A handy guide to the Library collections, services and facilities within your subject area.

Kirsten PairpointMeet Your Librarian

Kirsten Pairpoint is the Assistant Librarian responsible for Illustration.
She studied Graphic Information Design at the University of Westminster and worked at the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum where she curated the Annual Illustration Awards.


How Can I Help You?

You can book one to one tutorials with me to help you with your research or referencing, please contact me via email or you can drop into the library office (DS103) to have a chat. I work Wednesday afternoon, and all day Thursday and Friday, at any other time my colleagues will be happy to help you. As a team, we also provide research and referencing drop in sessions to assist you in the run up to written work hand-ins, keep an eye on Instagram (@nualibrary) for times and dates.

If we don’t stock the book you are looking for we can get it for you via Inter library loan or purchase a copy for the library. Click here to suggest an item or email us.



NUA Library subscribes to EBook Central and Dawsonera.
You can search Ebook Central using this search box:

Ebook Central

Or go to the E-books page to find out more about how to access these resources. We have over 140,000 e-books to choose from, and you can even rent or suggest extra purchases too.


Browse the Library Shelves

Book: Illustrators unlimited: the essence of contemporary illustration by Hendrik Hellige and Robert KlantenBook called: Warning : the art of Marc McKee by Winston Tseng and Marc MckeeIllustrated children's book: Eric by Shaun Tan

Books on Illustration

Illustration books in the Library’s main collection can be found on the first floor at Dewey Decimal number 755. They are broken down into more specific subject areas like this:

Theory, general histories of illustration: 755 – 755.4 Science fiction illustration: 755.56
Technical works, manuals, examples: 755.5 Illustrators A-Z by last name: 755.6
Digital illustration: 755.52 Illustration annuals: 755.7
Children’s books arranged A-Z by illustrator last name: 755.55 Caricature/cartoons: 755.8

Remember that there will be useful books in other parts of the Library as well, like this:

Study skills: 001.42 Lettering and Calligraphy: 751
Technical illustration: 712.6 Graphic Novels: 754.65

Main collection books can be borrowed for three weeks. Your student ID card doubles up as your library card, so you are ready to borrow straight away.

Go to the Borrowing physical resources page for more information on borrowing books, DVDs and other resources from the Library.


Special CollectionsBook: The graphic world of Paul Peter PiechBox containing two books, two oversize comics, 1 fold out board, 9 small comic books: Building stories by Chris Ware
Found on the first floor, the Library’s Special Collections cabinets house artist’s books, rare books, typographic books, illustrated books, pop-up books and zines. These cannot be taken out on loan, but you are very welcome to look at them in the Library.

Please ask at the Help Desk if you would like to see any of the items in this collection.


From the Pamphlets Collection: A Paris diary by Anne Howeson

Thinner, more ephemeral material is held in the Library’s Pamphlets collection, on the first floor. This includes lots of exhibition catalogues, monographs, maps and some one-off examples of magazines with interesting designs and layouts. Using the pamphlets is a good way of finding material on artists and designers who are perhaps less well known or less well established. Like Special Collections, Pamphlets cannot be taken out on loan, but please feel free to help yourself to pamphlets to read in the Library.



Read Past Research Reports

Sample Illustration research reports



Browse Journals and MagazinesUppercase magazine Eye magazine

Journals and magazines cannot be taken out on loan, but you are welcome to browse the latest issues and back copies held on the first floor of the Library.

Journals and magazines are a valuable source of visual and written material to help you in your research. It’s a good idea to get to know the titles related to your course because:

  • They are up to date
  • Often the material in them covers contemporary activity and news.
  • Young artists and designers will be covered in journals long before they are covered by books.

