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Collections: About the Collections

Library Collections

The Library collects a wide range of print, online and audiovisual material to support the curriculum, research, teaching and scholarship. Our focus is on art, design, media and performance but we also buy material to provide context to those subjects e.g. sustainability, cultural studies, history, etc. 

Our criteria for selecting material: 

  • Relevance to the curriculum
  • Supports research at the University
  • Language (English, Bilingual - where one of the languages is English, or can be understood without reading the text)
  • Cultural diversity
  • Cost
  • Technical or legal considerations for online or audiovisual material.

The collections can be used in many ways and we try to strike the right balance between supporting the curriculum and providing information resources for exploration and discovery. In these pages we will highlight the range of material available to you.  


We welcome your suggestions for items you would like us to add to stock. We can't guarantee that we will buy everything that is requested but we do buy the majority of your suggestions. If your request is for a journal subscription or database we may need to discontinue another title, or bid for funding to add it to stock.

Click here to request an item

How We Select What We Buy

Subject Librarians use their expertise and experience to select relevant material. They work with academic course teams, student suggestions and the Student Union to develop a curated collection. 

The Library team work together to evaluate resources, particularly more expensive purchases, such as databases or journals which have an ongoing cost. We assess relevance, usability, how it fits within the collections we already have, any technical requirements of the resource, and cost. 

We offer an inter-library loan service to get hold of items you would like to access that we don't have in stock. 


The Library uses Dewey Classification to organise the print collections. We compliment this with Universal Access by Design (UABD) signs and symbols to make it easier to find relevant material. 


UABD was designed by Jason Healey for his Graphic Design Final major project. Jason felt that the white spine labels on the books were daunting, particularly for dyslexic students like himself. He wanted to create something more creative and visual. The colour of the symbol on our signs matches the colour of the strips along the shelves to show you where to look for a book or journal.