Make the most out of your library’s resources

Image link to the library's Academic Skills page.
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/subject-support/

Key resources

Do you have an assignment or research question and don’t know where to start? Search no further, your subject-specific LibGuide is only a few clicks away.

Follow the link above and then choose the Faculty and relevant School. Once you are there you will see the key resources that are provided for you:

Image of the navigation menu displayed in subject guides. It contains a home page, books and e-books, resources for online learning, journals and databases, subject specific resources, special collections and archives, subject help and news.

Navigate to the ‘Journals and Databases’ tab. This will display the databases where you can search for the journal articles that you need. Don’t know how to use this avalanche of links? We have instructions:

Image displaying the contents of the middle tab in the Journals and Databases section. It contains a list of PDF workbooks with instructions to databases.

From the Databases tab, click on the next tab along, in the centre of the screen that reads ‘Journals and Database Help’.

One-to-one help

Is the information too vast and you feel like you’ve hit a wall? You can ask your liaison librarian team for help. From the same navigation menu on the left side of the screen, click on ‘Subject Help and News’. There, you can find the team’s contact details and further down the page, you can request to book a one-to-one consultation with a member of the team.

Academic skills

Do you feel that your academic skills need to be polished a little? Don’t hesitate to look at our Academic Skills page from the Subject Support page:

Image link to the Subject support page displaying the links to guides for the three faculties and Academic Skills.

You will find more guides on this page relating to how to find academic information, reference it, using EndNote, distinguishing between real information and fake news and many more: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/subject-support/faculty.php/?f=other.

Academic Writing

You can also get one-to-one help from the Writing Development Centre if you are struggling with study skills or academic writing.

Library Help

Do you have any specific questions? Please contact us via Library Help where we monitor your live chats and emails or have a look through our FAQs: https://libhelp.ncl.ac.uk/.

Temporary free access: Manchester Film Studies ebook collection

MUP logo

The Library has temporary free access to the Film Studies ebook collection from Manchester University Press until June 30th 2020. This provides access to 156 film studies titles from their collection, covering all aspects of film studies, and featuring directors and themes from many different countries.

The titles aren’t listed individually on Library Search, but you can access them all from the Manchester Hive site.

At the top of the page, click ‘Sign in via institution’, then search for ‘Newcastle University’ (not University of Newcastle!) and you’ll be taken to the University’s log in page.

Refining search

Use the refine options on the left hand side to focus your search (for example, by subject, or to see books rather than chapters).

As always, your feedback on this trial will be very welcome. Please email it, or post it as a comment on this blog post.

Temporary free access: Global and Society Digimap from EDINA until 30th June

The suppliers of Digimap have arranged free temporary access to  Global and Society data until 30th June 2020.  The product is now available when you log into Digimap.

The service will provide access to global datasets in cartographic styles and downloadable formats that are useful to you.

  • Global provides the following:
    An easy to use interface to allow you to browse, annotate and print global maps. (Coming Soon)
  • A data download facility to providing access to global datasets for use in GIS software.

Society Digimap includes census and socio-economic data which can be layered across the map software to provide a picture and give an insight of society in a given area.

To access these resources, click on the link to the Digimap collection via Library Search or our Maps library guide, log in with your university account and click on the Global or Society tabs to access the data.  You will need to accept the license agreement the first time you use it.

Please explore and email us your feedback, or post it as a comment on this blog.

New ebook collections: Taylor and Francis

The Library has access to several new ebook collections from Taylor and Francis until March 2021.

The collections comprise over 1,200 titles in a wide range of subject areas across humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine.

Search filter box

All the books are individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can browse them on the Taylor and Francis site (click Show content I have access to in the search filter box to display the titles available to you).

After March 2021, we will assess usage of the titles.

New dataset – Digimap Pilot

A new dataset is now available within Digimap called the Pilot Collection. This provides temporary access to data that EDINA are trying out and want feedback from users. This means the data will be replaced with other data sets over time as new sets become available.

Digimap Pilot is free for staff and students at current subscribing higher and further education institutions and research councils. All you will need to do is to accept the end user licence agreement which is available when you log into Digimap with your Campus ID and password. As these datasets will change regularly then you’ll need to re-accept each new licence agreement as sets are replaced.

Digimap Pilot comprises two applications, one for creating maps online, the other for downloading data which enables further analysis and investigation in other packages:

  • Use Roam to view, annotate and print maps online.
  • Use Data Download to download data and load it into a GIS or CAD package for further manipulation

As of April 2020, Pilot currently offers access to the following data.