Illustration Journals and Magazines

These are titles that relate particularly to Illustration, but remember lots of the other titles available in the library will be useful too:
Current Journals

ArtforumArtforum magazine
Leading New York based magazine covering a wide spread of art activities and art politics.
Print Holdings: Most recent 15 years

ArtForum website
Creative ReviewCreative Review magazine
Information, inspiration and creativity from within the world of design, advertising and visual arts.
Print Holdings: Most recent 5 years

Creative Review website
Eye : the International Review of Graphic DesignEye magazine
Eye, the international review of graphic design, is a quarterly printed magazine about graphic design and visual culture.
Print Holdings: 1990 – present

Eye blog
IllustrationIllustration magazine
A general magazine about illustration – the artists, the collectors, the collections, the exhibitions, the history, the philosophy and the key events relating to this subject. Covers the work of great artists from the past as well as new graduates currently coming out of college.
Print Holdings: Most recent 10 years
Nobrow magazineNobrow
Started in 2008 with the aim of providing an independent platform for graphic art, Illustration and art comics in the UK and abroad.
Print holdings: Bi-annual magazine numbers 1-9.
Find it in the Library’s Special Collection at 755.4 NOB
Printmaking today magazine coverPrintmaking Today
Comments on aesthetic, educational and theoretical matters as well as bringing the reader new developments in print technology and re-assessments of traditional methods. Many of the writers are printmakers and speak from experience.
Print Holdings: Most recent 5 years

UppercaseUppercase magazine
A quarterly print magazine inspired by craft, design and illustration. A playful exploration of creativity, an affinity for vintage ephemera, and a love of handmade are some elements common in each issue.
Print Holdings: Most recent 5 years
VaroomVaroom! magazine
Published twice yearly. Features interviews with illustrators, image-makers and designers as well as critical articles on different aspects of contemporary illustration by leading commentators.
Print Holdings: 2006 – present

Varoom website
Archived Journals
These are journals that we no longer receive, usually because they are no longer being published. You can find these on the shelves on the First Floor of the Library:

The GanzfeldThe Ganzfeld magazine

The Ganzfeld was an art magazine created by three New York City artists in 2000 – Dan Nadel, Patrick Smith and Tim Hodler – who were art graduates of Washington University in St. Louis. After the first issue, Smith and Hodler left the publication due to creative differences and were replaced by Peter Buchanan-Smith, art director for The New York Times.

The Ganzfeld combined art and art criticism, much of it related to comic books and cartoonists. Contributors include Chris Ware, Lauren Weinstein, Renée French, Ron Rege, Jr., Sasha Hirschfeld, Peter Blegvad, Blexbolex and Brian Ralph.

It ceased publication at issue 7.

Print Holdings: issues 1-5, and 7
Find it on the shelves in the main Library collection at classmark 755.4 GAN

Le GunLe Gun magazine
Established in 2004, LE GUN is an art collective consisting of five artist illustrators (Bill Bragg, Chris Bianchi, Neal Fox, Robert Rubbish, and Steph von Reiswitz) and two designers (Alex Wright and Matt Appleton) who met as graduates at London’s Royal College of Arts. This is their self-titled cult magazine. After being on hiatus for some years, the magazine is due to make a come-back with issue no. 6.
Print holdings: issues 1-4
Find it in the Special Collection at classmark 755.5 LEG
Le Gun website
PrintCover of Print magazine
Rather than focusing on the how-to of design, the experts who write for Print cover the why—why the world of design looks the way it does, how it has evolved, and why the way it looks matters. The paper version of the magazine ceased publication at the end of 2017, but it continues as a website.
Print Holdings: From 2010 – 2017
Print website

Illustration E-Journals
The Library also has a selection of E-Journals that can be read online.

ArtForum Artforum magazine
Online issues of the leading New York based print magazine, covering a wide spread of art activities and art politics.
Electronic holdings: Full text: Summer 2002 – present
Image of a box filled with book art taken from Book Arts NewsletterBook Arts Newsletter
A downloadable online-only magazine published approximately every 6-8 weeks devoted to artists books both in the UK and globally.
Electronic holdings: Full text: May 2002 – present
Creative ReviewCreative Review magazine
Online issues of the print magazine that reports from within the world of design, advertising and visual arts.
Electronic holdings: Full text: 1997 – present
Image of a page from Design Observer websiteDesign Observer
An online-only magazine of writings on design and culture
Website only: Link to Illustration pages
Journal of Illustration

The journal encourages new critical writing on illustration, associated visual communication,
and the role of the illustrator as visualizer, thinker, and facilitator.
Electronic holdings: Full-text 2018 – present
PrintPrint magazine cover
Online issues of the print magazine about why the world of design looks the way it does
Electronic holdings: Full-text 1995 – 2017
Eye : the International Review of Graphic DesignEye magazine
Online issues of the print magazine about graphic design and visual culture.
Electronic holdings: Full-text 1997 – 2014

 Research Online

As well as printed materials, the Library also has a wide selection of online resources to help you with your research. These can be really useful for finding information for reports and essays.

