
Dissertation. May 1999.
This dissertation includes an analysis of the trade in stolen antiquities, an examination of the organizations devoted to preventing such theft, and a discussion of the laws surrounding antiquities. A bibliography is included and there are extensive footnotes throughout. Unfortunately, I've only seen the online version and do not know for which University this dissertation was done. It is not included in Dissertation Abstracts.
A searchable database of the International Directory of Art Libraries is provided by IFLA. This directory provides contact information on about 3,000 libraries and library departments with special collections in art, archaeology, and architecture.
Duke University - Lilly
Phone: (919) 660-5995; Fax: (919) 660-5999
The Lilly Library has specialized collections in art and art history.
Field Museum of Natural History - Library
Though they do not yet provide access to an online catalog yet, the Field Library allows the public access to their collection. The library has about 250,000 books and journals that support the Museum's various programs.
Frick Museum - Art Reference
This library has an extensive collection on western art. It was founded in 1920 as a memorial to Henry Clay Frick. Their homepage does not provide access to an online catalog, but it does have a form for asking brief reference questions.
Harvard University - Tozzer
21 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 495-2253; Fax: (617) 496-2741
The Tozzer Library has one of the pre-eminent collections in archaeology and anthropology in the world. Originally known as the Peabody Museum Library, its name changed in 1974 when the collection was moved from the Museum into a new building funded by the Tozzer family. Its collections comprise more than 211,000 books, periodicals, and other materials. Among their publications is Anthropological Literature.
Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities - Research
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1688
Phone: (310) 440-7390; Fax: (310) 440-7780
This website provides an overview of the library with access to its online catalog, IRIS. The Research Library collects materials pertaining to art history, architecture, and world cultures. Though the strongest part of the collection is in the history of western art, in recent years they have expanded it to include cultures with significant influence on western art. They have over 700,000 books, serials, and other materials in their collection. Please check their homepage for details on direct access to their collection.
John Hopkins University - Milton
S. Eisenhower Library
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Information on their collections and access to the online catalog are provided through their homepage.
Metropolitan Museum of Art - Thomas
J. Watson Library
Phone: (212) 650-2225; Fax: (212) 570-3847
Library patrons are required to fill out a Reader's Application Form in order to gain access to the collection. This site provides access to their online catalog along with a selective list of internet resources.
National Gallery of Art - Art
Washington, DC 20565
Phone: (202) 842-6511
The Library's collection emphasizes western art from the middle ages to the present and american art from colonial times through the present. The collection comprises more than 200,000 books and about 2,400 periodical titles.
Princeton University - Marquand
Library of Art and Architecture
Phone: (609) 258-3783
To use this library, visitors must first apply for permission at the Firestone Library. The collection of about 200,000 books and 700 journals focuses primarily on art, architechture, archaeology, and photography.
Smithsonian Institutition Libraries - Anthropology
National Museum of Natural History
10th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20560-0112
Phone: (202) 357-1819; Fax: (202) 357-1896
The John Wesley Powell Library of Anthropology is unfortunately closed through Spring 1999 while their heating and cooling systems are being upgraded.
University of California, Berkeley - George
and Mary Foster Anthropology Library
230 Kroeber Hall
Berkeley, Ca 94720-3710
Phone: (510) 642-2400
The Library's website provides access to their online catalog which details their extensive holdings in anthropology and archaeology.
University of Pennsylvania - Museum
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6324
Phone: (215) 898-4021
The Library's homepage provides access to their online catalog and selected internet resources. Their collection of archaeology and anthropology resources includes about 113,000 books focusing on egyptology, mayan and meso-american studies, classical archaeology, and the ancient Near East.
American Anthropological Association.
4350 N. Fairfax Drive, Ste. 640
Arlington, VA 22203
Phone: (703) 528-1902; Fax: (703) 528-3546
This is a professional organization of anthropologists, educators, and students interested in the biological and cultural origin and development of humanity.
American Association of Museums.
1575 Eye Street, Ste. 200
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 289-1818; Fax: (202) 289-6578
A professional society which has established an accrediting system for museums.
American Society of International Law.
2223 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20008-2864
Phone: (202) 939-6000; Fax: (202) 797-7133
This is a society of scholars, practitioners, government officials, scientists, and specialists in human rights, disarmament and more. It gives access to information on the world of international law.
Archaeological Institute of America.
656 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 353-9361; Fax: (617) 353-6550
This multinational society of professionals and others interested in the study and research of archaeology. It is affiliated with the American Institute of Iranian Studies, American Research Institute in Turkey, and the American Schools of Oriental Research.
