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Architecture & Urban Design

This Library Research Guide is intended as a starting place for UCLA researchers, pointing to resources and strategies for finding information about architecture and urban design topics.

Researching Buildings

Most architecture books are not dedicated to a single building. The building you are researching may be discussed in books about the building's:

  • architect
  • time period
  • location such as city or country
  • building type

Search the UCLA Library Catalog in order to locate books. Searching Tips:

  1. If you know the name of the architect or firm that designed the building, use keyword searching in the Library Catalog for books under these names. Once you have the book in hand, refer to its index or table of contents to determine whether or not your building is mentioned.
  2. If the architect or firm is unknown, try searching under time period, style, place, or building type (i.e.: Architecture -- Romanesque)

To locate articles on your building, you will need to search an index that specializes in architectural subjects. The Avery Index is the most comprehensive index of this kind. Click on the Article Indexes and Databases tab above to locate this and other indexes.

TIP: Also try searching Google Books for the name of your building, then search the UCLA Library Catalog for the titles of the books retrieved.

The following research handbooks may be useful when researching historic structures:

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries

Encyclopedias & Dictionaries provide historical data, bibliographies and information authored by experts in the field.  Many also include photographs, plans, views, sections, elevations, and details of buildings.

Architectural Guidebooks

Architectural guidebooks may offer historical background, maps of the area, walking tour itineraries, photographs, and drawings. To locate guidebooks in the libraries at UCLA, search the UCLA Library Catalog using the following subject headings:

  • Architecture -- country/state -- city/county -- Guidebooks
  • Buildings -- country -- Guidebooks
  • Buildings -- country/state -- city/county – Guidebooks
  • Buildings -- Guidebooks
  • Historic Buildings -- country/state -- Guidebooks
  • Historic Sites -- country/state -- Guidebooks
  • Monuments -- country/state -- Guidebooks
  • Building type -- country/state -- city -- Guidebooks
  • City (country/state) -- Buildings, structures, etc. -- Guidebooks

The subjects above can also be used with the subheading ‘History’ replacing the ‘Guidebooks’ subheading to locate relevant historical surveys. (e.g.: Architecture -- England -- London -- History or Architecture -- California -- Los Angeles -- History)

Historical Bibliographies

Building Guidebook series