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Architecture & Design

This guide is intended to help you get started with your architecture & design research.

Finding Full Text

Print Journals and Books 

  • Shelved together by call number in TFDL
  • Request items not in the TFDL by placing a HOLD as directed in Library Catalogue

Find Full Text of Publications identified in Online Resources

  • Increasingly more of the architecture and design periodicals, dissertations, and books are available online.
  • Note any direct links to online full text within the online resource
  • Books:
    - Search title and/or author of books in Library Catalogue (NOT CHAPTER TITLES OR AUTHORS) to find call number and location of print book or link to e-book
  • Theses and dissertations:
    - Look for online full text of dissertations in ProQuest Dissertations and Theses; searching by author's name is recommended

Journals available in Open Access (articles freely available online) are listed on the Directory of Open Access Journals

Browse Online Journals (UofC only)

  1. From JOURNALS blue tab at top of Library home page:


  • Under Browse Electronic Journals by subject
  • Choose Art, Architecture & Applied Arts
    (or Engineering & Applied Sciences: Civil Engineering, Materials Science, Technology - General, etc.) and
  • Click Search  

Subject Headings in Art, Architecture & Applied Arts

Subject Headings in Engineering & Applied Sciences (selected)

2. designinform 

  • ReVIEW: Full-text nineteenth and early twentieth century art and design journals
  • Research Guides No.2: Free-access, digitised art, architecture, design and craft journals on the Internet

Interdisciplinary Databases

Academic Search Complete 

Academic OneFile


  • Backset full-text database with:
    • 29 architecture titles
    • 185 art titles
    • 53 classical studies titles


  • For topics such as buildings and (energy or environment)

Web of Science

  • Provides citation searching from known reference to papers that cite it.
    • Arts and Humanities Citation Index
    • Social Sciences Citation Index
    • Science Citation Index

Key Article Databases

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals

  • The key architecture index
  • Indexes more than 1,000 periodicals published worldwide on architecture, archaeology, city planning, interior design, and historic preservation
  • You may limit your search to the ILLUSTRATION field using the drop-down menu next to search box. 
    • Then enter applicable search terms, such as aerial, axonometric, chart(s), computer, det/details, diagr/diagram(s), drawing(s), elevation(s)ill/ills/illus, isometric, map(s), model(s), plan(s)plate(s), photo(s), port(s), secn/secns/sect/sections, site, sketches, table(s), view(s).  
    • Truncating the root of your search term with * is highly recommended as there are multiple abbreviations for each term in this index.  
    • Browse the index entries in the ILLUSTRATION field in order to see the multiple abbreviations and to determine terms used and variant spellings. RIBA library catalogue

  • Indexes:
    • Articles in over 300 of the world's most respected architectural periodicals, details of books and audio visual materials acquired by the RIBA Library
    • The holdings of the RIBA Library Photographs Collection, the RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections and a biographical database of architects.
  • The catalogue notice board feature includes past winners of awards such as the Stirling Prize, and a list of RIBA Presidents.
  • Replacing the print Architectural Periodicals Index (API) (NA1 .A7165 1972/73-2011)

Art Abstracts

  • Key English language art index/abstracting service
  • Selected full text from OmniFile
  • Indexes more than 250 international, arts publications including periodicals, yearbooks, museum bulletins, competition and award notices, exhibition listings, interviews, film reviews, and reproductions of works of art in articles.
  • Ancient to modern; African and oriental art; architecture; some photography, art education, film

Bibliography of the History of Art /Répertoire de la litterature de l'art (BHA and RILA)

  • Scholarly index of the current literature of western art: European art from late antiquity to the present, and American art from the European discoveries to the present. Visual arts media in the broadest sense are included: architecture, painting, sculpture, drawing...
  • Indexes and abstracts chapters in books, 1,200 periodicals, exhibition catalogues, conference proceedings, festschriften, collections of essays, selected dealers catalogues, doctoral dissertations.  Excludes artists’ books and auction catalogues.
  • English or French translation is provided for titles in languages other than German, Italian and Spanish. Abstracts are in either French or English
  • Covers BHA (1990-2007) and RILA (International repertory of the literature of art) - one of the predecessors of BHA, with records that cover 1975–1989. 

  • Provides comprehensive content on sustainable design practices and green building materials
  • Shares expertise and lessons learned from design experts working in the field
  • Builds context for sustainable design strategies and what makes a building product or material green.

Compendex  (1884-  ) Part of Engineering Village

  • Comprehensive engineering database

Art Index Retrospectives

  • Design and design-related journals most of which have ceased publication, but which are distinctly important to the development of design concepts in the early 20th century
  • Contains more than 24,000 abstracts and is updated quarterly, with 15,000 records added per year.

Other Subject-Related Resources