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History of Design & Curatorial Studies

Find Books

Search the 'Books & More' tab on the library website using keywords in the title, author, or subject, or the ISBN.

  • Ebooks can be accessed through links under the 'Online Access' section of the page.

  • Physical books are arranged using Library of Congress classification.  The New School students can borrow or request materials to pick up at any of our locations:

    • University Center Library (63 Fifth Avenue, 6th & 7th Floors): Art, Design, Technology
    • List Center Library (6 E. 16th Street, 8th Floor): Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Performing Arts Library (55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor): Music, Dance, Theater

View Access and Borrowing info and renew books (My Account) on the library website.  Most books can be borrowed for 16 weeks and renewed twice.

Use Consortium Libraries (NYU, Cooper Union, New York School of Interior Design) with your New School ID card.

Three ways to find related books:

  1. Click on subject headings in the library catalog.
  2. Browse the shelf to find books under the same call number.
  3. Look up books and articles referenced in literature.

Login to the library catalog to see more access options:

  • Offsite: Request items by clicking on the arrow to the right of the item listing and clicking on "Request Item."  You will receive an email when the item is available, 1-2 days.  
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Recommended for books or articles not available through the library catalog.  To request, login to your ILL account.  See our FAQ for detailed instructions.

METRO: Resource-sharing service for New York City area libraries. Onsite access only (no borrowing privileges). 

WorldCat: Search WorldCat, a union catalog of library holdings around the world.  

Request a Purchase of any books that you need for your research.

The New School subscribes to several E-book Databases.  Full-text searching is possible when searching within individual ebook databases.

Google Books can be used as a tool to search inside books.  Locate books using our library catalog.

Call Numbers

The NK section on the 7th floor of the University Center library is where you will find books on design and the decorative arts.

General Design Call Numbers
General   NK 1-570
History     NK 600-806
Decoration and ornament. Design     NK 1160-1590
Interior decoration    NK 1700-2195

The NK section on the 7th floor of the University Center library is where you will find books on design and the decorative arts. Also find pages for ceramics, furniture, glass, and metalwork

Decorative Arts Call Numbers
Furniture    NK 2200-2750
Rugs and Carpets    NK 2775-2898
Tapestries    NK 2975-3049
Upholstery. Drapery     NK 3175-3296.3
Wallpapers   NK 3375-3496.3
Ceramics     NK 3700-4695
Costume     NK 4700-4890
Glass    NK 5100-5440
Glyptic arts    NK 5500-6060
Metalwork     NK 6400-8459
Textiles     NK 8800-9505.5
Woodwork     NK 9600-9955


N -- Art 
NA -- Architecture
NB -- Sculpture
NC -- Drawing, Ilustration and Graphic Design
NX -- Arts: Cross-disciplinary movements and practices like Surrealism and Performance Art are found here
TS -- Manufactures: Includes product design and machine-made textiles and fabrics
TT -- Handicrafts: Includes hand-crafted furniture and textiles, and fashion

Search Strategies for Design Studies


Experiment with related, broader, and narrower keywords.  


Many materials are classified according to geography.  Try names of cities, countries, and regions.


Try searching by decade (using various spellings "sixties" "60s" 1960s) or by century (“20th century” “twentieth century”).  Specific years (2001) usually won't yield many results.

Searching by Subject Heading

Decoration and ornament
Design -- Philosophy
Design -- Social aspects
Design -- History
Industrial Design
Interior Architecture
Graphic arts

Styles, Movements, Schools 

Try searching by using a style (“art deco”), movement (“arts and crafts movement”), or school (Bauhaus). 

Advanced Search

Combine keywords or subject headings using Boolean logic to create a targeted search.  For example: (“Danish modern” OR “Scandinavian modernism”) AND (1950s OR fifties)