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Getting started finding music information

School of Arts Librarian

James Thickins's picture
James Thickins
Email me if there is any problem booking an online appointment. I'm very happy to talk with you, especially during lockdown when students need extra support. Normally, I work in Harrow, but currently I'm at home in North London. Bookmark me at:

COVID-19 Response

The library is increasing the provision of online resources by buying additional resources.  Much of the free access to additional resources provided by publishers has now ceased (as of 1st July).  We will be subscribing to a number of new resources for the coming  year.  Make sure you look at the E-Resources tab of this guide to find sources.

The Academic Liaison Librarian team are also still available for one-to-one appointments, and providing training sessions online.  

If you can't find the book you want online, you can still put in an inter-library loan request and we will try to obtain an online copy for you.

Audiovisual resources

I have collated some BOB playlists here.

Art books

The publishers of large format visual arts books such as exhibition catalogues do not supply ebooks to libraries, so are unlikely to be able to join in with these initiatives.  This includes even relatively large publishers in that area such as Phaidon, Taschen and Thames & Hudson.  

Individual publishers might have relevant initiatives, which I am looking out for. 

Individual artists/writers may have material on their own websites. For example:

Some museums have made selected catalogues available.  For example:

You should also take a look at the digital libraries listed below.

Digital Libraries

The Internet Archive and related Open Library can be good for older material for arts subjects. Some examples include:

Registration is necessary to access some books - the same account will work on both platforms.  There is currently a legal challenge to the 'controlled digital lending' model the Internet Archive operate, which they claim to be fair use under US law.

Google Books has extensive previews of some texts submitted by publishers to promote their content, including recent texts.  For example:

Project Guttenberg is strictly limited to out of  US copyright books.  Examples include:

Public Books lists open access books from US academic publishers

Commercial offers

There are a few interesting commercial initiatives currently available.  For example:

  • Kindle - free extracts of most of academic books available on Kindle (you can read them on the Kindle app, even if you don't have a Kindle device)
  • Perlego - Access a large selection of ebooks for £12 per month.  To access the free trial, you have to give your debit card details, but it is easy to cancel.  The free trial is available from the following URL only.  Select the monthly subscription model and use the code “keeplearning”  
  • Google Play - free extracts, purchase or rental of books
  • Apple books - free extracts or purchase
  • 1854 Digital (The British Journal of Photography) - Access membership benefits including back-copies of BJP for the next three months for £1.  Use the code TOGETHER during checkout. You can use the discount on any digital membership option; if you choose quarterly Digital Access, you will get all the benefits for £1.

Online exhibitions and performance

More information

Online learning - information regarding the university's move to online learning, including details about software (such as Adobe Creative Cloud) which you can download

Library Guides | New resources

Quick links


Welcome to the library guide for music.  The aim of this guide is to provide helpful resources and tips for research in music.  The library collection includes books, magazines, journals, CDs, and DVDs, as well as electronic resources that provide information about music.

Study skills and training

Library Layout


Main collection 740-999, journal and magazine collection, DVD collection

Fashion Design


Key text collection 001-999, main collection 001-739, training room, toilets, courtyard, EMS space

Media Studies
Cultural Studies
Fashion Industry
Art & Artists


Welcome desk, self-service machines, laptop loans, reservations

Shelfmarks for music

First floor (Harrow)

306.1 (subcultures)

306.484- (music sociology)

347.30497 (music law)

621.3893 (audio engineering)

Second Floor (Harrow)

780 (music)

780.263 (music scores)

781-788 (music principles, forms, ensembles


Print journals and magazines are on display on the second floor of the library. Browse them for ideas of what's happening in  music and the other creative industries. Back issues of  magazines are filed away in title order at teh far end of the second floor. Magazines and journals can't be taken out of the library.

  • Audience
  • Audio media
  • Billboard
  • Future Music
  • MixMag
  • Music Tech
  • Music Week
  • Mojo
  • Sound on Sound
  • Wire

Find more online magazines and journals using Library Search.