For the reader in a specific subject area, a specialized bibliography on a

topic may provide a helpful departure point. However, because the quality and

relevance of books can vary considerably, an annotated bibliography is the most

useful. In addition to citations, annotated bibliographies contain descriptive

and sometimes evaluative summaries of the materials. They may provide an

overview Of the content of the literature in addition to pointing the way to

relevant resources The bibliographies on color here range from short listings of

iterations to relatively comprehensive scholarly works. Some bibliographies are

limited to monographs while others include journals.

    The best titles in this group are annotated; if not annotated, they are

arranged topically or provide a key to help the researcher determine the most

relevant works.

1. Art & Architecture Library. Yale University. Faber Birren

Collection of Books on Color: A Bibliography. New Haven:

Yale University Library, 1982. 42 pp. ISBN 0-89235-080-6.

        In 1971, colorist Faber Birren presented his personal collection of

rare and historic books on color to Yale University. These books span a

broad range of color topics, with special emphasis on human response to

color. This listing of 673 titles includes holdings on color theory, color

systems and standards, color usage, perception, vision, psychology,

printing, textiles, music, religion, nature, medicine, and the occult.

Arrangement is alphabetical by author and each citation is keyed to one or

more of 18 subject categories. Publication dates for these books range from

the 1700s to the early 1970s. The inclusion of the Faber Birren books

makes the Yale Library collection a major resource for color research by

bringing together many rare or special works that are difficult to locate in the

United States. This bibliography is particularly useful because it gives

access to a collection now available on microfilm. Sixty-six of the titles are

color specifier systems that are described in the appendix of The Color

Compendium (1990) by Hope and Walch.

2. Bartholomew, Robert. Human Response to the Luminous Environment in

Physical Facility Planning. Monticello, IL: Council of Planning Librarians,

1976. Exchange Bibliography #105 1. 9 pp.

    This 60-item bibliography contains book and journal citations for

works dealing with psychological and physiological response to light. The

author notes that planners and designers must be aware of research in this

area because lighting significantly affects the user. Most of the entries were

published in the 1960s. Many of the titles appear to deal only with light and

not with color, but without annotations it is not possible to make a


3. Bartholomew, Robert. The Use of Color in Physical Environment

Planning. Chicago: Council of Planning Librarians, 1976. Exchange

Bibliography #l050. 9 pp.

    The brief introduction explains that because color influences the

appearance of an environment and affects those in the environment,

designers must be aware of color as they plan. This unannotated listing of

81 book and journal articles, both general and specific, brings together

much of the available 1960 -1975 research that may be relevant to the

designer of buildings and interiors. Several basic titles on color theory and

color systems are also included.

4. Buckley, Mary and David Baum. Color Theory. Detroit: Gale,

1975. Art and Architecture Information Guide 2. 173 pp. Index.

    This is the definitive bibliography of color in fine arts. The books

cited date from about 1900 to the early 1970s, with the majority of entries

from 1920 to 1950. It is divided into 22 brief chapters, beginning with

color adaptations and concluding with color vocabulary, with titles arranged

alphabetically by author. The emphasis is on color theories and artists’

concepts of color rather than on application of the theories and concepts or

how-to information for designers. Chapters vary considerably in length;

many are only a page or two long. For example, the chapter on color

design contains only a few “see” references to other chapters. Each

complete citation is followed by a short, descriptive nonevaluative

annotation. Although the coverage is not comprehensive, this book is

valuable for its broad scope.

5. Coppa and Avery Consultants. A Guide to Interior Hotel Design: The Use

of Color in Interiors. Monticello, IL: Vance Bibliographies, 1980.

Architecture Series A - 230, 1980. 8 pp.

    This unannotated bibliography of books and periodical publications

lists 109 entries on color psychology in addition to titles more specific to the

interior design of hotels, such as publications on furniture and carpets.

6. Coulson, Anthony J. A Bibliography of Design in Britain,

1851 - 1970. London: Design Council, 1979. 291 pp. Index. ISBN 0-

85072- 091- 5.

    This unannotated bibliography of books and articles concentrates on

British design history. While not comprehensive, the impressive range of

subjects includes design education; organizations and institutions; design

theory, studies, trends, and practitioners; and graphic, interior, furniture,

costume, and industrial design. The eight -page chapter on color,

ornament, and pattern lists approximately 50 titles on color theory and

application. Coulson introduces groupings of books and articles with brief

descriptive and evaluative information, making this a unique resource that is

part listing and part literature review.

7. Del Cervo, Diane. The Faber Birren Collection of Books on

Color: Guide and Index to the Microfilm Collection.

