Alternative information sources
Reading lists can be made up of a range of material types. We have put together a selection of non-text based sources that are available either through the Library or freely online that can diversify and enrich your reading list.
This list is in no way exhaustive but provides a starting point when looking for alternative material.
A great deal of valuable insights can be found outside of traditional academic literature, however, when using non-library sources, students must be encouraged to think critically and reminded to consider the provenance of the source.
The Library offers resources on how to identify unreliable and reliable sources.
Podcasts can be a great source of information, offering discussions and fresh points of view from a range of voices not often heard in traditional academic material.
- Art Matters – 15 to 20 minute episodes providing fresh insights into classic works and exploring new artistic formats.
- Games Studies Study Buddies – On-going podcast aiming to make the academic side of games studies accessible to a wider audience.
- Press X to Continue – A light-hearted gaming podcast looking at the changing face of gaming from how games are sold to the diversification of creations.
- Have You Heard George? – George the Poet discusses inner city life through the mediums of music and storytelling.
- It’s Nice That – Leading artists, designers, and photographers candidly discuss how they built their careers.
- Creativity Sucks: A Creative Review podcast – Investigates the challenges faced by the design and advertising industry and how to fix them.
- Unreal: A Critical History of Reality TV – Journalists investigate the ethics and development of reality television over the past 30 years.
- Access All – A podcast discussing mental health, wellbeing, and disabilities offering solutions as to how to make the world more accessible to all.
- THE Podcast – Times Higher Education podcast for academic and university staff.
There are over 4000 freely available TED Talks, including an entire section covering art. Below we have selected talks on new innovations and from diverse voices, but we encourage you to explore the entire catalogue.
- Urban architecture inspired by mountains, clouds, and volcanos – Ma Yansong, Architect
- NFTs, the metaverse and the future of digital art – Elizabeth Strickler, Entrepreneur
- Why are stolen African artefacts still in Western museums? – Jim Chuchu, Filmmaker
- Dictators hate political cartoons – so I keep drawing them – Rayma Suprani, Political cartoonist
- How I turned my Tourette’s tics into art – Jess Thom, Comedian
- The everyday beauty of playgrounds – Stefen Chow, Photographer
Many journals, magazines, museums, etc. create freely available videos providing wider context and opinion to their content.
The Library has a huge range of online resources, including non-text based. Below we have highlighted a few key resources you may wish to explore, with examples of collections or playlists within them.
Our full suite of online resources are available on the website.
BFI offers classic, new, and cult films, both regional and global. They also have a range of collections on specific subjects.
- Japan 2021
- Break the Bias – International Women’s Day
- South Asian Heritage
- Public Information Films
- Black Britain on Film
Box of Broadcasts
Box of Broadcasts (BoB) allows you to record from 60 free-to-air television and radio channels, along with offering an archive of over 2 million broadcasts. You can create your own playlists or use one of the academically curated lists they hold. Below are a handful of recommendations.
- John Boyega and Celebrity Activism
- Architecture Design
- British Youth Culture
- Discovering Lesbian Film History Through Mulholland Drive
- Fashion, Sustainability, and Beauty
Berg Fashion Library
This database combines traditional text-based resources such as ebooks with images, timelines, and exhibition archives to create a well-rounded insight into fashion trends.
British Library Sounds
A world-spanning collection of over 90,000 recordings covering oral history, drama, literature, along with interviews with artists and photographers