How to Use

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Your Homepage

The navigation on the top of the homepage provides a variety of options to access content on the site, including Explore and Browse Content 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 Design Library platform. Keep scrolling to discover a range of Explore options, a brief description of the Bloomsbury Design Library and links to the Timeline of the History of Design and Object Focus.


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, author, and reference or eBook title, with a preview snippet of text that includes the search term with the search term appearing in bold.

Search results can be refined using the left-hand column by Content Type; Disciplines; Objects and Materials; People; Period; Place; Schools, Movements and Styles; The Design Industry; and Themes.

Navigate to the desired results by clicking on the chapter 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 with Bloomsbury Design Library 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, 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 Date range by year and Content Type by Bibliographic guide, Lesson plan, Designer Biography, Museum Collection, Encyclopedia Article, Museum Object Exhibition, or eBook.

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

Books pages

Navigate to a specific eBook or major reference work volume from Browse Content. Book pages show the title of the book, author, copyright information, DOI, ISBN, edition, place of publication, and date published online in the left-hand column and the cover and a link to purchase the book in the right-hand column.

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

The left-hand column of the chapter page displays the book cover, author, copyright year and imprint, and the search within this book function, followed by Subject information and extensive Related Content (link to related content on this page here) links.

The main right-hand column shows the chapter title, DOI and page range of the chapter, followed by a linked table of contents for easy movement to other chapters within the book, following 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 within the "Search book" function from the book or chapter page will bring up all references to the search term within each chapter of the book.


Explore in the top navigation menu provides options to access the content by Disciplines; People; Period; Place; Schools, Movements and Styles.

Clicking on any option leads to an alphabetical list for browsing. 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.


Browse contents offers options to browse eBooks, three encyclopedias, Designer Biographies, Museum Collections, Exhibition Archives, Timeline of the History of Design, or Research and Learning Tools. 

Browse eBooks brings up a page listing all eBooks on the platform in alphabetical order by title, showing the cover, title, author, and a description of the book.

The browse pages for each encyclopedia brings up all available volumes, allowing users to browse by chapter by clicking on volume of interest.

Related Content

On each content page, including book chapters, the left-hand column of the page will show Subject information, including Content Type; Disciplines; Objects and Materials; Period; and Themes. All content on the site is tagged using these terms, and clicking on any of the listed links will lead to all content tagged with that term.

Under the Subject section, a Related Content section will appear. All content on Bloomsbury Design Library 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 “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. Click the “Citation” button next to the Save and Print links. This will bring up a pop-up window with citation information that you can copy to clipboard or export as a RIS file.

Social Sharing

Clicking the “Share” button on any content page will bring up a form with options to share content via email, Google plus, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, with options to personalize the message before posting or emailing.


Access the Librarians section of Bloomsbury Design Library using the “Librarians” navigation in the top navigation bar. The Librarian section provides useful general information for librarians, as well as details on the Benefits for Subscribing Institutions, Promotional Materials for the platform, Reviews, MARC and KBART Records, Accessibility, Usage Statistics, Help, and Contact Us information.