Woodbridge, CT: Research Publications, 1983. 65 pp. Index. ISBN 0-


    This publication contains the main entry, title, and subject listing for

each of 497 titles selected by colorist Faber Birren. The titles were taken '

from the private collection the author donated to Yale University, the Royal

College of Art Colour Reference Library,  the New York Public Library, and

the Harvard University Libraries. The books cover all aspects of color and

were published between 1558 and the 1930s. Each unannotated entry

includes basic bibliographic information and indicates the microfilm reel on

which the item can be found. Forty-eight of the reels contain the text of the

books, arranged in alphabetical order by author. The remaining seven reels

consist of color reproductions of all color illustrations in the texts. The

microfilms facilitate study of the most important books on color theory and

color usage.

8. Hayward, D. Geoffrey. The Psychology and Physiology of Light and

Color as an Issue in the Planning and Managing of Environments: A

Selected Bibliography. Monticello, IL: Council of Planning Librarians,

1972. Exchange Bibliography #288. 14 pp.

    This110-item bibliography begins with a short essay that explains

its scope and limitations. Titles relate mainly to the psychology of light, for

example, lighting and the design of environments and the study of

environmental influences on behavior. Citations are arranged alphabetically

by author and are not annotated. An especially useful feature of this

bibliography is the inclusion of theses and papers in addition to a few books

and many periodical citations. The lack of annotations makes it difficult to

be certain, but color does not seem to be addressed in many of the titles


9. Kiell, Norman, ed. Psychiatry and Psychology in the Visual Arts and

Aesthetics: A Bibliography .Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,

  1. 1965.250 pp. Index.

    This unannotated bibliography of more than 7,000 items includes

English and foreign language books and articles that address fine art and

aesthetics as they relate to psychiatry and psychology. One of the 22

chapters is devoted to color and contains 581 entries published from the late

1800s to the mid-1960s. This chapter is organized as a single alphabetical

listing of titles on a wide variety of color topics. Although the lack of

subcategories makes efficient use of the listing difficult, this bibliography

might be useful as a starting point for those doing historical research on the

topics that fall within its scope.

10. Kingston Polytechnic. The Color Tree. Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey:

Kingston Polytechnic, 1981. 18 pp.

    This is an unannotated bibliography of 120 publications found in the

Knight’s Park Library of the Kingston Polytechnic. Prepared by the

library’s Learning Resources Publication and Publicity Committee, it gives

Dewey decimal categories and call numbers for the convenience of readers.

The included categories are: architectural psychology, art, art theory,

cosmetics, interior design, optics and physics, ornament, painting,

pigments/painting materials, textile design-handicrafts, blindness,

mixing/painting techniques, perception/psychology, systems/painting,

technology, terms, theories/painting, and theories/physics. There are few

titles on textile design or graphic design. The curious title derives from the

cover, which appears to be a photocopy of an early drawing of Munsell’s

color tree.

11. Parks, Berkeley. Color Theory: Selected Bibliography. Monticello, IL:

Council of Planning Librarians, 1975. Exchange Bibliography #886. 6 pp.

    Approximately 80 books, many published before 1960, are included

in this unannotated, selected bibliography. While it lists many classic titles

in color theory, the publication lacks an introductory statement about its


12. Parks, Berkeley. Psychological Response to Surface Color. Monticello,

IL: Council of Planning Librarians, 1975. Exchange Bibliography # 902.

17 pp.

    The first section consists of 222 citations, primarily in journals, to

studies dealing with color response. The section’s five subdivisions are

development of color sense, order of preference, past experience and color

modification, color connotation and association, and color and judgment.

The second section includes both books and journal articles that provide

general information on color perception. Entries date from the late 1890s to

the 1970s and are not annotated. The compilation of difficult-to-locate

citations in a single source makes this a useful bibliography, though the

publication lacks a note explaining criteria for selection.

13. Vance, Mary. Color: An Introductory Bibliography. Monticello, IL:

Vance Bibliographies, 1982. Architecture Series Bibliography A-743. 12 pp.

    This bibliography is divided into five sections: bibliography, color,

color perception, psychological effects of color, and color in architecture.

Citations give only author, title, publisher, and date. Most entries are books

published between 1960 and 1981. While there are nearly 200 entries,

some citations appear in more than one section. The bibliography lacks an

introductory esay to explain the scope and limitations of the work.

14. Willis, Victoria Jane. A Bibliography on Color and Light: Theory and

Application. Monticello, IL: Council of Planning Librarians, 1977.

Exchange Bibliography #1426. 15 pp.

    More than 100 titles are listed in this unannotated bibliography.

Publication dates range from 1925 to the mid-1970s. Many of the classic

color theory books are included, making this a useful beginning source for

anyone doing general color research. The bibliography lacks an explanation

of its scope and limitations.