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Bloomsbury Design Library

Bloomsbury Design Library
Available via annual subscription to institutions worldwide.

Now Available! Offers access to a carefully curated collection of fully-searchable text and image content. Comprehensive, peer-reviewed reference works combine with cutting-edge academic research and a wealth of images to offer academics and students high-quality, intuitive and practical research tools.

From Alvar Aalto to virtual reality design, and from authoritative reference information to innovative scholarly research, the Bloomsbury Design Library provides unrivalled coverage of design and crafts worldwide, from 1500 BCE to the present day.

Including a fast-expanding range of full-text content and images, underpinned by a specially developed taxonomy, the Bloomsbury Design Library is an invaluable resource for students, academics and researchers in Visual Arts and Design.

  • Explore the global history of design and crafts from pre-history to the present day
  • Discover more about influential designers and makers
  • Learn about everything from retro style to contemporary crafts, and from design for sustainability to the workings of the design industry
  • Understand the history of design in its social, political and economic context through an illustrated interactive timeline

Video and Tutorials

What's included?
The Bloomsbury Design Library offers cross-searchable access to a broad and expanding range of encyclopedias, reference works, e-books, images, and more:

  • The landmark, three-volume Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design – including over 1,700 authoritative articles by leading international scholars, this unique encyclopedia provides comprehensive coverage of disciplines, designers, schools, movements and styles, national design histories, and methods and processes
  • The definitive, two-volume World History of Design - written by eminent design historian Victor Margolin, this is an acclaimed and richly illustrated history of global crafts, decorative arts, and graphic and industrial design from prehistoric times to the end of World War II
  • Over 60 eBooks in design and craft studies by leading scholars including Glenn Adamson, Tony Fry, John Heskett, Penny Sparke, Judith Attfield and Nigel Cross
  • Over 100 Designer Pages providing essential details and links to further reading about key figures including Ettore Sottsass, Walter Gropius, William Morris, Jonathan Ive, Victor Papanek, Yoko Kuwasawa, Charles Eames, and Ray Kaiser Eames
  • An interactive timeline provides a richly illustrated overview of global design and crafts history from 1500 BCE to the present day, with contextual information on culture and the arts, society and politics, technology and science, economics and trade, and ideas and philosophies, and click-through links to related content
  • Coming soon: online exclusive articles from The Encyclopedia of Asian Design, lesson plans, bibliographic guides, a searchable image library, and much more.

Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design

*Named as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title of 2016*

General Editor: Clive Edwards, Loughborough University

Subject Editors: Harriet Atkinson, University of Brighton, UK; Dipti Bhagat, London Metropolitan University, UK; Sarah Kettley, Nottingham Trent University, UK; Sorcha O'Brien, Kingston University, UK; David Raizman, Drexel University, USA; Anne-Marie Willis, The German University in Cairo, Egypt.

The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design comprises over 1700 authoritative reference articles by leading international design scholars on key topics in design studies and design history, providing comprehensive coverage of disciplines, designers, schools, movements and styles, national design histories and methods and processes.

Read reviews of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design.

World History of Design

Author: Victor Margolin

Victor Margolin is Professor Emeritus of Design History at the University of Illinois, Chicago, USA. A graduate of English literature and film from Columbia University, Victor went on to obtain a PhD in design history from the Union Graduate School a non-traditional institution based in Cincinnati. His dissertation was on the graphic design of Alexander Rodchenko, El Lissitzky, and Laszlo Moholy-Nagy. Margolin began teaching art and design history at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1982 and remained there until his retirement in 2006. Victor is a founder editor of the academic design journal Design Issues, and the author and editor of many books, including Design Discourse (1989), The Idea of Design (1995), Discovering Design: Explorations in Design Studies (1995), and The Designed World: Images, Objects, Environments (Berg, 2010). In 1997 he published The Struggle for Utopia: Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Moholy-Nagy, 1917-1946 and in 1992 a volume of his own articles, The Politics of the Artificial: Essays on Design and Design Studies. Early in the current century, Victor began work on a comprehensive global history of design, the first two volumes of which were published in 2015.

Margolin was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the organizers of the LearnXDesign conference in Chicago in 2015, for his 'exemplary contributions to design history, research, education and practice' and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Design Research Society in 2016.

This magisterial history tells the story of crafts, decorative arts, graphic and industrial design from prehistoric times to the end of World War II. These two richly-illustrated volumes are exclusively available in digital form in the Bloomsbury Design Library.

Read reviews of the World History of Design.

eBook Collection

The Bloomsbury Design Library features more than 60 eBooks in design and crafts, with a broad coverage of topics in design and craft history, national design traditions, design theory and criticism.

Books by leading scholars including Glenn Adamson, Tony Fry, John Heskett, Penny Sparke, Judith Attfield and Nigel Cross are fully indexed and cross-searchable by keyword using our custom taxonomy.




Additional Materials

Bloomsbury Design Library Brochure?
Download the Bloomsbury Design Library flyer [PDF]
Download the Bloomsbury Design Library poster [PDF]
Download the Bloomsbury Design Library logo [JPEG]:


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The Bloomsbury Design Library is available to institutions by annual subscription. New and updated content will be added twice a year, and institutions can request a 30-day free trial 
What we need is:
1. External IPs of the entire university
2. Contact data of the librarian/administrator
3. The date when you wish to start 
4. Send request to
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