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Library Research Guides

Researching and Writing an Architecture Paper

Basic information on researching and writing a paper in the field of architecture.

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How to Find Books About Architecture

Find books on architecture by doing keyword or title searches in the library catalog. You can start with the simple search, but if you know the title or author you may want to jump to the Advanced Search option to locate your material.  When you find the book you're looking for or a book relevant to your search, you may want to use the subject headings listed with that title to guide further searches. Most architecture books are categorized with a Library of Congress call number beginning in NA and will be shelved on the third or second floor of the library.

  • Shelving in the AAEL:  Books and bound journals with call numbers beginning with A-NA 5999 are shelved on the third floor, those with call numbers beginning with NA 6000-Z and all books designated as Oversize are shelved on the second floor.
  • Reference: Reference books, encyclopedias, dictionaries relating to Architecture are located on the second floor of the library. Look for books with call numbers beginning with NA to find the architecture books.  Reference books don't circulate, so you'll have to use them in the library.
  • Reserve: Some books are kept at the Reserves Desk. These generally can be checked out for 2 or 4 hours. Just ask at the reserve desk on the second floor of the library.
  • Folio Storage: Because of their size, age, and/or condition, some books are kept in a storage space in the lower level. These books can be used in the building. Just ask a staff member at the Reserves Desk and the book will be paged for you.
  • Special Collections: Some books in our collection are considered rare and are therefore kept in our Special Collections space in the lower level. To use these books, please contact Rebecca Price to arrange an appointment.
  • Buhr: Some less frequently used books are stored at our offsite storage facility, Buhr Library. You can request Buhr books be sent to the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library by logging into Mirlyn, or you can visit the Buhr Shelving Facility.

Important Reference Works on Architecture

This is a list of useful reference works on architecture and related topics.  It includes encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries.  These books can be useful when you are looking for information about a specific architect, building, or other topic.

All of these print resources are available in the non-circulating Reference section of the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library, on the second floor.

For more reference works on architecture--such as multivolume works on important architects, periods, movements, or locations--feel free to browse the reference collection on the second floor of the Art, Architecture & Engineering Library.