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Syracuse University Libraries

Architecture: Architectural History

This guide presents resources on various aspects of architecture including history, theory, design and technology.

Research Tips

Finding Information on a Specific Building:

  • The manner in which a building appears in a particular resource can vary from the information you have been given. Consider, for example, alternate building names.
  • In some instances, there may be a book devoted to the study of the specific building. Check the Classic Catalog by keyword.
  • Remember, however, that only a small percentage of buildings have been studied in such detail. By searching only for books on the specific building, you may be eliminating important studies on the architect.
  • Identify the name of the architect. Search the Classic Catalog and appropriate indexes by name of the architect to locate your materials. 
  • Anonymous or vernacular buildings can only be searched by location, time period, or style as appropriate.
  • When searching by location of building or work, remember that in many instances the entry may be filed under location first (normally country, then city).
  • Check more general sources like architectural histories or books on a time period, style, building type, or location to collect information about the specific work.
  • Follow the same strategy in the periodical indexes, beginning with a keyword search on the building or combination of architect and specific work.
  • Narrow or broaden your search as necessary.
  • Check specialized resources, such as Historic American Building Survey or National Register of Historic Places as appropriate.

Finding Information on a Specific Topic:

  • Begin your search by subject or keyword. Keyword Anywhere is a very broad-based search, which looks for words located anywhere in the record.  The limited Subject Heading search returns a browsable list of items with the exact Library of Congress subject heading.  It is a more refined search and will return a more limited number of entries than the keyword search.
  • Check related subject headings and topics to obtain additional information

Significant Historians

Giedion, Sigfried.

Space, Time, and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977. 1941. (King + King - NA203 G45 1982)

Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History. New York, Oxford Univ. Press, 1948. (King + King - T19 G64) (available online via ACLS Humanities E-Book)

Kostof, Spiro

  • Lectures: UC Berkeley's College for Environmental Design, Spring 1991.  "A Historical Survey of Architecture and Urbanism" covers the period from the Florentine Renaissance to the post-modernism of the late 20th century.
  • America by Design. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. (King + King - NA705 .K64 1987)
  • The Architect: Chapters in the History of the Profession. New York: Oxford University Press, 1977. (King + King - NA1995 .A7)
  • The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History. New York: Bullfinch Press, 2004. 1991. (King + King - HT111 .K63 2004)
  • A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. (King + King, reserve - NA200 .K65 1995)
  • Other Books on Historians: Podro, Michael. The Critical Historians of Art. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1982.

Professional Association

  • Association for Preservation Technology International: The Association for Preservation Technology International (APT) is a multi - disciplinary, membership organization dedicated to promoting the best technology for conserving/preserving historic structures and their settings. Membership in APT provides exceptional opportunities for networking and the exchange of ideas.
  • International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement (Docomomo International):
  • Society of Architectural Historians: The Society of Architectural Historians was founded in 1940 to advance knowledge and understanding of the history of architecture, design, landscape, and urbanism worldwide. The Society serves scholars, professionals in allied fields (including architecture, historic preservation and planning), and the interested general public. Website includes newsletter, links, and other resources.
  • Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain: The Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain was founded in 1956. It is a group of people from the UK and beyond who are interested in the history of architecture, of all places and all periods of time. Some members are academics, some work in architectural practice and conservation, while for others their interest in architectural history is independent of their professional background or education.  We have a large and active membership.
  • The Society for Landscape Studies: The Society for Landscape Studies was founded in 1979 with the aim of advancing public education by promoting the study of the landscape in all its aspects. In achievement of this aim the Society fosters an interest in research and fieldwork; publishes, from time to time, the findings of the Society and other material relevant to the understanding of landscape evolution, particularly through its respected journal Landscape History; and holds conferences, seminars and field meetings.

General Art and Architectural History Books

Arnold, Dana. Reading Architectural History. New York: Routledge, 2002. (King + King - NA190 A76 2002)

Ching, Francis D.K., Mark M. Jarzombek, and Vikramaditya Prakash. A Global History of Architecture. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2007. (King + King, reserve - NA200 C493 2007)

Cruickshank, Dan, ed. Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture. 20th ed. Boston: Architectural Press, 1996. (King + King, reserve - NA200 F63 1996)

Fazio, Michael, Marian Moffett, and Lawrence Wodehouse. Buildings Across Time: An Introduction to World Architecture. 3rd Edition. (King + King, reserve - NA200 M575 2009)

Frankl, Paul. Principles of Architectural History: The Four Phases of Architectural Style, 1420-1900. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968. (King + King - NA203 F713 0)

Giedion, Sigfried. Space, Time, and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1977. 1941. (King + King - NA203 G45 1982)

Kostof, Spiro. A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. (King + King, reserve - NA200 K65 1995)

Millon, Henry A., ed. Key Monuments of the History of Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams. (King + King - NA202 M5 c.10)

Roth, Leland M. Understanding Architecture: Its Elements, History, and Meaning. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2007. (King + King - NA2500 R68 2007)