Geomni data which consists of:

  • UKMap a modern, highly detailed, feature-rich mapping database of Greater London. Its unique, innovative design offers users a flexible choice of integrated map features within a single geographic information source.  It comprises addresses, retail names, detailed shopping centre data, building heights, a wide range of points of interest, aerial photography, together with Digital Terrain and Surface Models.
  • This one dataset has different components for Greater London. This includes UKMapLondon which provides aerial imagery with a resolution of 10cm, UKMap Upper Floors which shows more granular information e.g. which shops are on different floors of shopping centres, UKMap Tree Canopy which indicates tree canopies.
  • UKBuildings a unique database created and regularly updated to help you understand the age, structure, characteristics and use, of commercial, public and residential buildings across the UK.
  • UKLand a maintained, national land information database providing a detailed consistent breakdown of the use of land across the UK. There are 30 different land classes available e.g. woodland, water features, transport and commerical.

An EDINA Satellite data collection initially consisting of:

  • Sentinel 2 derived cloud free optical mosaic for Great Britain, 2019.
  • Sentinel 2 derived Near Infrared mosaic for Great Britain, 2019.

These 2 sections are currently available until the 31/07/2020.

Within the Pilot Data Download section you’ll also find some useful product information such as where the data comes from, it’s availability and sizing and Copyright information.

If you’re using mapping data already you might want to use this in conjunction with GIS if you’re manipulating or working with the data. Or doing a comparison to other maps you might have found freely available e.g. Google Maps.

Complimentary access to Pidgeon Digital

As we’ve had a previous trial to Pidgeon Digital, they’ve granted us free access during this difficult time.


So we are delighted to announce we again have complimentary access to this platform which offers an online collection of illustrated audio visual resources, featuring some of the world’s leading architects, designers and engineers, including talks by Will Alsop, Edward Cullinan, Terry Farrell, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Kisho Kurokawa, Oscar Niemeyer, Jean Nouvel, Gaetano Pesce, Richard Rogers, Harry Seidler Bernard Tschumi and Michael Webb.


The archive stretches back to the 1970s and began life as a tape and slide collection created by Monica Pidgeon, the editor of Architectural Design for 30 years.

It’s a resource ideal for students from the School or Architecture and Planning, giving insight into architectural practice, theory and ideas.

You can access Pidgeon Digital via Library Search, remember to log in with your university ID when prompted.
You can also access via the website at : https://www.pidgeondigital.com The website uses IP authentication so if you are off-campus, please log in to RAS first of all, and then within RAS, open up an internet browser and then access the Pidgeon website.

Temporary free access: University of Michigan ebooks

The Library has free access to the University of Michigan’s ebook collection until August 31st 2020. This content is being made available due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have access to just under 1,400 books, across a wide range of humanities and social sciences fields. All the books are free to read on the publisher’s site.

As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.

Project MUSE offers selected free resources until end May 2020

Multiple publishers in the humanities and social sciences, including a variety of distinguished university presses, societies, and related not-for-profit publishers, are making a selection of their journal and ebook content available for free in a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Among the publishers currently opting to make content free on Project MUSE are Johns Hopkins University Press (all books and journals), Ohio State University Press (all books and journals), University of Nebraska Press (all books and journals), University of North Carolina Press (all books), Temple University Press (all books), and Vanderbilt University Press (selected books). Project MUSE expect to announce additional participants and will continually update the list of publishers offering free access to content.

Content that is freely available on the Project MUSE platform during the COVID-19 crisis will display a distinctive “Free” icon, different from the “OA” icon used for fully open access content on MUSE, or the familiar green checkmark that users associate with content held by Newcastle University Library.

Explore the Project MUSE platform and discover the latest free material.

17 useful online resources for architecture essays.

1. Online resources in Library Search

When working off campus, you can still access the full collection of ebooks, electronic journals and professional magazines, newspapers, conferences and more, from Library Search.

Additional ebook titles are being added to the collection every day while we are all working remotely. Search by author, title or keyword to find books to help you with your essay topic.

We’ve put together a page of tips and help videos all about Library Search on our finding information skills guide

2. Your Subject Guide

The Subject Guide for Architecture, Planning and Landscape draws together in one place, the resources available from the library to help you with your academic and design work. Use the Journals and Database page to access subject databases such as Avery and Building Types Online.

The Subject Specific Resources page gives you a curated list of good quality image and buildings websites which will be great to reference in your essays.

You can contact the Liaison Team for one-to-one support or send your questions to Library Help, where there are staff logged into our live chat service, 24/7.

Between Library Search and your Subject Guide, you will be able to find excellent information to use in your essay, but there are many other resources you may want to try.

