Subject Guides: Art Writing
This quick guide provides you with information on the collections, services and facilities that are useful for your subject area, all helpfully gathered together in one place.
Get To Know Your Librarian
Your academic liaison librarian is here to support you during your studies, and can help you source, access and use the resources you need, both in GSA Library and elsewhere
Before You Start
Watch our short orientation videos for quick bitesize guidance on how to access and use our collections and facilities.
Discover the Library
Use Discover to search across our print collection of 60,000 books and journals, as well as the 1000s of online resources we subscribe to on your behalf, all from a single search box. Your results will provide details of a resource’s physical or virtual location and its availability. Read our Borrowing Materials page to find out more about how to borrow from us and your entitlements.
Find Your Key Texts
Your programme leaders or tutors may provide lists of key texts that you are required to read as part of your studies. To access your list of texts, log into Canvas and browse the left-hand menu of your course.
Reference copies of most of your required readings will be held at our Service Desk and can be borrowed for up to 3 hours. Extra copies, where possible, can be found on the open shelves and borrowed for 3 weeks. These are complemented, where available, by electronic versions which are perfect for quick reading, checking facts, or for when the library is closed.
Access Your Course Materials
Canvas provides access to all your course materials, from timetables to project briefs, and from contact details to assignments.
Browse Our Shelves
There may be times when you simply want to browse the library’s shelves for books on particular topics – the useful shelfmarks below will help you.
- 001.4 Research methodologies and study skills
- 702.8111 Artists’ publications
- 801.95 Literary theory
- Alphabetical by author: Fiction
- Alphabetical by author: Graphic Novels
Art Theory and History
- 701 Art theory and history
- 701.4 Semiotics
- 708 Curatorship
- 709 Art periods and movements
- 770.1 Photography theory
- 791.43 Film theory
- 700.92 Multi-disciplinary artists A-Z
- 730.92 Sculptors A-Z
- 750.92 Painters A-Z
- 769.092 Printmakers A-Z
- 770.92 Photographers A-Z
- 778.59092 Video artists A-Z
International Contemporary Art
- 709.41 Britain
- 709.43 Germany
- 709.44 France
- 709.51 China
- 709.52 Japan
- 709.54 India and Pakistan
- 709.56 Middle East
- 709.73 America
- 709.8 Latin America
Genre and Theme
- 700.285 New media art
- 702.8112 Performance art
- 710 Public art
- 735.23 Installation art
To complement our print collections, we subscribe to hundreds of online resources, from e-books to e-journals, and from image databases to film. These resources are great for essays or dissertations, and can be accessed even when the library is closed. To find out how to access our electronic resources off-campus, see our Databases A-Z page.
Databases with most relevance to your subject include:
Browse Journals and Magazines
Journals and magazines are a great way of keeping up-to-date with contemporary practice in your field, because it can take a while for cutting-edge practice to be written up in books.
All our print journals are arranged on our shelves alphabetically by title, with the latest issues found in the reading area on Level 1 of the library. In many cases we also stock back-runs, and these can be found on rolling shelves towards the back of Level 0.
Please note that, unlike our books, journals are reference-only and cannot be borrowed, though individual articles can be photocopied subject to copyright limits.
Alongside our print journals, we also subscribe to 1000s of electronic journals. Journals and magazines with most relevance to your subject include:
- The Believer
- The Blue Notebook
- Burning Sand
- The Drouth
- From Glasgow to Saturn
- Happy Hypocrite
- Interactions: Studies in Communication and Culture
- Journal of Arts Writing by Students
- Journal of Screenwriting
- Journal of Writing in Creative Practice
- The New Yorker
- Studies in Comics
- Uncle Chop Chop
- Victor & Hester Journal
Read Magazines On-The-Go
Our eMagazines service allows you to discover digital magazines across art, design and architecture, and read them online. For many of our magazines, past issues are also available for you. You can even download our e-magazines to your mobile device for offline reading – perfect for when you are out and about.
Watch Film and Moving Image
Our DVD collection is located on Level 0 of the library and provides around 2000 artists’ films, documentaries, animations and movies. Our Borrowing Material page provides information on your borrowing entitlements.
The LUX Scotland Collection at GSA Library is a unique collaboration with Scotland’s national support and promotion agency for artists’ moving image. The collection draws from LUX Scotland’s rich archives and networks to bring you Scotland’s first dedicated library for artists’ moving image.
Our Databases A-Z page provides information on the online film and moving image resources available to you.
Discover Artists’ Books and Zines
GSA Library holds a superb and comprehensive collection of over 1000 artists’ books, featuring examples by internationally important artists such as Doug Aitken, Angela Bulloch, Olafur Eliasson, David Shrigley, Peter Greenaway, Mike Nelson, and Thomas A. Clark. A number of small presses also feature in the collection. If you are producing your own artists’ books and would like to see them enter our collection, contact your librarian.
Our Zine Library can be found next to the current journals on Level 1 of the Library. As well as DIY publications by artists, the zine collection also contains small-press publications about architecture, design, society, and politics. You can find our more about the zines we hold on our dedicated Tumblr. You can also submit your own zines anonymously to the collection via our three postboxes, situated respectively by our main Service Desk, next to the Zine Library itself, and in the Vic bar.
Read Past Dissertations
We hold past dissertations from most GSA programmes of study, often going back several years. Many students like to look at previous examples of successful dissertations when beginning to prepare their own. All our dissertations can be browsed here.
Other Useful Resources
Depending on your interests or the projects or electives you undertake, the following resources may also prove useful to you during your studies.
Can’t Find What You Are Looking For?
There will be times when you require resources that even the most specialist of libraries cannot supply. But don’t worry, as there as several ways in which you can access the resources you need.
Learn how to find the information you need, critically evaluate it, and reference it correctly in your dissertations and projects with InfosmART, our award-winning portfolio of easy-to-follow interactive modules in study and research skills.