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Library Guides

School of Arts Library Guide: Search our collections

Introduction to Library Search

You can search Library Search anywhere in the world from  This lists all the books, journals, and databases that the library provides, and allows you to reserve items, and review your library account.

For subject-specific advice about resources that are available, visit the School of Arts Library Guide or the Fashion Library Guide.

Four useful tips for searching our collections:

  • Sign in to Library Search for full functionality including reserving books
  • Use keywords to find items and click the title for more information about it
  • The default search looks for everything, but you can limit your search to different types of source (e.g. books)
  • There is also an option to filter your results to online items only

library search image

Finding online collections

Login help for e-resources

Library Search lists e-books, and online journal articles alongside print resources.  There are also links to all the databases that we subscribe to. 

Advice for signing in

All online resources are hosted externally, and most require you to be onsite or to sign in to access them. 

Almost all online resources use a service called SHIBBOLETH; this is linked to your student account and therefore uses the same username and password as university systems.  Most resources that do not use SHIBBOLETH use EzProxy, which behaves in much the same way.

  1. Access resources from Library Search (make sure you sign in) or from the Fashion Library Guide, or the School of Arts Library Guide
  2. Once you have located a resource, open the resource and look for the sign-in link (normally, it is in the top right of the screen).
  3. Look for, and select, one of the following options:

        Login in via an institution

        UK Federation login

        Shibboleth login

        Where are you from?

  4. Search for "University of Westminster" or select from the drop-down menu
  5. Enter your username and password into the University of Westminster branded log on box (as shown below):


Personal registrations

A few resources require you to register the first time you use them (e.g. Box of Broadcasts), and some offer additional options if your register.  Registration emails often end up in junk or spam folders, so if you don't receive them look there.

Journal articles

We only have partial online access to some journal titles, so older back-copies or recent issues may not be available.  If you have any problems accessing journal content, check the record for the journal on Library Search to see what you should have access to. 

Browser issues

Sometimes problems with accessing e-resources (and e-books particularly) can be resolved by changing your browser.

Hidden content

The content of most databases we have access to are listed on Library Search.  However, there are a few exceptions to this such as Box of Broadcasts, where the content can only be located from within the database itself.  To find more content, and to access different options for searching, learn what the key databases for your subject are.

'Expand my results'

The default search on Library Search only lists articles that we have online access to.  To search beyond this, select 'Expand my results' from the search results page.  This will show additional articles which may be available in print in the library, or can be obtained via the inter-library loan service. 


Print collections

Our library spaces are currently closed due to COVID-19.  However, from 14th September 2020 we will be operating a 'click and collect' service for books and DVDs that are not available electronically.  You can borrow up to a maximum of forty items, and request up to five items at a time.  There is postal service for students registered with Disability Services.

bookshelf and girl

Your top tips for Click and Collect

  • You can request 10 books at a time
  • You can have 40 books out on loan
  • You can click and collect your requested books at Cavendish, Harrow and Marylebone libraries 
  • Please wear a face covering in the buildings
  • You borrow books using the self-service kiosk
  • You need your university ID to borrow books
  • Books can be returned to Cavendish, Harrow and Marylebone libraries from 6th April 2021

Virtual Browse

The virtual browse feature in Library Search is located at the bottom of the full book display page



You can also search using the location numbers to retrieve books on the same topic - its a good idea to add an asterisk as in this example:  791.430973*