Skip to Main Content

Architecture & Design

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

    Resources on Research Process

These resources provide guidelines and examples that may be used in conjunction with the specific instructions or requirements of individual assignments or faculties.

YouTube video tutorials:

Peer Review in 5 Minutes (NCSU)

Research Minutes: How to Identify Scholarly Journal Articles (Olin Library, Cornell University)

Researching Online for College Students:
Five Easy Steps
 to evaluate web sites (DrPPrice)

Literature Reviews: An Overview for Graduate Students (NCSU)

Effective Writing Centre

Honesty in Academics

  • For information on academic integrity, such as Plagiarism

How to...

How to write an Annotated Bibliography

How to write a Literature Review

How to find general writing resources

How to Cite

  Searching for Architecture Information

Use this guide in conjunction with any course specific information and/or guides.  The information search process is iterative rather than linear as presented below for clarity.   For further information on the information search process, check out the brief Generic WISPR tutorial (log in using guest/guest as Username/Password).

Record exact information for any of the books, journals, images, videos, theses, and websites in which you find information. Use this information to locate the items and to cite the items in your bibliography, including article titles, article authors, book/journal/encyclopaedia titles and editors/authors, publishers, dates, volume numbers/issue numbers/pages, and URL’s/date of access.


Look up your topic in print and online dictionaries and encyclopaedias to gain an overview of and/or background information on your topic, to become familiar with some of the issues, to define terms, and to select and/or focus (broaden or limit) your topic.  Start looking for the context of your topic in relation to other artists, movements, techniques, time periods and such.

While in these reference books, note terms that describe the various aspects of your topic to use later in your information search - in the article indexes and other online and print sources - such as styles/movements, artists’ names and name variations, techniques, subjects of works, relevant place names/communities, and so on.

Print reference books (non-circulating) can be found in:

  • Visual & Performing Arts Reference Collection, 3rd floor, Taylor Family Digital Library
  • General Reference Collection, Learning Commons, 1st floor, Taylor Family Digital Library

Key online reference resources:

Architecture Reference LibGuide pages:

Reference LibGuide (interdisciplinary)

  • Architecture information can also be found in general reference resources.


Now that your topic is defined, your information search process begins with purpose.  Look up various aspects of your topic, including relevant artists’ names, art movements, mediums, time periods, subjects of the work, and such in the Library Catalogue, e-book collections, and periodical indexes to find out what we have here at the University Library and to identify material you may want to request from Interlibrary Loans/Document Delivery.  Note that books tend to cover broader topics while journal articles tend to focus on more specific current topics.

  • To locate specific information in books on broader topics, use table of contents and indexes.
  • Also review any bibliographies.
  • It may be useful to use the keyword search (Boolean) operators AND and OR, and the truncation symbol $ (in library catalogue) or * (in most other online resources)
  • Try Google Scholar
  • Evaluate web information for authority/credibiity, purpose, objectivity, and currency
  • Try saving citations to a bibliographic software program such as


Images and videos can be the topic of your paper or provide further information on your topic and can illustrate your point in papers and/or class presentations. Be aware of associated conditions of use/copyright. See:


  • With online full-text access available for many theses, serious students at all levels can benefit from accessing the information in theses and their often extensive bibliographies.
  • Note also Resources for Writing a Thesis or Dissertation


An extensive resource for identifying material on your topic held in libraries all over the world. Obtain items identified through Interlibrary Loans.  Note that it takes time to obtain items through Interlibrary Loans, depending on where the material is coming from, whether it is signed out, and such.