CSM Collections & Archives

Museum and Study Collection

The Museum and Study Collection at Central Saint Martins holds an art and design teaching collection and the college archive. The teaching collection contains material dating from the 13th century onwards and includes early printed books and illuminated manuscripts, posters, textiles and garments. The college archive contains administrative records as well as material such as promotional posters and exhibition catalogues. Further details including visiting and contact information can be found on the Museum and Study Collection website.

Materials and Products Collection re-launch event, 2012
Photo by Nick Lloyd 2012, copyright Central Saint Martins (CSM) library.

Materials & Products Collection

The Materials & Products Collection is a collection of new and innovative materials that represent current trends in design and manufacturing.

The collection also contains a range of resources to help research materials and processes, including suppliers' and manufacturers' catalogues, key reference books, magazines and online resources. Please note that Central Saint Martins also has a Museum and Study Collection which acts as the College Archive.

The Materials Collection Co-ordinator visits trade fairs, and attends specialist conferences and events throughout the UK and EU. She also liaises directly with manufacturers to ensure the Collection has a current selection of materials and processes to inspire and inform.

Displays are regularly updated with new materials Jess has sourced. The aim of these displays is to highlight new processes and innovations in materials technology. 

How does the Collection work?

The Collection is a reference only, self-service resource and you can access it whenever the CSM Library is open.

Information on Library opening hours and locations.

Samples are grouped by material family, e.g. metal, wood, plastic, paper, foam, textiles, glass. Each sample includes a label with the name of the material and manufacturers' contact details.  Samples are continually updated throughout the year.

Catalogues are arranged alphabetically by subject area. A small selection of reference books is also kept in the collection and additional books can be found in the library. 

How to start using the collection:

  • Materials, catalogues and books are for reference only.
  • Photography is allowed.
  • The materials are displayed in such a way that they can be handled.
  • Contact information is provided for each sample. Make sure you take down the details if you want to find out more information.
  • You can scan or copy any of the literature but please replace the catalogues in the correct folders.
  • Write down the article/quality/reference number of the material you are interested in if it has one.

Help available

The Materials Collection Co-ordinator can provide help and advice in using this Collection to research materials and processes. However we do not source materials or processes directly for individual staff, students or visitors. 

The Materials Collection Co-ordinator can provide inductions to the Collection for individuals and for groups of students and staff at UAL. 


The Materials and Products Collection is also featured on Delicious, which provides links to a wide range of manufacturer and supplier resources.

Visiting the Collection

The Collection is open to all staff and students at University of the Arts London. It is self-service and is open when the library is open.

Alumni and visitor access

As an external visitor or alumni you can make an appointment to use the Collection during Library opening hours.

To make an appointment please email library.visits@csm.arts.ac.uk or call 020 7514 7310. Please be aware that visits to the Collection need to be booked at least two working days in advance.

The Materials and Products Collection is a self-service collection. Members of Library staff will be able to provide general advice on accessing the collection but are unable to support specific research enquiries.