Bloomsbury Visual Arts - How to Use

How to Use

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The navigation on the top of the homepage provides a variety of options to access content on the site, including Explore by, Collections and Content Types functions.

The basic search bar appears below the main navigation for quick and easy searching across the site.

Below the search bar is an image carousel with a link to read the latest Featured Content with free articles, chapters and images relating to a specific theme on the Bloomsbury Visual Arts platform. Keep scrolling to discover a brief description of the Bloomsbury Visual Arts hub, a range of Explore options and links to Request more collections for your organization or Contact us.


To search, type your search term in the search bar at the top of each page. Clicking the magnifying glass button or pressing return will take you to the results page.

The search page will list results in most relevant order and can be reordered by title or date, ascending or descending. The standard results page shows 10 results, and can be adjusted to 5 or 20 results. The search results will show the chapter or article, author, and reference or book title, with a preview snippet of text that includes the search term - with the search term appearing in bold.

If the search results include image content (images or museum objects) these will appear at the top of the search results page, in a grey box. Clicking the 'More Images' link on the right will present all image results relevant to your search.

Search results can be refined using the left-hand column by Collection; Content Type; Themes; Objects; Materials; The Design Industry; People; Place; Period; Schools, Movements and Styles; Art & Visual Culture; Craft & Decorative Arts; Design & Fashion; Film & Media; and Architecture & Interior Design. The filters available will depend on the search term applied.

Navigate to the desired results by clicking on the chapter or article title at the top of each result.

By default, you will only see content that you have access to. If you are not subscribed to all of the collections within Bloomsbury Visual Arts but wish to see content from other collections in the search results, you can untick the 'Access' box at the bottom of the filters list. This will display padlocks for content you do not have access to.

Advanced Search

To the right of the search bar, click on the Advanced Search button.

Enter your search term in the search bar with the option to refine by Title, Author/Editor/Creator, Summary/Abstract, Category/Keyword, or Identifier. Enter additional search terms using “Add Field” with search functions of “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” and the same options listed above.

Further refine results by ticking the relevant Content Type(s): Article, Bibliographic Guide, Book, Book Chapter, Designer Biography, Encyclopedias & Reference works, Exhibition, Image, Lesson Plan, Museum Collection, Museum Object.

Use the same search results functions on the search page to refine results further and access results.

Books pages

Navigate to a specific book, encyclopedia or reference work volume from the Content Types top navigation. Book pages show the title of the book, author, copyright information, DOI, ISBNs, edition, place of publication, and date published online, the book cover and a link to purchase the book.

The copyright information is followed by a search bar for searching within the book, followed by the table of contents with links to jump to specific sections and chapters of the book. Pagination in the table of contents matches the print edition of books.

Chapter pages

When you have accessed a chapter page, the left-hand column will display the book cover, author, copyright year and imprint, and the search within this book function. Then displays Subjects information and the Table of Contents, allowing easy navigation to other sections of the book, followed by extensive Related Content links.

The main column shows the chapter title, DOI and page range of the chapter, followed by the full text of the chapter. Hovering over the chapter text will show the corresponding page numbers at the appropriate breaks to match print editions of books.

Search within books

Searching in the "Search within this book" function from the book or chapter page will bring up all references to the search term within each chapter of the book.

Explore by

Explore by in the top navigation menu provides options to access the content by subject area - Art & Visual Culture, Design & Fashion, Architecture & Interior Design, Craft & Decorative Arts and Film & Media - as well as by People, Period, Place, Schools, Movements & Styles, Cultures and Themes.

Clicking on any option will either lead to a subject landing page or an alphabetical list for browsing. For the latter, the numbers in brackets next to each term show the amount of content aggregated under each term. Clicking on any term will lead to a results page for all the content on the site that has been tagged with the term.

The results page offers further filter options in the left-hand column.


Bloomsbury Visual Arts holds a number of different collections, each of which is available for individual purchase, either via subscription (except for Bloomsbury International Encyclopedia of Surrealism) or perpetual access. Each collection offers its own set of material and content types.

To find out more about each collection, click on the links below.

Content Types

Content Types in the top navigation menu offers options to browse Books, Encyclopedias & Reference works, Designer Biographies, Image Collections and Teaching & Learning Resources.

Browse Books brings up a page listing all books on the platform in alphabetical order by title, showing the title and author.

The page for Encyclopedias & Reference works brings up all available volumes, allowing users to browse by chapter or article by clicking on the volume of interest.

Images and museum objects

Image pages include the title of the image, the author, the image, copyright information, date, identifier, source document, the content set it belongs to and the subjects it relates to.

Images are displayed via the image viewer. The buttons on the right side of the image frame allow you to increase or decrease the size, rotate, and make the image full screen.

Related images are displayed on the right-hand side of the web page.

Related Content

On each content page, including book chapters, the left-hand column of the page will show Subjects information. All content on the site is tagged using taxonomy terms, and clicking on any of the listed links will lead to all content tagged with that term.

Under the Subjects section, a Related Content section will appear. All content on Bloomsbury Visual Arts is organized as part of a powerful taxonomy. The taxonomy informs the links that appear in this section, showing content that is similar in nature allowing users to discover new and related content organically while using the platform.

Personal account, Saving, and Folders

Create a personal account using the sign up function to save content and searches in folders. Create an account by clicking “Log in” In the top right-hand corner of the site above “For Librarians.” At the bottom of the pop-up window, click “Sign up now.”

After signing up or logging in to your personal account, you can save search and content to folders. To save a search, click the “Save this Search” button from any search results page, which appears on the right side of the page above the search results and below the static search bar.

To save content, locate the “Save” icon in the top right-hand corner of any page of the content (directly under “Advanced Search”) that you wish to save. Clicking on ‘Save’ will enable you to save the URL of the relevant page into a folder. You can create multiple folders and save different content into each.

Access folders from “My Content” under the welcome message in the top right corner of the site.


APA, MLA, and Chicago citations are available for all content on the platform. On any content page (with the exception of Designer Biographies) click the “Citation” button on the top-right, next to the Save and Print buttons. This will bring up a pop-up window with citation information that you can copy to clipboard or export as a RIS file.


Clicking the “Share” button on any content page will bring up a form to share the content via email, with the option to add a message before emailing. The “Share” button is located in the top right-hand corner of any content page, next to the Print and Citation buttons.

For Librarians

Access the For Librarians section of Bloomsbury Visual Arts using the “For Librarians” navigation in the top navigation menu. The librarian section provides useful information on how to subscribe to and administer Bloomsbury Visual Arts, as well as details on the Benefits for Subscribing Institutions, Promotional Materials for the platform, MARC and KBART Records, Usage Statistics, Accessibility, Help, and Contact Us information.