Barbie and dolls

As the worlds goes Barbie mad, thanks to the release of the new Barbie movie directed by Greta Gerwig , we have put together a display in Aldgate Library including some books on Barbie herself, as well as other dolls.

As well as the books we have, you can also find plenty of online resources information on Barbie, as the doll is such a cultural icon.

Free public domain CC0 photo. More: View public domain image source here

For example, if you do a search in the ‘Online resources’ section of the London Met Library catalogue (London Met username and password required), you will find such things as:

Barbie Dolls (published in Salem Press Encylopedia, 2021)

Barbies Queer Accessories, Ebook by Erica Rand

Social identities in consumer‐brand relationship: The case of the Hijab‐wearing Barbie doll in the United States: Ethnic identities in the multicultural marketplace.

Fashion versus fitspo: The effect of viewing images of contemporary Barbie® dolls in passive versus active poses on college women’s body image and affect.

There are also some great images of Barbie and some of her outfits if you do a JSTOR image search (access JSTOR through the library catalogue first).

Also try searching through the Bloomsbury Design Library for more references to Barbie in the world of art and design.

If you log into Box of broadcasts (Bob) through the library catalogue, you will also be able to access Barbie themed tv and radio programmes, such as Barbie: The Most Famous Doll in the World, presented by Mary Portas in 2017

Beyond the library, you can find Barbie related resources at the V & A museum (the newly named Young V & A has recently re-opened not far from our Aldgate campus in Bethnal Green)

Barbie Media Archives for more images and info about Barbie

Barbie and dolls display in Aldgate Library

Related previous posts:

Argos Catalogue archive online

Library Space exhibition – Clare Hannigan

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Art, Architecture and Design Summer Show is back!

It’s that time of year again, where our fabulous and talented students show off what they have been creating the last few years in the annual Summer Show at Aldgate campus. We can’t wait to find our how they have been inspired this year, and how our library collections have helped do this!

This annual exhibition showcases the remarkable talents of our students and also highlights the connection between creativity and knowledge.

This years dates are from 21 June to 1 July, with a private view on Tuesday 20 June from 4pm to 9pm. The annual Summer Show private view event is the biggest in the University calendar, regularly attracting 2,000 people on opening night to celebrate the success of our graduating students.

The exhibition areas will be Goulston Street (Architecture, Creative Writing and English Literature, Interiors, and Visual Communication courses), the Wash Houses (Fashion, Fashion Textiles, Furniture and Product Design, and Textiles), Calcutta House (Foundation and Upholstery), and the Annexe (Fine Art, Fashion Photography, and Photography). 

Previous related posts:

Summer show in real life!

London Met Arts Summer Shows Online!

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Street Art

We recently had a Street Art display on at Aldgate Library, to go alongside the Street Art exhibition on at Saatchi Gallery, as we have many colourful books on this subject, and we are based in the East End of London, which is the home of many murals and other pieces of street art.

Beyond our collection of books, and walking around the streets, you can find an archive of Street Art on Google Arts and Culture, with Global Street Art Foundation, which has documented hundreds of pieces of street art, including these from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (where Aldgate Library is).

You can find many journal articles in JSTOR, through the library catalogue (London Met username and password required), for example this one titled ‘The Law of Banksy: Who Owns Street Art?’ by Peter N. Salib , or you can do an image search and there are thousands of results of ‘Street Art’ images.

As well as physical books, there are also many E-books, which you can view from anywhere using a suitable device – from the library catalogue enter ‘Street Art’ as the keyword, then choose ‘online resources’.

Other resources of interest

Los Angeles Archives Collective article about Street Art in Archives

Cornell University Hip Hop Collection

George Floyd and Anti-racist street art archive

Street Art display at Aldgate Library. Photo copyright London Met.

