New online library resources

London Met Libraries have been able to buy more online resources, due to the ongoing pandemic, and our physical libraries currently being closed again (January 2021).

You can find more information in our library news section, but a few highlights for Art and Design students include:

Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts

This comprehensive resource offers instant, searchable access to books which combine visual inspiration with practical advice on idea generation, research techniques, portfolio development and more, across the main visual arts disciplines including Fashion and Textiles, Design and Illustration, Photography, Film and Media, Architecture and Interiors, and Marketing and Advertising.

Bloomsbury Design Library

A resource for students, academics and researchers in Visual Arts and Design which provides coverage of design and crafts worldwide, from 1500 BCE to the present day. This database offers cross-searchable access to a broad range of reference works, e-books, images, designer pages, and exhibition collections.

Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive

The Fashion Photography Archive is a fully searchable and meticulously indexed resource, containing 750,000 high-quality runway, backstage and street style images that have never before been published online. These include: international runway shows from the 1970s until 2000, including key designers such as McQueen, Gaultier, Westwood, Chalayan, Galliano and more; rare backstage and front row shots from fashion shows of the past forty years; and, street-style images from fashion cities around the world.

These are all fantastic resources to help you with your studies, please note a London Met University username and password is required to login. If you need any help using these resources, please contact the Academic Liaison Librarian for your subject.


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Studio Ghibli resources

Last Tuesday, 5th of January, marked the 80th birthday of Japanese animator, director, producer, screenwriter, author, and manga artist Hayao Miyazaki. He is the co-founder of the world-famous film and animation studio Studio Ghibli, which boasts an array of award winning films, such as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke, to name a few.

If you are already a fan, or looking to discover more, there are various online resources for a Studio Ghibli fix!

Films online -free!

London Met Libraries subscribes to BOB (Box of Broadcasts), where you can watch on-demand from over 65 free to air channels, and since many Studio Ghibli films have been aired on Channel 4 or Film Four, you can watch them on here. Initial registration is required, then you log in with your university username and password. If you search ‘Studio Ghibli’ under Public Playlists, there are already several lists including links to the films.



Podcast that ‘leafs through the library of films’ of from Studio Ghibli with Michael Leader and Jake Cunningham


An ‘indispensable’  guide

BBC arts ad Culture guide to the films of Studio Ghibli

‘Best films’ according to Variety

Tour of the museum

Virtual tour of Studio Ghibli  museum

A rare opportunity to see inside the museum in Japan, where normally no photography or filming is allowed.

Online images to download

The studio has released some images from the films to download, however you might need to brush up on your Japanese to check the copyright. This website says they are not to be used for commercial or advertising purposes.

Totoro in the Ghibli Museum’s faux box office picture from wikimedia










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The Social Art Library

The Social Art Library  is a new collectively-built archive and resource library for and about social art practice by AXIS.

It is one of the outcomes of  a project with Manchester Metropolitan University, in recognition that increasing numbers of Axis members were making art in social settings, and they wanted to make social practice and its  learnings accessible to as many people as possible.

It includes projects, videos, images, articles and more, and is open for submission too if you think your work fits the bill.

Have a look at their ‘FAQs’ as to what they mean by ‘social art’, and any other questions you may have.

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British Art and Natural Forces online programme

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art has been hosting an online programme of research events relating to British Art and Natural Forces.

The events focus on the encounter between artistic and art-historical practice and the forces of the natural world, taking the format of a series of panels and keynote lectures.

A few of the events include:

Apocalyptic Conjunctures: The Weather of Art History

Plants, Animals seminar

Racial Capitalocene: Ecology and Abolition.

Although at the time of publishing this post, most of the events have passed, many are recorded and available to watch online.


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65,000 photographs to browse on Ed Ruscha archive

The Getty Research Institute (GRI), had launched 12 Sunsets: Exploring Ed Ruscha’s Archive, which is an interactive website allowing you to browse through more than 65,000 photographs taken by artist Ed Ruscha between 1965 and 2007 of Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and the inspiration for one of his most famous artists books Every Building on the Sunset Strip.