Trachtenberg, Marvin and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: From Prehistory to Postmodernity. 2nd ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002. 1986. (King + King, reserve - NA200 T7 2002)

History Books by Location

Americas

Kubler, George. The Art and Architecture of Ancient America: the Mexican, Maya, and Andean Peoples. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1975. (Bird 4th Floor, Fine Arts Reference – E59 A7 K8 1975)

Asia

Rowland, Benjamin. The Art and Architecture of India: Buddhist, Hindu, Jain. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1959. (King + King – N7301 R68 1959)

Europe

Gerson, Horst and E.H. ter Kuile. Art and Architecture in Belgium, 1600-1800. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1960. (King + King – N6966 G43)

Hempel, Eberhard. Baroque Art and Architecture in Central Europe: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1965. (King + King – N6756 H413)

Kubler, George and Martin Soria. Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and their American Dominions, 1500-1800. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1959. (King + King – N7104 K8)

Rosenberg, Jakob, Seymour Slive, and E.H. ter Kuile. Dutch Art and Architecture, 1600-1800. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1966. (Bird 4th Floor, Fine Arts Reference – ND636 R6 1966)

Sandars, Nancy K. Prehistoric Art in Europe. London: Penguin, 1968. (Bird 4th Floor – N5310 S32)

Summerson, John. Architecture in Britain, 1530-1830. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1963. 1953. (Bird 4th Floor – NA964 S85 1963)

Watkin, David. A History of Western Architecture. 4th ed. New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 2005. (King + King - NA200 W412 2005)

White, John. Art and Architecture in Italy, 1250-1400. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1966. (King + King – N6913 W48)

Yarwood, Doreen. A Chronology of Western Architecture. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1987. (King + King - NA200 Y37 2010)

History Books by Time Period

Fazio, Michael W. Buildings across time: An Introduction to World Architecture. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2014. (Bird-4th Floor - NA200 .M575 2014)

Frampton, Kenneth. Modern Architecture: A Critical History. 4th Ed.  New York: Thames & Hudson, 2007. (King + King reserve - NA500 F75 2007)

Architectural Dictionaries

Ching, Francis D.K. A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1995. (King + King, reserve - NA31 C44 1995)

Curl, James Stevens. Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. (King + King - NA31 C864 2006)

Davies, Nikolas. Dictionary of Architecture and Building Construction. London: Elsevier/Architectural Press, 2008. (NA31 .D38 2008)​

Fleming, John, Hugh Honour and Nikolaus Pevsner. The Penguin Dictionary of Architecture. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1972. (King + King - NA31 F55 1972)

Harris, Cyril M., Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975. (NA31 .H32 2006)

Harris, Cyril M. Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture. New York: McGraw Hill, 1977. (King + King - NA31 H56 1983)

Saylor, Henry H., Dictionary of Architecture. New York: Wiley, 1952. (NA 31 .S25)

Sturgis, Russell. Dictionary of Architecture and Building: Biographical, Historical, and Descriptive. New York: Macmillan Company, 1902. (King + King - NA31 S84 v.1-3)

Research Databases

Database: Art & Architecture ePortal

Vendor: Yale University Press

Description: The Art and Architecture Portal provides access to art and architecture works including images, made available for free as a one year pilot through Yale University Press, and funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It provides among many things electronic access to out of print and backlist titles from the Press. Additional university presses and museum publishers are being added to this interactive platform.

 

Database: Art & Architecture Source

Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description: Art & Architecture Source covers a broad range of related subjects, from fine, decorative and commercial art, to various areas of architecture and architectural design. Providing over 600 full-text journals, more than 220 full-text books, and a collection of over 63,0000 images, it is designed for use by a diverse audience, including art scholars, artists, designers, students and general researchers.

 

Database: America: History and Life with full text 

Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description: America: History and Life is the definitive index of literature covering the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to the present. With indexing for 1,700 journals from 1964 to present, this database is without question the most important bibliographic reference tool for students and scholars of U.S. and Canadian history. The database also includes citations and links to book and media reviews. Strong English-language journal coverage is balanced by an international perspective on topics and events, including abstracts in English of articles published in more than 40 languages.

 

DatabaseAvery Index to Architectural Periodicals 

Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description: The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals indexes more than 2,000 periodicals published worldwide on archaeology, city planning, interior design, and historic preservation, as well as architecture. Coverage is from the 1930s (with selective coverage dating back to the 1860s) to the present. The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is updated daily.

 

Database: Bibliography of the History of Art

Vendor: Getty

Description: Indexes and abstracts art-related books, conference proceedings, dissertations, exhibition and dealer's catalogs, and articles from more than 2,500 periodicals. Covering European and American art from late antiquity to the present. Updated quarterly.

 

Database: British Periodicals 

Vendor: ProQuest

Description: British Periodicals provides access to the searchable full text of hundreds of periodicals from the late seventeenth century to the early twentieth, comprising millions of high-resolution facsimile page images.

