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.

This page brings together lots of hints and tips about using the library resources for your studies and research. Browse through the tabs as each one highlights a different set of key resources within art and design which you will find useful when searching for relevant literature and resources.

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. This will help you discover journal articles in your areas of interest and keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the arts and design world.

By using ‘Library Search’ you will discover a huge number of journal articles and other resources relevant to your studies and research in these key journals and beyond.

This video shows you how to search for a journal in Library Search.

Some journals in this subject are only available in print format. This video shows you how to search and find print journals.

This video shows you how to search for the full text of an article in Library Search.

How can I search for a book?

To find print books and ebooks in the library go to the Library home page and use Library Search. You can limit your search results to books by using the ‘tweak your results’ on the left hand side and under ‘Resource type’ select ‘books’. To limit to ebooks select ‘Availability – available online’.

You can search by a variety of ways including:

A specific book title eg: Painting today

An author name(s) eg: Barthes, R (use advanced search)

Subject keyword(s) eg: documentary photography

Or a combination of these eg: Bate photography

Refine your search by using the ‘Tweak your results’ on the left of the screen to refine by dateresource type, etc.

You can also watch our informal video on how to use Library Search.

Where will I find the books on the shelves?

The majority of the print books you’ll need to use can be found at St Peter’s Library and at Library@DavidGoldman. Due to wide-ranging nature of art and design subjects, there aren’t just a few shelves where you will find relevant books. Always use Library Search to check the shelfmark of the book.

What new books are there in the library?

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.

Can the library help develop my reading skills?

Yes, we can! Check out our hints and tips on reading for academic purposes.

Can I create a list of books I'm interested in?

Yes, follow this steps outlined in this video on how to use the ‘My Favourites’ feature in Library Search, and you can start creating your own reading lists straightaway.


Navigate this playlist to learn how to use our new Library Search.

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 75 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.

The Library provides access to a wide-range of online databases, here are a selection particularly relevant to art and design:

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 comprehensive resource for art information featuring full-text articles from more than 300 journals dating back to 1995, as well as high-quality indexing of over 600 journals as far back as 1984. In addition to articles, Art Full Text indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed journals – this provides examples of styles and art movements, and includes works from emerging artists. The contents can be found through Library Search or you can search it separately.

Euromonitor focusses its industry analysis across consumer goods and services, including market performance, market size, company and brand shares and profiles of leading companies and brands. For example, fashion students may want to research market sector data on consumer trends and spending.

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.

IBISWorld provides industry intelligence that analyses the environment of over 400 UK industries. Each industry report provides detailed performance data and analysis on the market, leading competitors, operating strengths and weaknesses, external drivers, major player market strategies, industry profit and cost structure benchmarks. For example, you can access industry data on the fashion industry on manufacture, wholesale and retail.

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 (@sunderland.ac.uk).

colours, dark, dusk, art

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 lower level of the St Peter’s Library (shelved at 700) allowing you to browse the shelves by artist name.

Use Library Search 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).

Located on the lower 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 Library Search.

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 Search, 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. We have a lightbox which you can use in the library to view the slides. 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.

This video tutorial which walks you through how to access Newsstream from anywhere you have internet access.

Research theses (PhD, Professional Doctorates etc) are excellent sources of unpublished information. Two key places to start searching are SURE (our Sunderland repository of research outputs) for University of Sunderland theses and EThOS the UK’s national thesis service:

  • SURE (Sunderland Repository) – Explore research written by University of Sunderland staff and students. You can browse theses by publication year.
  • EThOS (e-theses online service) from the British Library – This 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.

Sources for theses from other parts of the world include:

  • DART Europe – Gives access to over a million open access theses throughout Europe.
  • The National Library of Austrialia’s Trove is a free repository of Australian material including theses.
  • PQDT Open – This 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.
  • Theses Canada – This collaborative programme between Library and Archives Canada and Canadian universities provides free access to Canadian digital theses and dissertations from participating universities.

The International Research Centre for Calligraphy (IRCC) was set up in 1999 by Dr Manny Ling and Professor Ewan Clayton from the Department of Design. The IRCC has developed a world-wide reputation for calligraphic research. Over the years it has organised and curated numerous international calligraphy symposia and exhibitions. The IRCC collection of calligraphy books at the Murray Library was kindly donated by Roehampton University. If you have any queries about the collection, please contact Professor Ewan Clayton.

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

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.

VADS, the Visual Arts Data Service, is an online resource with over 140,000 images from over 300 art and design collections in the UK. These images are free to use for non-commercial use in education.

Images cover many areas in the visual arts including fine art, media, design, applied arts and fashion. To check how you can use these images, explore the FAQ section which gives clear advice to ensure you use the images in an appropriate manner.

Open Artstor includes more than 750,000 Creative Commons-licensed images in the arts, sciences and literature from archives, museums and libraries around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For advice on re-use of Open Artstor images consult their web site.