This guide is for 
students taking the Foundation degree and BA Hons in Furniture: Design and Make at City of Oxford College.

Finding books online

There is an electronic reading list for your course. You can access this either by searching for FDFURNITURE in the Activate Learning Library Catalogue or by following this link. This will allow you to see where the items in the reading list are on the shelf and when they are due back if they are on - FDFURNITURE.png

You can also search the catalogue using filters, applying boolean operators and selecting preferred media types.

For example you can apply your search term to: 

  • Title, Author, Location, Keyword, Subject, Publisher, Location or All fields using the search in filter. 
  • AND, OR , AND NOT to build your search by clicking + and selecting the appropriate operator. 
  • Media Type can be selected from the drop down box.
furniture - advanced search.png

Here the results will include anything that has furniture in the title or listed as a subject.
For more help using the catalogue you can watch this 
short clip from the using the libraries section on the website or ask a member of the team in the library for help.

Finding books on the shelves

You may want to browse the shelves. Books are organised by subject and given a shelfmark which consists of numbers and letters. Shelfmarks for books are displayed on the catalogue so you can locate the book, books nearby will be similar in subject so may also be useful. 

  • Books on Furniture can be found at shelf marks 749 - 749.9.
  • Books on Manufacturing including woodwork and metalwork can be found at shelf marks 674 - 684.
  • Books on Creative Arts in general can be found at shelf marks 700 - 800.


You can also place a reservation on a book if the item you want is on loan. You can do this by asking at the library helpdesk, or by yourself using the library catalogue. You will need to log into Heritage using your student ID number and your date of birth DDMMYYY and then click the Reserve button underneath the picture of the book you want. You will then be contacted by a member of library staff when the book becomes available.

furniture - reserve item.png 
You can also reserve items from any of the other Activate Learning Libraries in the same way. If the item you require is held at Reading or Banbury Library you can reserve it by logging into the catalogue and clicking Reserve on the detailed record for the item. The item will be transferred to the Oxford library and a member of the team will contact you when it is ready for collection. Alternatively speak to a member of the team at the issue desk and they will help you arrange for the item to to transferred.
If you only wish to view items available at the site where you attend college, you can do this using the advanced search options. 

furniture - filter by location.png

Here the results will show all items relating to
furniture available at the City of Oxford College library.

Your Library Online account

Logging into your Heritage account allows you to view the items you have on loan and reserved, you can also renew items and view your loan history. Log in using your student ID number and your date of birth DDMMYYY.

You can also view a short clip for help on how to log into your account.


eBooks are listed on the online catalogue and can be recognised by the [eBook] symbol next to the entry. To access an eBook look at the detailed entry for the item and click on the Read me… button. You can access eBooks offsite - the username and password are the same as your college network login details. Don’t forget, you can filter your search in the online catalogue to show only eBooks. Or click here to browse our eBook collection by category.

For more help, you can watch this short clip about accessing eBooks, or come and talk to one of our staff.

How to find journals and journal articles

The journals and magazines relating to Furniture available at City of Oxford College are:
  • American Craft
  • Cabinet Maker
  • Crafts
  • Fine Woodworking
  • Furniture and Cabinet Making
  • Icon
  • Journal of Design History
  • Wallpaper
  • The Woodworker
These can be found on the shelves with books of the same subject, and the most recent issue of each is in the periodicals section of the library.

The library offers a selection of broadsheet newspapers. We also have access to UK Newsstand which allows you to search a wide range of national and local news articles. These can be useful for looking at current developments in your field within a wider context. Articles from this will be available 30 days after the paper is published.

Google Scholar is a customised search engine and tool specifically designed to help both students and academics find scholarly research, including articles, books and university theses.

Unlike a standard search engine it aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature. You can sort your results by year to find the newest research or click Cited by or Related articles to find similar work. This means it is easier to find the most relevant and reputable articles for your subject. It will also provide you with references ready to drop straight into your own work.

Using databases

There are several eResources available to Activate Learning students, which can be accessed through the Library page on the Student Hub.

The resources which may be useful for studying Furniture include:

You will also be able to access the following free resources:

Oxford Brookes provides several art-related databases, you can view a full list here. These include:


The following websites are recommended for your course:

Societies and Unions:
Museums and Archives:
Designer-specific websites:
Magazines and Blogs:

Study skills and referencing

Good study skills allow you to get the most out of your time in college, work efficiently and achieve good grades on your course.

Referencing is vital to avoid plagiarism and to give credit to other author’s work and ideas you have used.

The libraries provide a reading list of books relating to study skills, which can be found either by searching for studyskills on the online catalogue or by following this link. Each library also has a dedicated study skills section where you can browse the shelves.

Oxford Brookes will provide you with access to cite them right online which provides guidance for referencing many different types of sources. You will need your Oxford Brookes log in details in order to access this.

Using other libraries

As an Activate Learning student you can use the libraries at Banbury College and Reading College if that is convenient for you.

You have access to Oxford Brookes resources, both physical and electronic. You will need your Oxford Brookes login details to access the electronic resources. There are links on our website in the
Higher Education section that take you to Oxford Brookes library information, subject help and the catalogue. The Arts resources at Oxford Brookes are based in the Headington library.

Some admission-free libraries in London may contain resources which are relevant to your studies. These include:

You may also find useful information at your local public libraries, they are free to join and provide online reference material, some of which can be accessed at home.

For more information visit the Oxfordshire county libraries website.

Where to get help

You can contact the library team or access information using the following links:


Telephone     01865 551961


Twitter           @ActivateLibrary

Or come and see us in person during our opening hours.