 

Database: Eighteenth Century Collections Online: ECCO

Vendor: Gale Cengage Learning

Description: A comprehensive digital edition of The Eighteenth Century microfilm set, which has aimed to include every significant English-language and foreign-language title printed in the United Kingdom, along with thousands of important works from the Americas, between 1701 and 1800. Consists of books, pamphlets, broadsides, ephemera. Subject categories include history and geography; fine arts and social sciences; medicine, science, and technology; literature and language; religion and philosophy; law; general reference. Also included are significant collections of women writers of the eighteenth century, collections on the French Revolution, and numerous eighteenth-century editions of the works of Shakespeare. Where they add scholarly value or contain important differences, multiple editions of each individual work are offered.

 

Database: Eighteenth Century Journals: a Portal to Newspapers and Periodicals, c1685-1815

Vendor: Adam Matthew Digital

Description: Portal to newspapers and periodicals c1685-1815 offers integrated access to the Hope Collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Eighteenth Century Journals I), the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center University of Texas (Eighteenth Century Journals II) and the British Newspaper Library at Colindale, London and the Cambridge University Library (Eighteenth Century Journals III). It brings together rare journals printed between c1685 and 1815, illuminating all aspects of eighteenth-century social, political and literary life. Topics include: the writings of Sir Isaac Newton; the French Revolution; reviews of literature, the theater, and fashion throughout Europe; the origins and rise of Romanticism; political debates; gender, religion, influence of the press, and coffee house gossip and discussion.

 

Database: Empire Online

Vendor: Adam Matthew Digital

Description: Over 60,000 images of original manuscripts and printed material from 1492 to 1969. Includes historical essays and biographies.

 

Database: Grove Art Online

Vendor: Oxford

Description: Grove Art Online comprises the full text of The Dictionary of Art, edited by Jane Turner (1996, 34 vols) covering both Western and non-Western art, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, edited by Hugh Brigstocke (2001), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms, and the Encyclopedia of Aesthetics. 14 simultaneous users only.

 

Database: Historical Abstracts with full text

Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description: Historical coverage of the world from 1450 to the present.

 

Database: History E-Book Project 

Vendor: American Council of Learned Societies

Description: Full-text of books in all areas of history.

 

Database: Index Islamicus

Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description: Indexes materials on Islam, the Middle East, and the entire Muslim world from periodicals, monographs, and other collections in European languages. Includes coverage of arts and humanities, history, and social sciences topics. Coverage is 1906 to the present.

 

Database: Index of Medieval Art (Index of Christian art)

Vendor: Princeton University

Description: A thematic and iconographic index of early Christian and medieval art objects to 1400, begun at Princeton University in 1917. Contains works indexed by the archive since 1991.

 

Database: Index to 19th-Century American Art Periodicals

Vendor: EBSCOhost

Description: Indexes 42 art journals published in the U.S. during the 19th century, (1840-1907) providing nearly complete coverage of journals from this period. The index describes the entire journal contents: articles, art notes, illustrations, stories, poems, and advertisements; and offers information on popular culture and industry, artists and illustrators, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, architecture and design, exhibitions and sales, decorations, and collecting.

 

Database: International Medieval Bibliography 

Vendor: Brepolis

Description: Index to journal articles and miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, essay collections, Festschriften) comprising 300,000 articles. Updated quarterly the IMB-Online covers publications from 1967-present with enhanced search capabilities (by periods, places, persons, and texts).

 

Database: JSTOR 

Vendor: JSTOR

Description: Full-text archive of scholarly publications in mathematics, science, the arts and humanities, and the social sciences.

 

Database: Oxford Bibliographies Online

Vendor: Oxford

Description: Offers peer-reviewed annotated bibliographies on specific topics in a range of subject areas. Bibliographies are browseable by subject area and keyword searchable. Contains a "My OBO" function that allows users to create personalized bibliographies of individual citations from different bibliographies. SULinks is not optimized for some full text content. To definitively determine source availability search SU Libraries Collections.

 

Database: Oxford Handbooks Online

Vendor: Oxford

Description: Oxford Handbooks Online is a collection of multi-disciplinary handbooks. The series contain in-depth, high-level articles by scholars in the respective fields. Each handbook offers thorough introductions to topics and a critical survey of the current state of scholarship in a particular field.

 

Database: Oxford Scholarship Online

Vendor: Oxford

Description: Oxford Scholarship Online (OSO) is an online library offering access to thousands of academic works from Oxford University Press. OSO covers subjects across the humanities, social sciences, sciences, medicine, and law.

 

Database: Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives 1960-1974

Vendor: Alexander Street Press

Description: Includes diaries, letters, autobiographies and memoirs, written and oral histories, manifestos, government documents, memorabilia, and scholarly commentary from a very important period in American social and political history. Key themes: Arts, Music, and Leisure; Civil Rights; Counter-Culture; Environmental Movement; Gay and Lesbian Rights; Law and Government; Mass Media; New Left and Emerging Neo-Conservative Movement; Science and Technology; Student Activism; Vietnam War; and Women’s Movement.