Bloomsbury Philosophy Library - Reviews


Review of Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics in Against the Grain, November 2023

By Kelly Denzer


‘The tagline associated with [Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics] is “discover new ways of thinking about art and the everyday,” and that is indeed what I found with this collection of resources.’

‘The collection includes diverse voices aimed at providing students a broader understanding and knowledge of aesthetics outside of Europe.’

‘The [case study] article brings in a variety of philosophical points…in the field of aesthetics that carry across multiple disciplines including fine arts, art history, dance, theater and beyond throughout the “Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics” collection.’

‘Also included are nearly 300 images selected by philosophers to spark class discussion or research paper topics. The questions accompanying the images delve into aesthetic judgment or the place of art in society.’


‘The platform is easy to navigate and includes the features one is looking for when searching multiple pages of online content, including the ability to save, cite, print, or share when logged in to your account.’

‘Each eBook landing page contains a summary and a hyperlinked table of contents to bring the reader directly to the chapter or, alternatively, to go directly to a page number. A researcher can also search within the book for specific words or phrases. Each chapter includes a full citation list with direct links when available and suggestions for further reading.’

‘The platform also keeps track of your recently viewed items for easy back and forth navigation.’


‘Having all this information in one portal is a definite benefit to this collection. That, along with the thought provoking philosophical questions around aesthetics to kick start a research query, makes this a worthy collection to explore for a library that serves undergraduates. “Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics” topics span across disciplines and I would recommend a trial to promote to faculty outside of philosophy to those teaching writing, film, or any interdisciplinary courses taught on campus.’

Review of Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics in Library Journal, July 2023

By Sarah Hashimoto


‘Thirty-nine case studies highlight artwork and everyday items—paintings, food, and even popular entertainment—to address questions relating to the nature of beauty and taste.’

‘Especially noteworthy is the inclusion of 47 critical readings from Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America that showcase non-Western scholarship'.


‘The Contemporary Aesthetics platform is attractive and engaging. Patrons can access materials through the top navigation menu, which provides options for exploring movements/schools of thought, subjects, periods, and people. They can also browse by content type.’

‘If exploring rather than conducting targeted searches, patrons can use the interactive time line, which connects thinkers from the 17th century onward with pivotal social and cultural developments of the time.’

‘The search function is intuitive and responsive.’

‘One helpful feature is the ability to create personal accounts to save search results and content. Additionally, APA, MLA, and Chicago citations are available for all content.’


‘Bloomsbury Contemporary Aesthetics offers students and researchers an engaging entry into robust scholarship and innovative thinking in contemporary aesthetics. This user-friendly resource should have a place in academic libraries.’

Review of Bloomsbury Philosophy Library in Library Journal, September 2021

By Rob Tench

'Aimed at undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and researchers, Bloomsbury Philosophy Library comprises three collections. Bloomsbury History of Modern Aesthetics consists of 20 hard-to-find 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century texts. Bloomsbury 20th-Century French Thought offers 25 primary texts from late 20th-century French philosophers and 125-plus works of secondary literature. The Encyclopedia of Philosophers offers 6,500 articles covering the life and work of prominent philosophers from North America, Britain, Germany, Ireland, France, and the Middle East, from the 17th to 20th centuries.'

'New multi-content collections (Contemporary Aesthetics, Asian Philosophy, Radical Thought, Women Philosophers) are under development.'


'The platform is user-friendly, with an engaging interface, resourceful indexing, excellent searching tools, and attractive graphics. At the top of the landing page are tabs labeled “home,” “explore by,” “browse collections,” “about,” and “for librarians.” A basic search bar is below the main navigation, with an advanced search link next to it. Below the search bar, a box labeled “featured content” spotlights relevant material (for instance, an article on women in philosophy). Underneath, there are four boxes that let users search by primary texts, secondary literature, articles, and a time line. Scrolling down further, users will see three boxes devoted to each of the main collections in the database, as well as a “teaching and learning tools” box.

Clicking “explore by” allows users to search by subject, movements and schools of thought, person, period, and content type (articles, time lines, primary texts, secondary literature). “Browse collections” lets users access the three content collections.

Response time to queries is fast, with results arranged by relevance. Retrieved items can be sorted by ascending or descending order and title or date. They can be further refined by subject, movements and schools of thought, person, period, place, primary text, and content type. Using advanced search, researchers can narrow results by title, author/editor/creator, summary/abstract, category, or identifier and by article, bibliographic guide, biographical entry, image, or ebook. Boolean searching is also available.

Users can create personal accounts to save and organize content. Retrieved information can be saved, printed, shared, and cited in APA, MLA, and Chicago styles.'


'Easy navigation, multiple ways to access content, and numerous search features characterize the archive. It is a viable resource for students, teachers, and researchers of philosophy ... In sum, this is a strong product that will continue to improve as more content and resources are added.'