Materials and Products Collection

Image showing different types of materials

The Library's Materials & Products Collection is a superb assemblage of material samples including ceramics, textiles, glass, paper, metal, plastics and much more. It also includes reference books, books about materials and directories to help you source products and materials.

The purpose of the collection is to encourage the generation of ideas and inspiration, to source and showcase the latest innovations in materials and products and provide technical information on these.


There are products and materials relevant to:

  • Architecture
  • Fashion and Jewellery
  • Fine Art
  • Furniture & Product Design
  • Interiors
  • Spatial Planning & Urban Design
  • Textiles
  • Upholstery
  • Visual Communications (Publishing, Illustration, Graphic Design)

Use the Materials and Products Collection list to see our holdings.

If on campus, use the labelled pc in the Materials & Products Room (CM3N-03) to find the shelf location of a particular material. Or simply browse.

Beyond the List, you can log in to Construction Information Service (CIS).

On the IHS homepage select Construction Information Service to search for articles and regulations relating to a material or product.

Knowledge Workspace helps you search for suppliers of a material or product. Use the Classifications tab to narrow down your search for suppliers.

You can also use Architonic and NBS Knowledge or NBS Source to search for products and suppliers.

Thanks to:

  • American Supply
    Since 1948, American Supply has conceived, developed and produced a range of more than 10,000 materials that are renowned for their originality and personality. American Supply is now present on 3 continents and recognised for its Creativity, Technical Expertise and Global Logistics by some of the most demanding customers in the luxury sector.

  • Institute of Making
    University College London
    The Materials Library is a collection of some of the most wondrous materials on earth, gathered from sheds, labs, grottoes and repositories around the world. It is a resource, laboratory, studio, and playground for the curious and material-minded to conduct hands-on research through truly interdisciplinary inquiry and innovation. The collection is accessible to Institute of Making members day to day, and to the public at Materials Library Discovery sessions.

  • Material District
    As the world’s leading network in the field
 of innovative materials, MaterialDistrict empowers global innovation by match-making material needs with material solutions.
    Registration required - registering is free.

  • MaterialDriven
    Serving as the interface between makers and manufacturers of innovative, sustainable materials and their strategic applications. With a curated range of 300+ materials in the collection, their expertise lies in locating and sourcing innovative materials, as well as understanding their applications, and impact across industries.

  • Material Lab
    Architectural and design resource studio in London where people can explore and be inspired by materials such as ceramics, glass, wallpaper, wood, carpet tiles, eco-resins and fabrics.

  • Transmaterial
    A catalogue of materials that redefines our physical environment.
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