SCIPIO Art and Rare Book Sales Catalogs

The easiest way to find an auction catalog held by the Research Library is to do a keyword search in Primo Search by entering the auction date in the YYYYMMDD format, e.g., 19420618 for June 18, 1942. If we do not have the auction catalog, the best place to search for a copy is in the SCIPIO database.

SCIPIO, available onsite at the Research Library, contains bibliographic records for over 300,000 sales catalogs held by 25 institutions worldwide and is updated daily. The database includes catalogs spanning from the late 16th century to the present from all major North American and European auction houses as well as important private sales. Records contain information on dates and places of sale, catalog title, the auction house, sellers, institutional holdings, and other information.

A link to SCIPIO can be found in Primo Search, the Article and Research Database A-Z list and Art Sales and Collecting list, or it can be searched through the Art Discovery Group Catalogue.

One of the easiest ways to search in SCIPIO is by date. The date is entered in the MMDDYYYY format. One can also search for sales within a specific month (MMYYYY) or within a date range, by using a hyphen between the years (YYYY-YYYY), the months and years (MMYYYY-MMYYYY), or the complete dates (MMDDYYYY-MMDDYYYY). Dates can be combined with other search terms such as auction house or title word.

– Lois White, Head of Research Services

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