Materials and Products Collection

Image showing different types of materials

The Materials and Products Collection room will be closed until further notice in accordance with Covid-19 health and safety measures.

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.

You can find the Materials and Products Collection on the third floor of Aldgate Library in Room CM3-N03.

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)
  • Everything is for reference only and can only be used in the Materials and Products room.

Look through the collection to see what inspires you.

For more information about the samples, look at the label. This tells you:

  • The date the sample was added to the collection.
  • The name of the material.
  • The name of that company that made it.
  • Their web-address.
  • Eco-friendly materials have green labels.

The samples are shelved using a classification system called CI/SfB, a system used specifically for the classification of construction materials.

If you know what type of material you want to use for your design project, and would like to see some samples of it, you will need to use the Subject Index on the Stand Alone PC, also kept in the M&P room.

The index is arranged in alphabetical order, with the name of the product or material on the left, and the classmark (made up of letters, numbers or both) telling you where the samples are kept or, for an advanced search, you can use the "Find" function available to search for a word in the document.

There is a small collection of reference books in the Materials and Products Collection that you can use to:

  • Find out about materials.
  • Get ideas and inspiration about how materials can be used.
  • Learn about manufacturing processes.
  • Find out where materials can be sourced.
  • Material Explorer
    Allows you to search for materials by properties. Can also search by keyword. Links to information about suppliers. Registration required - registering is free.
  • Transmaterial
    Blog by architect Blaine Brownell. Each week a new material, product or process is highlighted with links to manufacturers' websites and contact details. An archive of the previous 6 months' product features is also available.
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