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Syracuse University Libraries

Architecture: Reference Tools and Resources

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

Reference Tools and Resources

Architectural Design

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals

Digital Sanborn Maps

Architectural Graphic Standards - See MADCAD

Phaidon Atlas - Click "Electronic Resource"


Architectural History

America: History and Life

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals 

Ching, Global Architecture

HAB Survey


National Register of Historic Places

Architectural Theory


Mallgrave - An Anthology from Vitruvirus to 1870

Mallgrave - 1673 to 1968 - If you get an error that says "Product Session has expired", Click "Access Gale Virtual Reference Library Here". At the top where it says "Search your library's GVRL holdings" type in "Modern Architectural Theory". Look for Modern Architectural Theory : A Historical Survey, 1673-1968.

Mallgrave - 1968 to Present

Sage Handbook


Building Codes


NYC Building Code


Census Information/Demographics

New York City Direct Me Site

SUL Census Guide




Digital Sanborn Maps

New York Public Library Mapwarper



News and Current Events

ProQuest Historical Newspapers - The New York Times (1851 -2010)

ProQuest Historical Newspapers - The New York Times (1851 - Present)

ProQuest Historical Newspapers - The Wall Street Journal (1889 - 1996)


Sociological issues

PAISThis database chronicles issues in the public debate through highly selective coverage of a wide variety of sources including journal articles, books, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research reports, conference papers, publications of international agencies, microfiche, Internet material and more. The database includes a historical perspective on many of the 20th century's social and public policies such as Prohibition, the civil rights movement, McCarthyism, Vietnam and Watergate.

Social Sciences Full-Text - Social Sciences Full Text provides fast access to a wide assortment of the most important English-language journals published in the U.S. and elsewhere with full text and page images from scores of key publications, plus abstracting and indexing of hundreds of others. An in-demand resource for a wide variety of users from students to social workers, Social Sciences Full Text covers the latest concepts, trends, opinions, theories, and methods from both applied and theoretical aspects of the social sciences.


Finding information about an architect

1. Begin your research by searching SUMMIT by subject (or keyword).

2. If the search is unsuccessful, go back and check your information.  Have you entered the name correctly?  Spelling counts.

3. Check sources like the biographical directories listed above.  An architect’s name may have variant spellings or be listed under a pseudonym. For example, Ferdinando Galli Bibiena is listed under Galli Bibiena, not Bibiena.

4. Check the periodical indexes.

5. Redefine your search.  Redo your search on SUMMIT and in the indexes.  Look for material on the time period, style of architecture, location or building type if you are unable to locate a specific source on the architect.

6. Check appropriate web sites. Please note few web sites include interiors, plans or details.

Finding information about a building

1. The manner in which a building may appear in a particular resource can vary  from the information you have been given. Consider, for example, alternate building names.

2. In some instances, there may be a book devoted to the study of the specific building.  Check SUMMIT by keyword.

3. 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.

4. Identify the name of the architect.  If not immediately available, check the Macmillan Encyclopedia index, a city guide or history of the time period/style to try and find this information. If successful, search SUMMIT and the appropriate indexes by the name of the architect to locate your material.

5. Anonymous or vernacular buildings can only be searched by location, time period, or style as appropriate.

6. When searching by location of the building or work, remember that in many instances the entry will be filed under location first (normally country, then city).

7. Book or journal articles often only show selected works by an architect. Look for books showing the complete works, or books devoted to a specific time period or type of work by the architect.

8. Check more general sources like architectural histories or books on a time period, particular style, building type, or location to collect information about the specific work.

9. Follow the same strategy in the periodical indexes, beginning with a keyword search on the building or combination of architect and specific work.

10. Narrow or broaden your search as necessary.

11. Check specialized resources like the Historic American Buildings Survey or National Register of Historic Places as appropriate

Researching Historic Buildings in New York City

Books on New York City


Ballon, Hilary ed. The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan 1811-2011. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. HT168 N5 G73 2012.

Brockman, Jorg and Bill Harris. One Thousand New York Buildings. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 2002. F128.37 B76 2002.

Crosbie, Michael J. New York Dozen: Gen X Architects. New York: Images Publishing, 2011. NA735 N5 C76 2011.

Frampton, Kenneth and Michael Moran. The 20th Century Architecture and Urbanism: New York. Tokyo: a+u Publishing Co., Ltd., 1994. NA 735 N5 F73 1994.

Gayle, Margot and Edmund V Gillon, Jr. Cast Iron Architecture in New York: A Photographic Survey. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1974.

Hill, John. Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture. New York: W W Norton & Company, 2011. NA735 N5 H55 2011.

Klotz, Heinrich and Luminita Sabau ed. New York Architecture 1970-1990. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc, 1989. NA735 N5 N481.

Koolhaas, Rem. Delirious New York. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. NA 735 N5 K66.

Lewis, Hilary and Roman Vinoly. Think New York: A Ground Zero Diary. New York: Images Publishing, 2006. NA730 N72 W67 2006.

Luna, Ian ed. New New York: Architecture of a City. New York: Rizzoli, 2003. NA735 N5 N47 2003.

McMillan, Richard. 101 Cool Buildings: The Best of New York City Architecture 1999-2009. New York , 2009.

New York City Planning Commission. Plan for New York City: A Proposal. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1969. HT168 N5 A5 v.1-6.

Okamoto, Rai Y. Urban Design Manhattan. New York: Viking Press, 1969. NA 9127.N5 O4.

Plunz, Richard. A History of Housing in New York City: Dwelling Type and Social Change in the American Metropolis. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990. HD7304 N5 P54 1990.

Reed, Henry Hope. Beaux-Arts Architecture in New York: A Photographic Guide. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1988. NA735 N5 G55 1988.

Stern, Robert A.M., David Fishman and Jacob Tilove. New York 2000: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Bicentennial and the Millennium. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2006. HT 168 N5 S74 2006.

Stern, Robert A.M., Gregory Gilmartin and John Montague Massengale. New York 1900: Metropolitan Architecture and Urbanism 1890-1915. New York: Rizzoli, 1983. NA735 N5 S73.

Stern, Robert A.M., Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins. New York 1930: Architecture and Urbanism between the two World Wars. New York: Rizzoli, 1987. NA735 N5 S734 1937.

Stern, Robert A.M., Thomas Mellins and David Fishman. New York 1960: Architecture and Urbanism between the Second World War and the Bicentennial. New York: The Monacelli Press, 1995. NA735 N5 S735 1995.


Researching a topic

1.  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 keywords visual notes will return all of the items that contain the words visual and notes in the title, author if appropriate, subject heading, table of contents, or publisher fields. Scan the entries retrieved by a keyword search and use the detailed record display to locate relevant subject headings.  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.

2.  Check related subject headings and topics to obtain additional information.  It may be necessary to broaden or narrow your search depending on the topic and kinds of information these searches return.

3.  This same strategy should be used in researching an architectural work, building type or style.