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Provenance Research Resources

A guide to Getty Library archives at related to provenance, the art market, and the history of collecting.

Public Websites
The Art Newspaper is an online and print resource for international art news with special sections devoted to the art market and to looted art. provides complete art services, art appraisals, art price data, news, articles, and market information to art collectors, artists, and fine arts professionals. The database contains over 3,000,000 price records, and biographical information on over 250,000 artists. The articles are accessible free of charge and consulting services are offered for a fee.
With four million entries for auction since 1700, provides art market intelligence, data processing, and information on almost every art auction from over 2,900 auction houses in forty countries. This site is accessible by subscription or by a pay-as-you-go arrangement.
The Art Sales Index database holds more than 2.5 million auction entries that cover over 250,000 artists. Each year, 3,000 auction catalogs from 500 auction houses are received and 150,000 entries are entered onto the database. Catalogs that date back to 1920 are currently being added to the database, which covers oil paintings, miniatures, sculpture, prints, photographs, and works on paper. The database is accessible by subscription or pay-per-view arrangement.
Association of Online Appraisers (AOA)
AOA is an international association for personal property appraisers who are involved in offering online written appraisal reports through the use of digital images and Internet online reporting. The site is partially accessible free of charge; an annual membership fee is cgarged for full access.
Fine Art Directory
The Fine Art Directory provides categorized lists of links to Internet resources. The site is accessible free of charge.
Confédération internationale des négociants en oeuvres d'art (CINOA)
CINOA is an international confederation of thirty-two art and antiques dealer associations in twenty-one countries representing about 5,000 antiques and art dealers. Members of CINOA are often able to provide information about dealers and trading history in each country.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum assists the public and scholars in finding information about American paintings and sculptures by providing research resources on more than 500,000 works of art. Nearly 137,000 records from more than 1,000 of America's earliest auctions and exhibitions (pre-1877) in the United States and Canada give early history about American art.


I. Databases, Archives, and Research on Looted Art
The Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property, 1933–1945
The site provides resources to advance knowledge of the cultural spoliation of Europe by the Nazi regime. Includes a database of looted objects and objects under investigation in museums throughout the world. Other information, such as government reports, claimant information, and research resources are available and organized by country.
Collection Schloss (France)
The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has published the catalogue of non-restituted Dutch and Flemish art stolen from the Adolphe Schloss collection during World War II. The catalogue lists only works not restituted by July 1, 1997, and includes photographs.
The Documentation Project
The Project for the Documentation of Wartime Cultural Losses (Documentation Project) gathers and makes available information relating to works of art, archives, and other types of cultural property displaced as a consequence of war, mainly during the period of World War II.
Historical Commissions on Holocaust-Era Assets
Overview of research relating to Holocaust-era assets carried out in various countries.
Lost Art Internet Database (Germany)
Sponsored by Germany's central office for the documentation of lost cultural property, this site focuses on cultural objects that were taken from their owners in relation to Nazi persecution or that were relocated as a result of World War II. Users may search the databases for works whose loss has been reported and may register works that have been lost.
Musées nationaux récupération (MNR) (France)
The direction des musées de France has created a database of the 2,000 works of art in its program Musées nationaux Récupération (National Museums Recovery Programme). These works have been stored in national museums, provincial museums, and the Mobilier national (National Furniture Collection) since 1949. The database includes a catalogue of these works consisting of descriptions of each art work accompanied by illustrations.
The Museum Security Network: Art Loss Register
Compilation of international articles about art lost during World War II and links to Web site relating to Holocaust-era assets.
National Museum Directors' Conference: Spoliation of Works of Art during the Holocaust and World War II Period (United Kingdom)
A searchable database of works of art in national and non-national museums and galleries with uncertain provenance during the period 1933–1945.
Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal Project (U.S.A.)
The American Association of Museums (AAM) provides the Web sites of museums that make available to the public a list of works of art in their collections with uncertain provenance for the period 1933–1945.
Origins Unknown: Art and the Second World War (The Netherlands)
After the war, the Stichting Nederlandsch Kunstbezit (SNK) returned many of the recuperated works of art to their rightful owners on behalf of the Dutch state. A large number of works of art in the state's custody constitute the Nederlands Kunstbezit-collectie (NK Collection). The project office Herkomst Gezocht traces the original owners over fifty years after the end of World War II.
Restitution-Art (Czech Republic)
Prepared by the Czech Ministry of Culture and the Moravian Museum, this database of works of art from the property of victims of the Holocaust covers works from public collections in the Czech Republic that may have been the property of victims of the Holocaust.
United States National Archives and Records Administration Holocaust-Era Assets
A substantial quantity of records relating to Holocaust-era art provenance and claims research.
Wartime Losses: Russian Paintings
This Web site of the Ministry of Culture of Russia lists works of art that were removed from Russia during and after World War II and works that moved into the Russian Federation as a result of the war. The Web site is in Russian.

II. Library and Museum Resources Available Online
Ryerson Library: Selected Titles on European Art Loss and Restitution
The Art Institute of Chicago's Ryerson Library catalogues a selected bibliography and list of Web sites related to the search and recovery of lost European works of art.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Featured on the Museum's Web site is an international list of current activities regarding Holocaust-era assets.
University of Chicago: Law-Related Resources on Nazi Gold and Other Holocaust Assets, Swiss Banks during World War II, and Dormant Accounts
Bibliography providing articles, documents on the Web, and other Internet resources on law-related Resources holocaust assets.
The Wiener Library at the Institute of Contemporary History
Specializing in modern Jewish history, the rise and fall of the Third Reich, and the survival of Nazi and fascist movements in the postwar world, the Wiener Library also includes rich collections on anti-Semitism, the Middle East and postwar Germany.

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III. Further Information and Assistance
Art Loss Register (ARL)
Private international database of lost and stolen art, antiques, and collectibles that provides recovery and search services to collectors, the art trade, insurers, and law enforcement. The Web site is accessible through free registration.
Commission for Looted Art in Europe (ECLA) (United Kingdom)
This service assists families, communities, and institutions worldwide with research, identification, and recovery of looted cultural property. Through the Central Registry of Information on Looted Cultural Property 1933–1945 ( ECLA provides an international database of all information and research on works of art, books, Judaica, and other cultural objects seized by the Nazis.
Holocaust Claims Processing Office of the New York State Banking Department
Provides assistance to individuals seeking to recover Holocaust-era looted assets deposited in European banks, and monies never paid in connection with insurance policies issued by European insurers and lost or looted art. There is no fee to file claims, nor is this service contingent upon a percentage of claimants' restitution awards. The Web site is accessible free of charge.

IV. Guidelines and Legislation
American Association Of Museums (AAM): Guidelines Concerning the Unlawful Appropriation of Objects during the Nazi Era
Guidelines intended to assist museums in addressing concerns relating to objects that may have been unlawfully appropriated from 1933 to 1945 or that were taken by the Nazis or their collaborators.
Association of Art Museum Directors: Position Papers and Reports
A selection of white papers and reports on subjects relating to collecting, provenance, and art looting.
International Council of Museums (ICOM): Spoliation of Jewish Cultural Property
Outlines national and international directives for museums concerning the identification and return of looted or stolen Jewish property. The site features a database of objects that were looted or have disappeared, along with several examples of individual initiatives by museums to facilitate the task of establishing the provenance of certain items in their collections.
The United States State Department: Holocaust Issues
Links to U.S. government documents relating to Holocaust-era assets, including looted art.

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