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Urbanism Research Guide : Architecture

Environmental Considerations


Few buildings have had single books written about them, so expert researchers know to conduct searches for the architect's or firm's name and across the professional and popular literature for information about a particular building. 

Buildings are often categorized as subjects in library catalogs, which helps locate materials quickly. Remember to select Subject Browse when entering your search terms in Orbis. Try these tips:

  • Search under the full name of the building in direct order:
    Ex: "Guggenheim museum". If the building has a different official name (e.g. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), you will be re-directed to that listing, and, if there is more than one building with a similar name (e.g. Museo Guggenheim Bilbao) you will be presented with possibilities from which to choose. 
  • You can also look for the building by its location:
    Ex: Bilbao (Spain)
  • Or enter a related term for the building, such as what it contains:
    Ex: Rare book libraries (to find the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library on Yale's campus.
  • If the building has had more than one name, try all the possibilities:
    Ex: Pan Am building is now known as the MetLife building.
  • If the building is known by its address, try both the numerals and the spelled-out version of the address:
    Ex: 154 East 89th Street vs. One Fifty-Four East Eighty Ninth Street
  • If the building is not likely to be the subject of an entire book, try using broader categories such as "churches" or "apartment buildings", in combination with the other tips, to locate books that might have a chapter or section on the building of your research.

To find citations for articles in journals, start by looking up the building in the Avery Index to Architecture Periodicals

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