National Art Library: Freely Available Art and Design E-Resources

National Art Library
November 13, 2018

This blog post focuses on freely available art and design e-resources recommended by the National Art Library.

What are e-resources?

Web pages and documents that contain information that is available online. Our list of recommended freely available art and design e-resources contains digitised primary sources, images, video, e-books, journals and much more.

 For example:

  • New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has digitised many of its exhibition catalogues and art books for the Internet Archive.
  • The British Library Sound Archive features over 1 million discs, 185,000 tapes, and many other sound and video recordings from all over the world.
  • Art UK aims to show the entire national collection of oil paintings and where to see them in museums and public institutions.
  • Go on a virtual tour of galleries and museums with Google Art Project. Discover millions of artworks, historical sales and stories with Google Arts and Culture. Explore street art from across the globe with Google Street Art Project.

 How do I find art and design e-resources?

View our list here

Alternatively, click ‘Course Reserves’ on the library catalogue (top right) and select the list E-Resources – Recommended and Freely Available. We update the list regularly as resources are increasingly made available online.

In addition to our subscription content, some web resources will appear in your search results. This includes digitised content available through the Internet Archive and the Hathi Trust. However, the catalogue does not provide full coverage and we advise that you search each resource individually. To help you select the resources most useful to your studies, each listing includes a note that provides a brief overview of the coverage.

Can I download content?

Many of the resources provide download and save options for non-commercial use. Please refer to the copyright guidance on each site prior to sharing content.

National Art Library Material on the Internet Archive

 As part of our ongoing digitisation programme, we have uploaded many items from our early V&A Publications and Great Exhibition collection to the Internet Archive. Find the National Art Library collection on the Internet Archive at

The Internet Archive allows you to download texts in a range of formats including ePub, Kindle and PDF.


We will be posting further guidance via this blog over the coming months. If you have any feedback to share concerning the design of the library catalogue, please use the ‘Feedback’ link found at the bottom of each library catalogue webpage.

If you have a question for the National Art Library, please contact us directly here.

Related blog posts:

National Art Library: Art and Design E-Resources (subscription)

Sharing book lists

Tracking your item requests

Course Reserves

Updating Your Contact Preferences

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