Screenshot showing the subject guide homepage.

3. RIBA ebooks

The Library recently purchased 89 ebook titles, available through a partnership between RIBA and Taylor & Francis. You can access the RIBA ebooks in Library Search when books match your keywords, or you can find a full list on our recent blog post.

Screen shot showing RIBA ebook platform for reading online.

4. Building Types Online

Find excellent quality building examples for your academic work. The database includes case studies, articles, essays, building plans and photographs for different building types and construction methods. You can find out more about

5. Avery Index to Architectural

Published by the Getty Research Institute, the index is a comprehensive American guide to the current literature of architecture and design. It surveys more than 2,500 international journals and provides nearly 13,000 citation records for architects’ obituaries. Some of the articles have full-text attached, while others will link using the Find@Newcastle University button to take you back to Library Search to access the full-text if we have it.

You can filter your results to scholarly journals or the wider professional collection.

6. Art and Architecture Archive

A full text, full colour archive of 25 art and architecture magazines from the 19th to 21st centuries. You can search across the whole archive or individual magazines.

7. Architects Journal Buildings Database

The AJ Buildings Library is a digital database that showcases more than 1,900 exemplar projects, most from the last 20 years but including major projects back to 1900.

When accessing the database for the first time, you will need to set up an account using your Newcastle email on the Architects Journal website. Click on Sign In at the top left of the homepage, and then register, to complete the form. You will be able to log in to the Buildings Database.

You can search for projects by age, cost, architect, building type, footprint, location, and a combination of these. Each project featured in this digital database includes full project data (more than 20 items of information) and comprehensive architectural photographs and drawings (plans, elevation, section) – all provided at high resolution.

Drawings can be downloaded and printed out to their original scale. Vector pdfs and CAD files are not available for download and all copyrighted images are protected.

8. Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts can be used to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource to use to find documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, record new ones, create clips and playlists and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search for other user’s public playlists to help you in your own search. 

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

9. JSTOR

JSTOR is a full-text collection, giving you online access to scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage with basic search

10. ArchDaily

ArchDaily is a great resource that provides news and information from around the world on all aspects of architecture. Founded in 2008, is is one of the biggest and most popular architecture websites in the world.

You can keyword search across the website, or use the browse options to find information about hot topics, different types of architectural project. The interviews section is well worth exploring.

11. Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, videos, music, websites, and more. You can do a simple keyword search around your topic area, and refine by the information type. Or search within the ebooks for specific titles.

Screenshot of Internet Archive search results for concrete architecture

12. US Modernist Library

The USModernist Library is the world’s largest open digital collection of major US 20th-century architecture magazines with approximately 2.7 million downloadable pages – all free to access. You can search for a specific modernist house, search by architect, original owner or keyword.

13. RIBApix

RIBA’s image library of over 100,000 photographs and drawings
from the RIBA Collections, available to view, buy and download. Many of the images are protected by copyright so will need to be used with caution.

14. Architectural Association photo Library

With over 8,000 images, the slides, negatives and prints of historical and contemporary architecture are all available in low resolution for educational purposes. It also includes photographs of work produced by students at the School of Architecture since the 1880s, as well as a video archive for its lectures, conferences, and seminars.

15. Pathé Newsreel Archive

Access over 85,000 high res videos on the British Pathe Youtube channel. The archive contains films produced from 1910 to 1970, and covers all sorts of subjects relating to architecture. Watch features on the construction of the Empire State BuildingFrank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax BuildingLe Corbusier’s Couvent de la Tourrette, and Montreal’s Expo’ 67 and the construction of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome.

16. archINFORM

This is the largest online-database about worldwide architects and buildings, including information about more than 81,000 built and unrealised projects. The information varies for each project but includes images, commentary, drawings and links to references to read more about the project.

You can search the database using your topic keywords, or by architect, building name or location.

17. Construction Information Service

CIS is produced jointly with the National Building Specification (NBS) especially for architects, civil and structural engineers, building control officers, building services engineers and other professionals in the construction industry. It provides industry information and legislation, along with full-text access to key professional publications, including Architects Journal.

The full-text documents cover all aspects of the building, engineering, design and construction process.

Now available: Cambridge University Press announces free electronic textbooks collection until end May 2020

Cambridge University Press has made over 700 textbooks freely available to those in Higher Education until the end of May 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

These titles are in addition to our current CUP holdings and we are adding them to Library Search to aid discovery.

To browse and access the free collections visit the Cambridge Textbooks homepage (including subject headings): https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/textbooks

For more information see the Cambridge COVID-19 resource notification page: https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/covid-19-resources-and-information