This is part of Ed Ruschas’s Streets of Los Angeles Archive, acquired by the GRI in 2012, which has more than one million images, many of which have been digitised, and some can be viewed on line, just in case 65,000 isn’t enough to keep you busy!

Ed Rusha books available on the library catalogue (at time of writing you can reserve books to pick up from the library).

Or a list of journals and articles available online. You will need to login to your library account to access most of these resources, if you have any problems accessing any of them please contact your academic liaison librarian.




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VADS images resource new website

VADS (Visual Arts Data Service) is a unique repository of images created and managed by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Library.

They have just released a new website, and the updated VADS offers improved access to its archive of over 140,000 images from 300 different UK collections – all available free for use in education.

VADS’ images cover the broad range of the visual arts including applied arts, architecture, design, fashion, fine art, and media. Everything from impressionist paintings to wartime posters, fashion photography to ceramics and furniture is available for use, organised by collection and also fully searchable. It contains work by thousands of artists and public institutes, including places such as The Imperial War Museum, The RCA, UAL , the Women’s Library, as well as The Frederick Parker Chair collection, which we house at London Met.

To explore the collection and find out how you can use its images in your academic work, go to

Carved beech upholstered winged arm chair, The Frederick Parker Chair Collection: London Metropolitan University. © Frederick Parker Foundation

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Homemade banners book and online archives

A new book about banners celebrating women’s empowerment, made by artists has been published, and you can see some of the great artworks in this Guardian article, as well an online preview of the book here.

Where else might you might be able to view these type of homemade banners, a real creative outlet for protestors and communities online?

Here are a few I found:

The Banner Lending Library (based in Chicago, but they have a vast archive on their website)

The Women’s Library – Suffrage Banners Collection on VADS

Jeremy Deller Procession project

Bishopsgate Institute archives (search banners)

Arbitration from Women´s Library Suffrage Banners Collection on VADS (Unidentified designer). This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license.


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Frida Kahlo museum virtual tour

Frida Kahlo’s House in Mexico City - now a museum, has a beautiful, walled garden and many paintings on display inside the building.  Now you can take a virtual tour of the museum from your home. You can either click on arrows in the main picture to move around in the tour or click on the small thumbnail pictures at the bottom of the screen to go from room to room.

This and many other activities to do from home are listed on our ‘Keeping busy page’ some suggestions from Library Services on how you can take a break from studying or working from home. The list was started as lock-down began and most people were unable to go outside, however we will keep adding to it as many staff and students will continue to work from home, so keep checking back for more additions!

For a list of E-books about Frida Kahlo see the library catalogue here.

See also Bridgeman Education, the digital image database, where you can view many works by Frida Kahlo and many more artists. Log in with your username and password.

For more Frida Kahlo resources check out our previous post about a Google Arts & Culture and more here.

Museo Frida Kahlo copyright Sheep”R”Us from Flikr



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Free journal downloads

Although we have many journals available to download and read online through the library catalogue, some are still only available in print.

Emigre Magazine (graphic design) is usually accessible in our Aldgate library as a print journal, however for the first time since its first publication in 1984, they have made free access to their entire print run (1984 – 2005) available through Letterform Archive, where you can browse and research each volume online.

You can also download issues 64 – 69 for free on the Emigre website.

The British Journal of Photographers have also made their ‘Female Gaze’ issue free to download (registration required), which is also only usually available as print.

If we come across anymore we will keep you updated.

Happy reading!


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Argos catalogue archive online

Last month Argos announced it would stop printing it’s seminal paper catalogue (apparently once found in three quarters of British homes, and only the Bible was found in more homes!), as online shopping increases. It was first printed 47 years ago, and for many of us it evokes childhood memories of flicking through the pages and annoying parents with making wish lists of toys and goods.

But it is also a great history of design and British tastes over these decades, whether it be furniture, interior design, graphic design, accessories or technology. Apparently it was also the most targeted shop for looting during the London riots back in 2011. But fear not! Retromash have been lovingly collating collections of old catalogues that can be viewed and searched online. Nostalgia overload at the ready.

If you feel the need to see a real life vintage catalogue, we do hold a couple in the Special Collections  but as this is currently closed, as with all our libraries, due to the corona virus pandemic, you will need to wait until we re-open (no date at time of writing).


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