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Architecture Guide


This guide will help you find books, videos, articles and websites about Architecture topics. Use the tabs below and the menus on your right to start searching for different types of materials. If you need additional help, come to the Library Reference Desk or Ask A Librarian.

NEW! The Bloomsbury Architecture Collection is now available! This collection includes 40 E-books on architecture and related topics including the great Sir Banister Fletcher's Global History of Architecture, now with full color photos along with the original drawings.

  1. Books & Images
  2. Databases
  3. Websites

Use the Library catalog to search the COD Library's collection of books, videos, e-books, and streaming media. Use your COD Library card to check these items out or access them online.

How to search the Catalog for Buildings

Access the COD Catalog

Try looking for ebooks only at Ebook Central or in the Bloomsbury Architecture Collection (have your library card handy)

Search for the building name: Ex. Larkin Building | Chapel of St. Ignatius
Search for an Architect: Ex. Boullee | Le Corbusier
Search for the type of building: Ex. Domestic Architecture | Temples
Search for the type of Architecture: Ex. Organic Architecture | Industrial Architecture
Search for the city or country in which the building is located: Ex. Architecture Florida | Architecture Spain | Architecture Italy
Search for the time period: Ex. Architecture Ancient | 19th Century Architecture | Modern Architecture
Search for specific artistic eras in Architecture: Ex. Architecture Postmodern | Gothic Architecture
Search for specific topics related to Architecture: Ex. Building Laws | Building Code

Using the Architecture Reserves List

There are some materials available for check out at the Library Circulation Desk for some Architecture courses as selected by your Instructor. Your instructor will let you know if you need reserve materials.
Search for your course here: COD Library Reserves (Search for Architecture.)

Using the COD Reference Collection and "Survey" Books

Its also important to look at materials that are in the reference collection and in books that are about broad topics in architecture (survey books). Your textbook is an example of a survey book.
Here are some excellent examples of these kinds of books:

Finding Images

There are links to several excellent image databases on the Images Databases page. These are good databases for finding building images:

The Artstor Digital Library is a nonprofit resource that provides over 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences with an accessible suite of software tools for teaching and research.
Great Buildings Online
A large collection of commonly studied buildings. Includes photos, plans, 3-D walkthroughs, drawings, and a bibliography for each building.
Tip: Be careful when you are using online image search engines like Google Images. Sometimes people don't label their photos correctly. Confirm what your building looks like in a reputable source first!

Using I-Share

The library is a part of a consortium of academic libraries known as I-Share. As COD students, you can request items from other libraries online by creating an I-Share account. For more information, visit our I-Share Information Web Page. Architecture students, you'll be able to get books from all of the major Architecture collections in Illinois!

There are several databases that may have journal articles about architects and architecture. You can use your COD Library card to download articles from off-campus.

Databases are organized collections of information that you can search on a variety of fields, like title and author's name. iTunes is a database and so is Amazon. Even your contacts list in your phone is a type of mini database. The Library has databases of articles from newspapers, magazines and journals. We also have databases of streaming videos, music and e-books. The difference between our databases and iTunes or Amazon is that our stuff is free for you to use. You can browse the library's databases here:


Best Bets

Art and Architecture Complete
This database provides full-text coverage of more than 350 periodicals and 220 books. In addition, Art & Architecture Complete offers cover-to-cover indexing and abstracts for more than 800 academic journals, magazines and trade publications. Subjects include Antiques, Architecture and Architectural History, Archaeology, Costume Design, Decorative Arts, Graphic Arts, Interior and landscape design, Painting, Printmaking and Sculpture. The database also provides selective coverage for more than 70 additional publications and an Image Collection of over 64,000 images provided by Picture Desk and others.
Academic Search Complete
Academic Search Complete contains indexing and full text for 4515 journals. This collection provides both scholarly and popular journal coverage for nearly all academic areas of study - including social sciences, humanities, education, computer sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences and ethnic studies. Academic Search Premier is a great resource for general research.
JSTOR is an archive of digitized journal articles ranging in date from the 1700's to the early 2000's. These collections span a variety of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Physical Sciences.

Other Database Choices

See the Architecture Research Databases page for other useful databases.

Tip: When using a database, keep your search focused. Use the building name and/or the architect's name. A search for "architecture" would result in way too many hits.
More information on finding articles:

If you found the journal on the web, go to the Journal Locator to find out if the Library has journal online or in paper or microfilm.
Tip: When you are using the Journal Locator, type in the name of the JOURNAL or MAGAZINE that your article appears in.

If you are using one of the Library's article databases, click on the FIND THIS! link in the article citation. If the Library has the article online, the Find This! link will take you directly to the article. If we don't have it, then click on Request This Item link to order the article through InterLibrary Loan. Make sure to have your library card number ready.

Listed below are high-quality websites useful for a variety of Architecture topics, but there are many others you can find on your own. Remember there are many specialized search tools you can use and also remember to carefully evaluate any information you find on the web.

Architecture Websites

Great Buildings Online
A large collection of commonly studied buildings. Includes photos, plans, 3-D walkthroughs, drawings, and a bibliography for each building.
ArtServe at Australian National University
Over 19,000 images of architecture and architectural sculpture of the Mediterranean Basin, a small selection and brief survey of Islamic architecture, and a searchable book on Greek and Roman Cities of Western Turkey.
Chicago Imagebase
The Chicago Imagebase is a Web-based project aimed at enhancing knowledge about the built environment of the Chicago region. On this site you will find a wide variety of images and other data along with information on how to use this data to study the city.
Cities And Buildings Image Database
From the University of Washington Libraries. Contains nearly 10,00 images contributed from a wide range of sources and covering buildings worldwide. Images are copyrighted and may not be duplicated without permission, but "freely available to anyone with access to the Web for use in the classroom, student study, or for individual research purposes."
Society Of Architectural Historians
Images of American Architecture, grouped into five chronological periods, 1600 - 1976. Images of world architecture, ancient through modern
Structurae is an International Database and Gallery of Structures. It is provided as a free service to engineers, as well as teachers and students of structural engineering. This site contains contemporary and historical information on works of structural engineering and their designers, and firms that constructed them. The intention is to provide a broad overview of structures and as much technical information as reasonable." Also points to relevant print and web materials. Searchable; browsable by designer, geographic area, type of structure, firm, and project name.