Subject – Arts and Design key resources

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

The Library subscribes to journals chosen by the Faculty that you can access in print and online via Library Search, the Library’s multi-disciplinary search engine. We’ve put together a list in My Module Resources that brings together a selection of key journals to which we have access. This will help you browse current editions and keep up-to-date with whats going on in the arts and design world. The video below explains how to find print journals in the Murray and St Peter’s libraries.

Keep an eye on our new books list to keep up to date with new stock arriving in the library. It is updated with details of new stock that has been purchased for all subjects within the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries.

Check out our hints and tips on reading for academic purposes.

Explore our subscription to Box of Broadcasts (BoB) which is an on-demand TV & radio streaming service. This means that our staff and students have access to BoB’s archive and also have the ability to record upcoming programs over 65 free-to-air channels from the UK and beyond.

** Check out our hints and tips for getting the most out of BoB. **

As well as giving stable, legal access to broadcast content, BoB offers some exciting features for teaching and learning.

  • Links to broadcasts or clips can be embedded into presentations, or embedded into Canvas.
  • Advanced search: It’s possible to search BoB by subject or program as well as by date e.g. it’s possible to see everything broadcast from a date in time.
  • Clips and notes: You can use slider bars on a broadcast to create clips and write annotations on those clips. It’s possible to put these clips into a compilation. No extra software is needed.
  • Playlists: Tutors can create playlists, with annotations, and make these available publicly, to a cohort, or keep them private in a workspace. There are over 80,000 publicly available playlists, and it’s possible to search these by curator, keyword, or institution. Playlists can include programs, individual broadcasts, clips or clip compilations
  • Transcripts: BoB also offers transcripts, which would be helpful for accessibility, language comprehension, quoting for essays, as well as scriptwriting. Transcripts are fully searchable by keyword.

AN (Artists Newsletter) –  really valuable online archive of useful articles, guides, tips, opportunities (exhibitions, competitions, commission…) etc… on how to be/work/survive as a an artist.

Art Full Text is a bibliographic database that indexes and abstracts articles from journals published throughout the world ncluding full-text coverage for selected journals. Periodical coverage includes English-language journals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins, as well as journals 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 journals.

The Fashion History Timeline is an open-access source for fashion history knowledge, featuring objects and artworks from over a hundred museums and libraries that span the globe. The Timeline website offers well-researched, accessibly written entries on artworksgarmentsfilms and specific time periods, for those interested in fashion and dress history.

World Global Style Network is an online style gallery. The first time you use it, you will need to set up an account with your university email address (

The Library has an excellent collection of exhibition catalogues from many major galleries and are a great resource to help you discover artists and their work. The exhibition catalogues are located on the upper level of the Murray Library (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.

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:

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

If you aren’t able to visit an exhibition in person, you may find that we have a copy of the relevant exhibition catalogue in the library collection.

The Arts and Design slide collection at the Murray Library includes over 80,000 slides covering all aspects of art and design.

You can find slides by searching the Slide Collection on the Library Catalogue, using the artist’s name or a subject. The slides are kept in a storage facility adjacent to the Library so will need to be retrieved by a member of staff. Please give us 24 hours notice of what you want to look at so that we can retrieve the slides in a timely manner for you. You can let us know your requirements by contacting us through LibraryTalk or coming to the Enquiry desk.

Newsstream – Gives access to many contemporary news sources from around the world – find out more about on our blog.

International newspapers – here is a selection of news websites and international newspapers.

Research theses (PhD, Professional Doctorates etc) are excellent sources of unpublished information. University of Sunderland theses are added to the Sunderland Repository. You may find theses from other universities via EThOS or PQDT Open.

SURE (Sunderland Repository)
Explore research written by University of Sunderland staff and students.

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.

You can access a huge range of design and production software from any machine on campus – view a full list of software here.

A lot of information is freely available online from the websites of professional associations, research bodies and through social media channels. This includes research reports, professional practice, and current news. A selection of sources for art and design are listed below.