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Materials Collection

Collection of materials samples meant to inspire the creative process.


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Rebecca Price
2396 Duderstadt Center

Art, Architecture & Engineering Library

AAEL Joins Material Order!

The University of Michigan Library has recently joined the Material Order consortium.  Co-founded by Harvard Graduate School of Design and Rhode Island School of Design, the consortium brings together material collections to partner in the creation of a shared resource for materials description and access.  Material Order, powered by CollectionSpace (Lyrasis), utilizes and develops standards and best practices to provide a community-based approach to the management of design material collections.



Material Conversations - Discussions about Materials Research at UofM

We've suspended the Material Conversations series, our monthly brownbag devoted to a discussion of materials research at the university, for the time being.  We hope to reinstate the series soon.

About the AAEL Materials Collection

Photo of a portion of the materials collection.

Stop by the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library to see and touch materials for creative inspiration.  Our in-house collection consists of samples of more than 1000 materials, a selected subset of the over 7,500 materials found in the Material ConneXion® database, as well as materials we purchase.  Material ConneXion® is a leading global platform for innovative and sustainable materials used in design, building and manufacturing.  

Our materials are housed in room 2420 on the east side of the second floor of the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library. This collection is available for in-house use to any university faculty, staff, or student.  Please stop by to see and touch the materials!  

Researching Materials and Material Properties


Material Order, the shared source for design material collections.  Search partner academic and cultural institution collections for materials.

The Material ConneXion® database offers a knowledge base with an eclectic collection of over 7,500 innovative materials and processes. The database is updated regularly and frequently with materials juried by a panel of material specialists. Coverage includes all disciplines of design development with the largest selection of sustainable materials and the only Cradle to Cradle materials library in the world.

To read about research on materials, try the ProQuest Material Science Collection of databases.  

Engineering Village may also be worth consulting.

For data on materials properties (hardness, density, thermal conductivity, tensile strength, etc.), try ASM Handbooks and/or Knovel:Engineering and Scientific Reference Resources or Matweb.

Product Information on the Web for Building and Designing

News in the Materials World

Keep up with the Latest Materials News!