What do you already know about the building? Usually a building can be tracked by its name(s), architect, location, or period/style. Save time by first finding some basic, accurate information about a building. An architectural dictionary, encyclopedia or other reference work is often the best place to find brief, authoritative information. These basic tools might have all the information you need--or lead you to other sources, such as articles, books, or websites that are cited in their articles.
Start with these reference works:
Grove Dictionary of Art. N31.D5 1996 Reference (AFA Library or Library West Reference)
Especially useful for gathering background information on architects, styles, and cultures. This 34-volume comprehensive encyclopedia is also available as an online database within Oxford Art Online .
International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture. NA40 .I48 1993 Reference (AFA Library or Library West Reference)
This dictionary's approach by architect (vol.1) and by buiding (vol.2) makes it unique.
International Dictionary of Historic Places. CC135 .I585 1994 (AFA Library or Library West Reference)
This 5-volume work covers the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.
Sir Banister Fletcher's A History of Architecture. NA200.F63 1996 Reference (AFA Library Reference)
The classic survey of architectural history with hundreds of illustrated examples.
A Global History of Architecture. NA 200 C493 2007 (AFA Library Reference)
A chronological survey of important sites and buildings.
Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture. NA 680 E495 2004 (AFA Library Reference)
2-volume work covering architects/firms, places, and buildings, as well as other architectural and building topics.
Find books or parts of books:
Use the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals to find articles about buildings. The Avery Index covers over 2000 architectural periodicals and subject coverage includes architecture, landscape design, interior design, and planning.
Need more?Consult the list Key Resources for Architecture list within this guide. Art Full Text and Art Retrospective may be useful. Together these provide indexing for over 500 art and architecture journals back to 1929.
Many sites on the Web can have useful building information. Use these websites with caution and make sure that they are created from authoritative sources. The following site is a good place to start: Great Buildings Online .
Need More? Consult the other resources in this subject guide and/or ask for assistance from library staff.