Association of Art Museum Directors.
41 E 65th Street
New York, NY 10021
Phone: (212) 249-4423; Fax: (212) 535-5039
A professional society for museum directors. Their website requires a username and password.
Center for American Archaeology. 1953-
P.O. Box 366
Kampsville, IL 62053
Phone: (618) 653-4316; Fax: (618) 653-4232
Members in this society range from philanthropic organizations to professional and amateur archaeologists to students. The Center conducts archaeological research, excavates, analyzes, and seeks to conserve archaeological sites and artifacts.
Commission for Art Recovery.
767 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10153
Phone: (212) 521-0102; Fax: (212) 319-8681
This organization is part of the World Jewish Congress and is affiliated with the World Jewish Restitution Organization in Jerusalem. It is dedicated to the resitution of art stolen by the Nazis during World War II to their rightful owners. Their website provides information on their organization and how to register a claim with them.
Council for the
Prevention of Art Theft (CoPAT). 1992-
17, Whitcomb Street
London, UK WC2H 7PL
A non-profit organization which seeks to promote the prevention of art crime through such measures as the publication of a monthly digest detailing crimes, organizing seminars, changing laws favorable to art theft, and establishing practices for dealers to use in identifying stolen objects. Their site also contains information on Project ID, established by the Getty Foundation in 1995.
Institute of Art and Law.
121 London Road
Leicester, UK LE2 0QT
Phone: 44 0 116 255 5146/1782
A small independent institution which seeks to improve public awareness on how law has effected the development of cultural tradition.
International Association of Art. 1954-
1, rue Miollis
F-75015 Paris, France
Phone: 33 1 45682655; Fax: 33 1 45672287
This society is attempting to establish a means of registration for art objects for identification purposes.
Intergovermental Committee for Promoting the Return of Cultural Property
to its Country of Origin or its Restitution in Case of Illicit Appropriation.
7, place de Fontenoy
F-75700 Paris, France
Phone: 33 1 45684401
This UNESCO committee promotes negotiations among countries concerning art objects which have been removed due to colonial exploitation or illicit trafficking. It seeks the return of those objects whose absence causes irreparable damage to cultural identity. It also encourages the provision of facilities for the conservation and preservation of restituted property.
International Council on Monuments and
75, rue de Temple
F-75003 Paris, France
Phone: 33 1 42773576; Fax: 33 1 42775742
This multinational society contains members from 57 countries. It is dedicated to encouraging the conservation, protection, and rehabilitation of historic monuments and sites. It also promotes the adoption and implementation of international conventions. In addition, they compile and disseminate information on conservation policies and techniques. They also maintain the UNESCO-ICOMOS Documentation Centre of 10,000 volumes and 330 periodicals.
International Foundation for Art Research,
Inc. (IFAR) 1968-
500 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10110
Phone: (212) 391-6234; Fax: (212) 391-8794
This multinational Foundation researches art theft and the authenticity of art objects. It also examines art objects to resolve questions of authenticity and attribution. It maintains a database of 60,000 stolen art reports.
International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.
6 Buckingham Street
London WC2N 6BA England
Phone: 44 171 8395975; Fax: 44 171 9761564
This society provides an organization for coordinating and improving the knowledge, methods, and working standards needed to protect and preserve precious materials of all kinds.
for Archaeological Research. 1994-
University of Cambridge
Cambridge CB2 3ER England
This institute was established in 1994 through a generous donation from Dr. D.M. MacDonald. Part of its function is the Illicit Antiquities Research Centre. This Centre seeks to raise public awareness of the problems of cultural loss through illicit excavation and monitor the sale of stolen antiquities.
Society for American Archaeology. 1934-
900 2nd Street NE, No. 12
Washington, D.C. 20002
Phone: (202) 789-8200; Fax: (202) 789-0284
This society promotes interest in american archaeology. It stimulates research, fosters professional associations, advocates the conservance of artifacts, and works to eliminate the commercialization of antiquities.
Society of Friends of Icons. 1952-
30419 Hanover Germany
Phone: 49 511 633677
This multinational society seeks to foster scholarship and offers their expertise in courts.
Society of Professional
New York State Museum
3122 Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
Phone: (518) 474-5813; Fax: (518) 473-8496
This society seeks to define professionalism in archaeology.
Society to Prevent Trade in Stolen Art
918 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Phone: (202) 835-9843
STOP is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. At present, it is organizing several different services which will include a lecture series; a research library; a referal program that will link victims of art crimes with detectives, appraisers, and insurance companies; an on-line database of pre-1987 auction house records; and a BBS where people can post questions, concerns, and converse with others concerned with art theft.