Other previous related posts:

Objects of Dissent talk and Resistance publication

Art For Change

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Martin Wong online catalogue of works

This blog’s main purpose is to highlight online resources in the visual arts that our students and staff might find useful, and this Martin Wong resource is the perfect example.

Martin Wong Catalogue Raisonné (MWCR) is a free online, comprehensive compilation of finished artworks by Martin Wong, featuring paintings, drawings, poetry and ceramics, and much more, and is hosted by Stanford Libraries in California.

Martin Wong was born in 1946, and raised in California, before moving to New York in 1978. He was diagnosed with AIDS and  returned to San Francisco a few years before before he died aged 53 in 1999.

This resource documents over 800 works of art, and you can search it by date, topic (including over 100 pieces on American Sign Language) and genre. Easy to spend hours browsing in this fascinating resource!

You can find a few more items in our own libraries relating to Martin Wong, including:  After the party : a manifesto for queer of color life / Joshua Chambers-Letson  (e-book), Magnificent obsessions : the artist as collector / Lydia Yee  (physical book including Martin Wong), (Untitled) Nutz Boy (JSTOR article), Martin Wongs’s Jackets: Estate as Process (JSTOR article). University login required to access the online resources.

Previous related posts

New Image Resource ARTSTOR 

open access photography archive of British art


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Vivienne Westwood

“A status symbol is a book. A very easy book to read is The Catcher in the Rye. Walk around with that under your arm, kids. That is status.”
Vivienne Westwood 1941-2022

We have been celebrating the life and work of iconic British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood with our new display at Aldgate Library.

As well as lots of books (pretty much every book you pick up about punk or fashion mentions her!), there are lots of online resources from the library you can use to find information about her, such as

Box of Broadcasts where you can access tv and radio programmes from over 75 free to air channels, which includes many documentarys and inerviews with Vivienne Westwood.

Bridgeman Education, where you can access images that are copyright cleared for educational use, inlcuing pictures of Vivienne, as well as some of her fashion designs.

Bloomsbury Fashion Photography Archive, which has a selection of many photographs of fashion shows etc, including Vivienne Westwood from the last few decades.

JSTOR for a selection of articles and images.

Vogue Archive for a selection of advertisements and articles across the last few decades.

All these resources require a current London Met username and password to enter, if you need help navigating any of the resources, book an appointment with the Academic Liasion Librarian for your subject.

Display of books on Vivienne Westwood and punk on a silver shelving unit against a dark blue wall. One of the books is yellow with a pink stripe acorss saying 'punk!' in black lettering.

Book display of Vivienne Westwood related items at Aldgate Library. Photo © London Met.












Prvious related posts:

Youth Culture


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Dog therapy at the library!

The dogs (and a cat!) are back in the library! After a couple of years hiatus, we are thrilled that therapy dogs and a cat, from the charity Pets As Therapy will be visiting both libraries next week, to offer a moment of relaxation to our students during the stressful exam period.

These free events are open to all current London Met students, please reserve your space via Eventbrite:

Aldgate Library, Tuesday 17 January 2023, 12pm-2pm
Holloway Road Library, Thursday 19 January 2023, 12pm-2pm

There will be dogs at both sites, and a cat at Aldgate library.

Happy pet petting!


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Colour Assemblages exhibition in Aldgate library

It’s that time of year again when our Foundation students come and decorate the windows of our Aldgate Library lounge. Its a great space to display their work as the windows are so big and easily viewed from the outside as well as inside.

This years theme is Colour Assemblage, and the pieces are certainly living up to that and brightening up the space, inside and out. And this year we can finally view it properly from the outside as after several years of works going on on the oppostite side of the road, and that side being closed off, we can now cross the road! Hooray!


Colour Assemblages exhibition viewed from the outside of Aldage LIbrary. Photo © London Met











Colour Assemblages exhibition close up © London Met

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Little Library of Horrors

Something spooky’s happening at Aldgate Library…

Come and see our Little Library of Horrors display for all things ghostly, ghoulish and monstrous – inspired by The Horror Show! exhibition now open at Somerset House. The exhibition examines how ideas rooted in horror have informed the last half a century of creative rebellion in Britain, and our book display refelects some of this cultural history.

