What content is available in Bloomsbury Visual Arts?

Bloomsbury Visual Arts is a digital interdisciplinary hub designed for research and learning across design, art, architecture and related fields. The site holds different collections, each of which is available for individual purchase, via subscription (except for Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism) or perpetual access.

  • Bloomsbury Design Library offers cross-searchable access to the full text of the Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design (three volumes), Victor Margolin's World History of Design (two volumes), the Encyclopedia of Asian Design (two volumes), over 100 biographies of key figures, an interactive timeline, and an expanding range of books (currently over 100 titles available).
  • Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts brings together a collection of over 170 titles offering the best and most inspiring content across multiple fields of practice. Rich with beautiful artwork, practitioner interviews, case studies and activities, the books have been especially designed with the needs of visual learners in mind and provide inspiring design and visuals, practical pedagogy and insider expertise to support a variety of learning pathways and outcomes, as well as portfolio and creative career development.
  • Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism offers exclusive digital access to a 3-volume major reference work with 200 survey articles, 500 A-Z articles covering key figures, 500 rare documentary and archive images, portraits and artworks as well as an interactive timeline that allows you to explore Surrealism from its beginnings to the present day.
  • Bloomsbury Art Markets is the first scholarly guide of its kind online; it brings together over 4000 peer-reviewed articles to provide a comprehensive guide to art galleries, auction houses, art fairs, and agents from multiple national and historical contexts.

Is the content included in Bloomsbury Visual Arts available online anywhere else?

  • Bloomsbury Design Library: The World History of Design and Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design are available online exclusively on Bloomsbury Visual Arts. The books in the resource are fully-indexed exclusively for the resource and can be cross-searched with other related content.
  • Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts: The majority of content included is exclusive to Bloomsbury Visual Arts. The Fashion and Textiles books are also available through the Fairchild Books Library and Book Store on Bloomsbury Fashion Central.
  • Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism: The 3-volume International Encyclopedia of Surrealism major reference work is available exclusively on Bloomsbury Visual Arts.
  • Bloomsbury Art Markets: This landmark digital reference work is exclusive to Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

What is the coverage of Bloomsbury Visual Arts?

  • Bloomsbury Design Library: The resource offers unrivalled coverage of all aspects of design from almost every country in the world. The World History of Design is an acclaimed and richly illustrated history of global crafts, decorative arts, and graphic and industrial design. The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design includes coverage of global design history from articles on national design traditions to entries on designers from around the world, as well as coverage of transnational issues. The Bloomsbury Design Library features a wide selection of works on design theory and history. Exploring key disciplines like graphic, product and industrial design, and important themes such as sustainability, globalisation and design futures, the resource has a vast array of research and pedagogy to discover. There is also plenty of content on crafts and making, ceramics and art history. The full history of design is covered from prehistoric times to the present day.
  • Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts: Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts covers a full range of disciplines – design thinking and management, graphic design, illustration and typography, product and interactive design; fashion and textile design, merchandising and construction; filmmaking, animation and game design; marketing, branding and advertising; architecture, landscape architecture and interior architecture and design; and photography. Though the focus is on applied disciplines, many of the books also offer coverage of the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the fields of practice.
  • Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism: Surrealism is one of the most influential and popular art forms of the last century. It has shaped painting, literature, film, photography, music, theatre, architecture, fashion and design, as well as thinking about politics and culture. The Encyclopedia presents the first comprehensive and systematic overview of surrealism internationally, from the beginning of the movement in 1917 to the present day. Volume 1 includes overviews of national surrealist movements, surrealism’s influence across the visual, applied and performing arts, and analyses of the concepts which underpin surrealism. Volumes 2 and 3 present an A-Z of both the significant and the lesser-known individuals - theorists, critics, novelists, poets, playwrights, screenwriters, designers, painters, collagists, object makers, sculptors, film makers, and photographers – who have made and continue to make surrealism. The volume concludes with a detailed overview of contemporary surrealist practice.
  • Bloomsbury Art Markets: Bloomsbury Art Markets offers exclusive digital access to a major reference work, containing over 2000 articles at launch and rising to 4000 articles when complete. Covering Europe and North America from 1900 to the present, these peer-reviewed articles fall into four major categories (auction houses, galleries, art dealers, and art fairs) and combine factual data with biographical information and historical narratives. Selected bibliographies are provided to facilitate further research.

Will the resource be updated?

  • Bloomsbury Design Library: New and revised content will be added to Bloomsbury Design Library twice a year at no extra charge. Updates will include online exclusive articles from The Encyclopedia of Asian Design, a searchable image library, lesson plans, additional books in design and craft studies, and much more.
  • Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts: Updated editions will be made available annually. Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts is sold on a perpetual access basis, in which case each year’s update can be purchased separately by your institution.
  • Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism: Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism will be updated with new and exclusive Bibliographic Guides written by the Encyclopedia's Editors up until 2023, after which the collection will be complete.
  • Bloomsbury Art Markets: Bloomsbury Art Markets will be updated with new and exclusive articles annually in 2024 and 2025, after which the collection will be complete.

