Use of electronic databases by South African visual artists: a cross-sectional study

Carol Van Zijl, Elizabeth M. Gericke


This article is based on part of a cross-sectional survey conducted as the empirical component of a Masters'
dissertation submitted to the University of South Africa. The extent to which visual artists use certain wellknown
art-related databases that are available either online or on CD-ROM was investigated. Artists also
had to indicate how successful they were in finding the required information on databases. It was found that
South African artists have low levels of interest in, and awareness of these databases. Although the sample
used included only the more information-literate artists such as lecturers, high school art teachers and
members of art societies, it was apparent that the majority of the respondents had never used most of the
databases in question. The independent variables of gender, age, working affiliation, qualifications and field
of artistic interest have a decisive influence on the degree of interest shown in the databases. The perceived
success in searching the databases is also influenced by these variables.

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