Arts & Design - Key Resources

If you want to find the best academic resources for research and to inspire your practice, this key resources section is a great place to start. You can use these resources alongside your recommended reading from your tutors to extend your research into new areas.

If you want to keep up to date with new stock arriving in the library then keep an eye on our new books blog.  It is updated monthly with details of new stock that has been purchased for all arts and design subjects.

The Library subscribes to journals chosen by the Faculty that you can access in print and online via Discover. We’ve put together a list in My Module Resources that brings together all of the journals we have. This will help you browse current editions and keep up-to-date with whats going on in the arts and design world.

Essential Arts and Design journals

Art Full Text is a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from periodicals published throughout the world. Full-text coverage for selected periodicals is also included. Periodical coverage includes English-language periodicals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins, as well as periodicals published in French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish. In addition to articles, Art Full Text indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed periodicals.

Access Art Full Text via Discover Publications

a-n The Artist Information Company is widely acknowledged to be a key UK agency for supporting artists and promoting and shaping visual arts practice. The subject areas covered are applied art, art history, cultural policy, fine art, and social policy. a-n offers an online package of essential visual arts publications, toolkits, the a-n magazine, and many other resources.

Access a-n: Artist Newsletter via Discover Publications.

The Library holds exhibition catalogues from many of the major galleries and are a great resource to help you discover new artists. The exhibition catalogues are located on the Murray Library upper level, shelved at 700, allowing you to browse the shelves by artist name. Use the Library Catalogue to locate them, refining your search results by Exhibition Catalogues. You can search by the artist, gallery, title of the exhibition or by keyword (e.g. David Hockney, Tate Gallery or Sensation: young British artists from the Saatchi Collection).

Watch this short video to help you find exhibition catalogues in the library collection.

Located on the upper level of the Murray Library, the Secure Collection is made up of precious resources, including artists books, special editions, rare art books and signed copies. Items can be used for reference in the library during staffed hours and can be found using the library catalogue.

Highlights of the Secure Collections include

  • Ed Ruscha, Every building on the Sunset Strip, Twenty Six Gasoline Stations and Nine swimming pools and a broken glass.

Museum and gallery websites are brilliant resources to draw on for inspiration and background information. They often have superb sections with information about art and artists, blogs which tell you what’s trending, eduction sections with valuable resources, and of course are the best place to go to find out about up coming exhibitions and events.

Here are just a few of our favourite places to visit for inspiration.

The Arts and Design slide collection at The Murray Library consists of over 80,000 slides covering all aspects of Art and Design. The slides are kept in filing cabinets and divided into two sections: Fine Art and Applied Arts.

You can find slides by searching the Slides Collection on the Library Catalogue, using the artist’s name or a subject.

LexisNexis contains a news database of full-text UK regional, national and broadsheet newspapers.  Coverage goes back as far as January 1982 to the present day for some titles, although this varies by publication.

Access LexisLibrary via Discover Publications


EThOS (e-theses online service) –  from the British Library
EThOS is the UK’s national thesis service with approximately 400,000 records relating to theses awarded by over 120 institutions. Around 160,000 of these also provide access to the full text.

PQDT Open provides the full text of open access dissertations and theses free of charge where the author has opted to publish as open access. This includes international Universities.

Spotlight on Arts and Design

Tate on YouTube

Art21 on YouTube