The Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, or World Biographical Index of Artists is an electronic database published to complement the print edition of the reference work of the same name. The print edition has been appearing since 1983; the first electronic version was published as a CD-ROM in 1993, and the current version (the version installed in the Warburg Library) was issued in 1996.
The AKL is based on the Thieme-Becker encyclopaedia of artists, the Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart (1907-50), and Vollmer’s Allgemeinen Lexikon der bildenden Künstler des XX. Jahrhunderts (1953-62) and also incorporates new material reflecting more recent research.
The electronic version of the AKL is a searchable database of factual data relating to individuals included in articles in the print version. The material has been organised under 5 main categoric headings, ‘Name’, ‘Profession’, ‘Time’, ‘Geographical Data’, and ‘Source’. It is possible to search the material under these headings, under more detailed sub-headings, and also to combine or refine search criteria. Database entries include cross-references to relevant full text articles in the print AKL.
The AKL is only available on Reading Room Computer 1.
From the computer desktop, click on the icon labelled ‘Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon’. This will take you to the ‘Novice Search’ screen. The Novice Search allows you to search the database using one of a range of basic criteria.
At the top of the screen, a menu bar gives access to a range of further information options, including an ‘Expert Search’ and an index. A row of buttons below the menu bar gives access to a range of practical functions, including ‘Print’ and ‘Export’, and directional arrows for movement through long entries. A column down the left hand side of the screen provides information about your current search.
The AKL ‘Expert Search’ is accessed via the menu bar at the top of the screen (Search > Expert Search). Expert Search allows you to search using a comprehensive range of specialised criteria, e.g. ‘abbreviation’, ‘exhibition’, ‘countries cited’, ‘pseudonym’. It also allows Boolean searching (combining or excluding search terms) and it displays a history of your previous searches.
AKL has a built-in help section providing detailed explanations of all the available search options, and hints on data searching and results display. You can access this via the menu bar or via the button marked ‘?’ at the top of the screen. You can also ask a Librarian in the Reading Room for futher assistance.