An online library providing unrivaled coverage of design and crafts worldwide, from 1500 BCE to the present day

Please note that this digital resource is not available to institutions in the USA.

  • Bloomsbury Design Library
  • Bloomsbury Design Library
  • Bloomsbury Design Library

Bloomsbury Design Library provides cutting-edge scholarly coverage of design and crafts worldwide, from 1500 BCE to the present day.

It offers an expanding range of authoritative reference and book content, alongside a rich selection of museum object images, which are fully searchable and underpinned by an intuitive taxonomy for seamless navigation.

The ideal research and learning tool for design and visual arts, it will support both students and instructors, allowing them to explore the history and context of influential design schools, people, periods, places, and disciplines.


  • The landmark, three-volume Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design including 1,700 authoritative articles by leading international scholars
  • The definitive two-volume World History of Design written by eminent design historian Victor Margolin
  • More than 70 ebooks in design and craft studies
  • Over 100 designer pages providing essential details and futher reading about key figures
  • An interactive timeline of global design and crafts history from 1500 BCE to the present day
  • Online-exclusive articles from the Encyclopedia of Asian Design, providing authoritative coverage of design and craft practice across Greater Asia
  • Exhibition pages providing essential information and images from key museum exhibitions, starting with the DesignMuseum Danmark

Access options

IP Authentication, Referring URL, Single sign-on, Username and Password

To find out more about how the different access options work please see our General Access Information.

Usage statistics

Usage statistics are available when you log in to your account via the Bloomsbury Administration Portal

Promotional materials and downloads

Printable posters and web banners are a great way to raise awareness of your new subscription and get students interested! Bloomsbury have a selection ready to download here.


What content is available in Bloomsbury Design Library?

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), over 100 biographies of key figures, an interactive timeline, and an expanding range of eBooks (over 60 available at launch).

Does the resource cover design across countries?

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.

How is ‘design’ defined?

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.

What time period is covered?

The full history of design is covered from prehistoric times to the present day.

Will the resource be updated?

Yes, 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 eBooks in design and craft studies, and much more.

Who is the resource for?

Bloomsbury Design Library is an invaluable resource for students, scholars and researchers in a wide range of design and visual arts subjects.

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, subject or publication date
  • Explore options: browse lists of people, places, periods, disciplines, and schools, movements and styles.
  • Browse Contents: browse by major works, eBook titles, timeline or designer biography.
  • Timeline of Design History: accessible from the Browse Contents drop-down or the home page, this feature 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.

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’: you then have the option to sign in using Google Plus, Facebook or Twitter, or to 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 Design Library?

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.