Many contemporary artists, designers, and writers use libraries as part of their working practice and creative process. As a specialist art and design library, we aim to enhance academic, creative and professional practice through provision of an extensive range of resources, and to develop a forum for research and engagement with all aspects of libraries and the book form. The WSA Library is a distinctive and appropriate location for experimental interventions, for active teaching and learning engagement and practice-based research, and a venue for the presentation of creative outcomes.
Our collections include a variety of printed and digital resources that reflect the School’s subject specialisms. They cover all aspects of art, design, fashion, textiles, graphic arts, photography, new media, and the creative industries. They include not only textbooks and databases but also specialist publications and resources such as exhibition catalogues, journals and magazines, monographs on artists and designers, and catalogues raisonnés.
Alongside these teaching and research resources, the Library holds two internationally significant special collections: the Knitting Reference Library and the Artists’ Book Collection.
KNITTING REFERENCE LIBRARY
The Knitting Reference library contains books, patterns, journals, magazines, objects, and ephemera. It includes the libraries of three renowned figures with international profiles in the knitting world: Richard Rutt, Montse Stanley, and Jane Waller.
ARTIST BOOK COLLECTION
The Artists’ Books Collection, which concentrates on books made either by hand or in limited editions, started shortly after WSA moved to its current premises in 1966. It now contains over 2,000 items, which reflect the diversity of materials and formats that artists have used since the 1960s.