Who is the resource for?

Bloomsbury Visual Arts is a cross-searchable digital hub which supports an interdisciplinary approach to studies, teaching and research in this area. Its collections have been designed to fit together seamlessly so that access to any combination of them provides a rich experience for users of all levels. You can read more about their specific alignment with courses, research or professional practice below:

  • Bloomsbury Design Library: provides unrivalled coverage of design and crafts worldwide for students, instructors and researchers across a range of design studies courses, as well as spanning other visual arts disciplines.
  • Bloomsbury Applied Visual Arts: brings together an unprecedented collection of textbooks for students and instructors involved with practice-led visual arts courses at different levels. It offers inspiring content across Design and Illustration, Fashion and Textiles, Architecture and Interiors, Film and Media, Marketing and Advertising, and Photography.
  • Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism: offers authoritative coverage for students, instructors and researchers in: Art History/ Theory, French Studies, Film Studies, Literary Studies, Photography and Visual Culture, as well as Design/ Fashion, Cultural History and Social/ Cultural/ Political Theory.
  • Bloomsbury Art Markets: is an essential resource for scholars and researchers, as well as art world professionals, and is specially designed to serve the expanding research areas of art market studies, art historiography and provenance research.

What search and browse options are available?

There are multiple ways of navigating the content:

  • The main Search box in the header
  • Advanced Search: search by author name, title, category, or identifier, as well as by Content Types
  • Explore options: browse lists by subject, theme, people, place, period, and schools, movements and styles.
  • Browse Contents: browse lists of reference works, books, images, designer biographies, and teaching & learning resources available on Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

Why can't I see all of the available content?

The Bloomsbury Visual Arts hub site is subscription-sensitive, meaning that by default users will only see collections to which they have access. They can still choose to explore the free Teaching and Learning Resources and Featured Content showcasing curated content from across the platform. They will also be able to view information about all of the available collections from the About page if they wish. This development has been added in response to user feedback and is designed to simplify journeys through the platform, while ensuring users primarily only see content which is most relevant to their institution’s subscription(s).

Can I save items for reading later?

Yes! It's quick and easy for any authenticated user to set up a personal account to save books, chapters or other items to view later, organise saved items into folders, email and export citations, save searches and set up search alerts.

Follow the link in the header to 'Sign in to your personal account', or select 'Sign up now' and enter a few personal details (name, occupation, country, email address and password) to create a Personal Account.

Please note you can use the same Personal Account details to sign in on multiple Bloomsbury platforms, including Bloomsbury Popular Music, Drama Online, Churchill Archive and other forthcoming resources.

Can I print and download full text?

Yes, the site content has no DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection, and so it can be printed or saved to personal computers. All use of the site content is subject to our Terms and Conditions: printing and saving should be for personal use, and standard copyright restrictions apply regarding unauthorised copying and distribution.

How do I cite texts from Bloomsbury Visual Arts?

From the content page, click on the 'cite' icon to view formatted citations in APA, MLA, Chicago and Harvard citation styles. You can also download a file in RIS format for importing into reference manager software. Please note that the original pagination has been preserved from the print editions.

Can I follow links to other online resources?

Yes, if your institution has set up a link resolver, you can follow links from the bibliographies of full-text books to find copies of the referenced works in your library catalogue or other resources to which your library subscribes.

Accessing the Site

Do I need to log in to access the site?

Most institutions will set up their access via IP-authentication, which means that users are automatically 'logged in' when accessing through their institution. If you have been recognised as a user from a subscribing institution, this will be signalled by the 'Access provided by....' message in the site header. Some institutions require username and password access. If you are in doubt as to how to access the site, please contact your library.

Is there a limit on the number of users that can use the site at the same time?

No, access is available on an unlimited simultaneous user basis.

Does the site support access via Shibboleth?

Yes. If your institution uses authentication via Shibboleth, select this option from the Log In page.

Can I access Bloomsbury Visual Arts on a mobile device?

Yes, the site is responsive, and fully optimised for displaying on a range of tablet and smartphone interfaces. The site has been tested using recent versions of the iPad, iPhone, and Android smartphones and tablets. No web-enabled devices are specifically excluded, and there is no separate mobile site: the site layout adapts automatically depending on the size of the screen.

What browsers are supported?

Most browsers are supported including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Edge, Chrome Mobile, and Safari Mobile. Please note that Internet Explorer was retired by Microsoft as of June 2022 so we are no longer able to guarantee support for this browser. We will continue to monitor usage from different browsers and platforms and revise our list of actively supported browsers and devices accordingly.

Does Bloomsbury Visual Arts conform to accessibility standards?

Bloomsbury Digital Resources is committed to ensuring equal access for all users of our resources, regardless of technology or ability. Like all our resources, we aim for compliance with Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 on Bloomsbury Visual Arts.

For more information, view our accessibility statement.