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Architecture resources: Researching an architect or building
This guide will help you find and use Library resources for your assignments, dissertations, theses and other research. Please contact me if you would like further help or information.
When searching for information on a specific architect or building it is important to plan your search. Take time to consider the most likely places for the information you need; there are some important questions to consider for each search noted below. Reference books may also help you develop useful search terms and inform you of how well known the architect or building is which will also influence how easy it is to research.
The search tools listed down the right column should help you identify journal articles to read, though remember that the references found via the RIBA catalogue and the Design and Applied Arts Index may not be available in full text via the library - you can double check availability using SUPrimo. The Library Collections tab will tell you if we subscribe to a specific journal and what years are available - older items will be in print on Level 1. The Articles + databases tab will help you to search for individual articles rather than the journal titles.
For further help pop by the enquiry desk on Level 4.
Research questions - finding Architects
Is the architect associated with a particular period in history? e.g. Could you find any relevant material about the person you are looking for in a book about Victorian architects?
Is the architect linked to a particular place or country? e.g. Could you find details about him/her in a book on Scottish architecture?
Is the architect associated with a particular architectural practice? Do we hold any material listed under that firm's name?
Is the architect noted for designing a particular type of building, such as airport terminals, churches, universities, libraries etc.? Does the Library hold books on that building type which might contain useful sections or chapters about the architect you are interested in?
Research questions - finding buildings
Was the building designed by a significant architect or practice? If so, do we have any materials covering their body of work?
Is the building representative of a specific style or movement of architecture? Could books or articles about that style cover the building you are researching?
Would the building be covered in architectural writing about the town, city, region or country which it was built in?
Helpful reference books
The reference collection on Level 1 in the library contains texts which may help your research. These cannot be borrowed but you may use them anywhere in the library building, as well as scanning or photocopying extracts to refer back to later.
Contains biographies of architects and details of their works. Entries may include a bibliography of publications relating to the architect. To be included in this encyclopaedia, architects either have to be born by 31 December 1930, or must be deceased, so it is not very useful for tracing information about modern architects from the later part of the 20th century.
Volume One of this reference work covers architects. The entries contain a biography and appraisal of each architect. It lists the architect's works, and gives bibliographic details of books and journal articles about the architect. The dictionary is illustrated. Another helpful feature of this publication is the geographic index that denotes the country that is particularly associated with the architect's principal works.
This publication is similar in organisation to the 'International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture'. It also provides a biography and a short evaluation of the architect along with a chronological listing of the architect's works. Details of publications by the architect and about the architect are given. 'Contemporary Architects' is illustrated.
Includes 267 entries on architects or architectural firms. Information given includes a critical essay, a biography, a list of important buildings and further reading. There are cross-references to other entries in this encyclopaedia.
A database of more than 1,900 exemplar projects, most from the last twenty years but includes major projects back to 1900.
For online access to Architects' Journal, access via the SUPrimo record for this journal.
The Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI) contains over 130,000 annotated references from more than 500 design and craft journals and newspapers published from 1973 onwards, and data on over 50,000 designers, craftspeople, studios, workshops, firms etc., making it the largest index of its kind in the world.
Searchable online catalogue from the library of the Royal Institute of British Architects which enables you to do a comprehensive search of architecture-specific references. You can then use information found to check the journal and book details in SUPrimo to find full text of any relevant resources.