Visual Arts: Navigating the Collection

How to find books, images, exhibit catalogues, audiovisual material and journal articles from the Library collection

Browsing the Library shelves

Resources on a topic can often be found in the same area on the shelves [Image Source: UniSA Library]

Items on a similar topic - whatever the format (e.g. book, DVD) - are often found in the same area on the shelves.

You can see the similar numbers on these book spines.

This is a result of Dewey Decimal Classification. 


Here are some numbers that will help you to browse areas of interest:

700.1, 701 Art philosophy & theory  [European Graduate School, 'Jean Baudrillard lecturing at European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland', CC License: CC-by-SA 2.5 (, Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (]
730-736 Sculpture [Mitsuo Takeuchi. transfiguration 'link' XXIII. Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010. [Emily Orpin, 'Sculpture by the sea', CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (, Image Source: Flickr (]
738 Ceramics Kim Foale, 'Still Life'. [Veronica Foale, 'Still Life', CC Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]
739  Art metalwork, jewellery  [Simone Walsh, 'New handmade jewellery', CC Licence: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]
741-743 Drawing, perspective [Scallop Holden, 'I can't stop drawing shapes', CC Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]
746 Textile arts [Georgie Sharp, 'Ink Spot', Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]


Elaine Miles, 'Reflections'. [Mimi_K, 'Reflections', CC License: CC BY-NC 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]

Painting and paintings 

[University of Adelaide, 'Open Day 2006 // Open Air Art: Artist @ work in the Adelaide Railway Station', CC License: CC BY 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]

Printmaking and prints 

[Jodi Green, 'rolling up', CC License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]



Photography, computer art, cinematography, videography

[Natalie Maguire, 'Photographer #02', Creative Commons License: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (, Image Source: flickr (]

Where can I search? A few options

Don't just rely on browsing the shelves...

It's important to search the collection using the Library's online search tools to make sure you find everything available on your topic.


Works relating to your studies could be:

  • online or in print
  • on loan
  • at another campus
  • located at a variety of different call numbers

I can't find it on the shelf...

  What you can do

Library catalogue record indicates not available      

  • Look for another work on the topic
  • the work so that you are in the queue to borrow it (you'll get an email when it's available)
  • Check if it's available at another library (e.g. use the University of Adelaide catalogue
Library catalogue record indicates available 
  • Look at the works on the shelves near where the one you're looking for should be - someone might have put it in the wrong spot
  • Is it from a special collection?
  • Look in the reshelving area
  • Try again at another time - someone might be using it in the Library
  • Ask Library staff to help you


Exploring the collection...

Explore the Library's collection by browsing and searching [Image source: UniSA Library]

The Library has a huge collection of material relating to the Visual Arts, providing you with access to thousands of resources on an enormous variety of topics! For example:

  • books (print and Ebooks)
  • journals
  • DVDs/streaming video
  • exhibition catalogues
  • online images

Most physical works concerning art, architecture and design can be found on Level 5 of the new Jeffrey Smart building. However, our Special Collection and High Demand items are kept on level 2 of the Jeffrey Smart building.

The resources on Level 5 are in two areas, the north wing and west wing.


Call number Level Wing

700 - 724

5 North Wing

725 - 799 


folios & compactus

5 West Wing



Our online resources (Ebooks, journals etc) are accesible via the library catalogue or databases.