Accessing e-resources from off campus

Useful Online Resources for Illustration

Finding articles in magazines and journals
To find magazine and journal articles online, use the Discovery search box at the top of every page on this website. Enter your search term (e.g. a designer’s name) and you will see a results list that includes both books and journal articles which feature in your search terms. Many of the results will offer full text so you can read the articles online. Some results may give an abstract which will give you a brief summary of the article, but not the full text. If you would like to read the full text but can’t find it, please ask a Librarian for help, or request the article via Inter Library Loan. For more details on searching and browsing journals, please have a look at the e-journals guide.
bob logoWatch tv and film
BoB (Box of Broadcasts) is a television streaming service available to all students and staff. Login via OpenAthens using your NUA username and password. It is covered under the NUA’s television license so there is no need for a TV license to use it. BoB allows you to view recently aired programmes from over 65 channels and there is a searchable archive of 2 million broadcasts. You can also create playlists of your favourite programmes and there is a function for making clips.
Here is an Illustration playlist
of programmes that you might find useful.
Image databases

Peter Paul Piech print of two figures clasping hands taken from V&A Search the Collections

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

British Cartoon Archive
The BCA holds the artwork for over 200,000 British editorial, socio-political, and pocket cartoons, supported by large collections of comic strips, newspaper cuttings, books and magazines. Many items in the collection have been digitised and are available to view online through the BCA’s online catalogue.

British Library Photosets
Collections of a million copyright-cleared images made available from the British Library archives. There are book covers, children’s book illustration, illustrated letters and typography, comic art, maps and much more.

Early European Books
This database traces the history of printing in Europe from its origins through to the close of the seventeenth century, offering full colour, high-resolution facsimile images of rare and hard-to-access printed sources.

Brightest London is best reached by Underground poster of people on escalators by Horace Taylor taken from V&A Search the Collections

© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The John Johnson Collection
The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera gives access to over 65,000 digitised documents in five main categories exploring everyday life from the 18th to the early 20th century : 19th-Century Entertainment; The Booktrade; Popular Prints; Crime and Advertising.
Off campus, login via Athens.

New York Public Library Digital Collections
Explore hundreds of images digitised from the Library’s collections.

V&A Search the Collections
Database of over half a million images of objects in the Museum’s collections. Register and download free images for personal use.

VADS : the online resource for visual arts
Comprises over 100,000 images that are freely available and copyright cleared for use in learning and research in the UK.

Useful Illustration-Friendly Websites
Here are a few ideas for blogs and websites that you might like to browse for information, inspiration and ideas.
AIGA Eye on Design
News and features on the best new work from ‘the world’s most exciting emerging and established designers’. This is the Illustration section of the site.
The Association of Illustrators

The AOI was established in 1973 to advance and protect illustrator’s rights and encourage professional standards.
Ammo Magazine Artist Directory

Ammo is an independent publisher based in the UK specializing in high quality illustrated art books, magazines and products. This is a directory of artists featured in Ammo publications.
Book Cover Archive

‘For the appreciation and categorization of excellence in book cover design’. Also includes links to the designers’ online portfolios.
Drawn and Quarterly Blog
‘One of the most influential art and literary comics publishers in North America, if not the whole world’.
A publishing platform and archive, artist project and curatorial platform
Illustration Age
U.S. based professional resource for Illustrators, includes ‘Comics Illustrator of the Week
It’s Nice That
Daily news and features on Illustration, Graphic Design, Photography and more.
Lecture in Progress
Aims to demystify the creative industries for the next generation of talent, by providing advice, insight and first-hand accounts that cover careers in design, film, animation, illustration, photography and advertising
The Serving Library
An eclectic cultural journal of mostly new writing available as pdf downloads. Previously known as Bulletins of the Serving Library and before that, Dot Dot Dot. You can find these earlier titles on the Library shelves in the Journals Archive.
V&A Illustration Awards
Includes the Museum’s annual Student Award



Get Help With Your Research

Contact the Library

Find Study Skills Advice

Take a look at previously submitted NUA Research Reports for Illustration.

If you are ever unsure just come and ask a member of the library team and we will be glad to help you.