Subject Guides: Ecology and Sustainability


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

Bobbie Winter-Burke
Office Hours: 09.00-17.00 Mon-Fri
Telephone: +44(0) 141 353 1413
Contact Your Librarian or Book an Appointment

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.

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
  • 200 Faith and belief
  • 305.3 LGBTQI
  • 305.4 Feminism
  • 305.8 Race
  • 320.51 Neoliberalism
  • 321.8 Democracy
  • 322.4 Protest and activism
  • 330.122 Globalisation and capitalism
  • 331 Labour, poverty and class
  • 335 Utopias and redistributive systems
  • 381.1 Consumer cultures
  • 577 Green living
  • 580 Plant life
  • 590 Animal life
  • 612 The body
  • 616.852 Health and wellbeing
  • 629 Transport design
  • 641 Food cultures
  • 693.832 Thermal insulation
  • 693.89 Damp
  • 696 Energy conservation and efficiency
  • 697 Heating and air-conditioning
  • 697.8 Renewable energies
  • 700.105 Arts and science
  • 711.72 Cycling
  • 711.74 Pedestrianisation
  • 712.5 Parks and public spaces
  • 712.6 Gardening and allotments
  • 720.47 Green building
  • 745.2047 Sustainable design
  • 746.47 Eco-fashion

Search Databases

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:

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

Planet estream is a video streaming service offering access to nearly 2,000 off-air recordings of films, documentaries and animation across a host of subjects, with new content being added all the time. Search for content by keyword or category

MUBI is a curated showcase of independent and arthouse cinema. GSA students can sign up for a free account here.

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. Our Databases A-Z page provides information on the online film and moving image resources available to you.

Discover Zines

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.

Discover the Natural History Collection

Our Natural History Collection provides a fascinating insight into the incorporation of nature, flora and fauna into earlier GSA pedagogies.

Drawing from life and from nature were once important parts of any art school curriculum, and materials to support these activities were purchased from very early on in GSA library’s history. Students would draw from botanical specimens, examining their structure in order to systematise their elements for decoration and ornament in a process known as ‘conventionalisation’. They also studied live animals, including poultry, horses from local tram depots, and even camels, elephants and zebras which were brought from the local zoo to a special Animal Room within the Mackintosh Building.

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.

Sustainability at GSA

GSA Sustainability encompasses the work done across Glasgow School of Art to engage students, staff and the wider artistic community in issues of sustainability. It aims to enable positive action to challenge climate change in Glasgow’s creative community. It is currently run through two entities: the Sustainability in Action Group, and the Radial Project. See the GSA Sustainability site for more information.

Student Societies at GSA

GSA societies and groups are led by students for students, and provide the opportunity to explore topics, themes or issues whilst co-learning with your peers.

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.

InfosmART logo

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.