UNESCO. United Nations Educational,
Scientific, and Cultural Organization. 1946-
7, place de Fontenoy
F-75700 Paris, France
Phone: 33 1 45681000
UNESCO works to preserve and protect mankind's heritage and instill pride in our cultural and historic backgrounds. Their aim is for mankind to reach a place of peace and prosperity where law is respected through the collaboration of many countries on educational, scientific, and cultural projects.
UNIDROIT. International Institute
for the Unification of Private Law. 1940-
28 Via Panisperna
00184 Rome, Italy
Phone: 39 06 699 41372; Fax: 39 06 699 41394
This organization is independent and intergovernmental. Its purpose is to examine and provide ways of coordinating international and interstate laws. It has 57 member states and is supported by member contributions. As part of its effort to create a uniform system of upholding laws, it held a Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects in 1995.
World Archaeological Society. 1971-
120 Lakewood Drive
Hollister, MO 65672
Phone: (417) 334-2377
The membership of this society comprises professional and amateur archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians from 32 countries. It promotes the scientific and constructive study of antiquity.
Many of the organizations that make up this list were culled from the 1998 edition of the Encyclopedia of Associations, a Gale Research Publication. I focused on those organizations with an international interest.
Anthropological Index to Current Periodicals in the Museum of Mankind Library (Incorporating the Former Royal Anthropological Institute Library). London: Royal Anthropological Institute, 1963-
This source provides worldwide coverage of archaeology, ethnomusicology, physical anthropology, ethnography linguistics, cultural anthropology, and human biology. It is published quarterly. A major deficiency of this resource is the lack of indexes. The only index included is a cumulative author index for all of the volumes kept on cards at the museum. To find information on a topic, one is forced to browse or rely on the table of contents which is far from informative.
Bibliographic Guide to Anthropology and Archaeology: 1987. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co., 1988.
This is a comprehensive annual subject bibliography which is meant to supplement the Author and Subject Catalog of the Tozzer Library. Access is by main entry according to the rules of the AACR2. It is an authoritative reference source for librarians and scholars and a valuable aid for acquisitions. It includes 2800 publications cataloged at the Tozzer Library between June 1986 and August 1987. The main problem with this bibliographic guide is its lack of an index. If a person is unfamiliar with cataloging rules or classification schemes, he will find this a very difficult resource to use.
Antiquities theft is interdisciplinary in that it is of concern to anthropologists, archaeologists, international lawyers, economists, sociologists, and even psychologists. Psychologists study the effects of the loss of antiquities on the society that has lost them and the reasons behind the theft. Archaeologists are concerned with the loss of context surrounding the antiquities. Antiquities stolen from archaeological digs are often lost before they have been identified. When those artifacts are recovered, it is virtually impossible to identify its place of origin. Lawyers are concerned with the legalities surrounding the ownership of the artifacts.
Antiquities theft is made even more complicated by the crossing of international borders. It involves governments in the decisions of where the theft should be tried and requires that treaties be made between governments to guard against future incidents.
Up until the 1970s, antiquities theft was not a subject that a great deal had been written on. Though it has occurred from Egyptian times to the present, it was not until Clemency Coggins wrote her paper, "Illicit Traffic of Pre-Columbian Antiquities," in 1969 that the subject was brought out into the open and written about. Since then, there has been a proliferation in the literature on the subject.
The greatest amount of coverage of antiquities theft has been in newspaper and journal articles. However, the type of bibliographies provided in journal articles vary greatly in their usefulness. In most cases, the bibliographies are very brief containing only one or two sources. The style of the bibliography also depends upon the journal the article is published in. In some cases, the bibliographies are presented in paragraph form which can make them more difficult to use. However, since most of the journal articles are also usually about one specific case of antiquities theft and not an overview of the topic, they do not require a great deal of background information. Newspaper articles on the subject usually do not provide bibliographic resources and the information presented tends to be inflammatory. The lack of bibliography can again be attributed to the fact that the articles are about a recent specific case and therefore there is no other written information on it.
The best bibliographic coverage on antiquities theft is to be found in books. Because books cover more than just recent events, trends and reasons for antiquities theft can be examined in detail within them. That type of in-depth examination requires a great deal of research which naturally results in large bibliographies. In most cases, the bibliographies provide comprehensive coverage of all the different aspects of antiquities theft: history, legalities, and social ramifications. Lacking a bibliography of bibliographies, it is difficult to locate all of the resources that can be utilized to find more information on the subject.