As well as a fantastic collection of books on this subject, there are lots of e-resources the library subscibes to that you can search through for more inspiration on this topic.

How about Bridgman Education, (London Met login required) where you can serach over one million images, copyright cleared for use in eduation, and youc an find such things as vintage posters for Dracula films , a mummy of a vampire, and a whole host more of horrors!

Or Box of Broadcasts (Bob),  (London Met login required) where you can search through and stream for free any horror films that have been aired on freeview, such as the ‘Halloween’ series and so much more!

JSTOR is a fantasic resource too, and you can search through thousands of journals, articles, book chapters and images – you can narrow them down by type by ticking the relevant boxes on the left hand side.

Beyond London Met, University of London Senate House Library Special Collections house the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature. The collection comprises nearly 13,000 books, pamphlets and periodical titles, some rare, on all aspects of magic, printed between 1472 and the twenty-first century. I was lucky enough to visit it earlier this year as part of CSGUK development opportunity to visit other university libraries, and found it a fantastic resource for any students who might be researching aspects of the paranormal, the occult, witchcraft, magic etc.

A few items we were shown included:

  • Scot’s discovery of witchcraft, a rational explanation
  • James the 1st’s own account of witchcraft and trials
  • Houdini’s last work, and a book signed by him
  • 19th C Spirit Photography by William Hope
  • Harry Price investigation into William Hope
  • A letter from Arthur Conan Doyle
  • 1930s investigation of Helen Duncan, the last person who was charged with being a witch in this country

Well worth a visit if this is an area you are interested in! (Please get in touch with them before visiting to find out what their current conditions of entry are, as there may be a charge for non Univeristy of London staff and students)


Little Library of Horrors book display at Aldgate Library



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South Asian Heritage Month display

July 18th -August 17th is South Asian Heritage Month, and to celebrate we have put together a display of books at Aldgate library, focusing on textiles from the area, in particular India.

“The month aims to amplify and celebrate British South Asian heritage and history across the United Kingdom through education, arts, culture and commemoration, helping people better understand the diversity of present day Britain and improve social cohesion across the country.”

So many beautiful books to inspire!

Check out the official website for other events taking part across the country to celebrate.

This is just one of many book displays we put up in our libraries, follow us on Instagram @londonmetlibrary to see more, or of course come and visit the library to see what’s on! Book displays are a great way to show off small sections of our very rich book collections, they are just the tip of the iceberg, so we hope they encourage you to come and explore what else is on offer.

South Asian Heritage Month book display at Aldgate Library. Image copyright London Metropolitan University












Previous related posts:

What’s your type?

Adore Dior

LGBTQAI+ History Month Display

Bauhaus 100

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Summer Show In Real Life!

After 2 years of happening mostly online, the School of Art, Architecture and Design summer show is back in real life for 2022!

Students from all art, architecture and design courses will exhibit their work from 22 June – 2 July.

The exhibition areas will be Goulston Street (projects, architecture and visual communication courses), the Wash Houses (3D design subjects), Calcutta House (interiors, visual communication and upholstery courses), and the Annexe (fine art and photography).

It’s always so great to see the culmination of our students hard work over the last few years, and this year we have a fantastic exhibition from the BA Interior: Design, Architecture Design, Design & Decoration year one students of hacked second hand chairs in Aldgate library, which look fantastic!

Do come and have a look if you get the chance.






Exhibition of hacked chairs by Interior Design students in Aldgate library. Photo © London Met

Exhibition of hacked chairs by Interior Design students in Aldgate library. Photo © London Met





















Previous related posts:

The School of Art Architecture and Design summer show now live online!

London Met Arts Summer Shows Online!

CASS summer shows 2019



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