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Art and Architecture: Architecture

The Sackler Library is the premier research library for the study of art and architecture at the University of Oxford. It incorporates the libraries formerly housed at the History of Art Department and the Ashmolean Museum.

Oxford images

G.B. Piranesi. La Colonna Antonina, Rome ([Opera Piranesi], v. 17. Taylor Institution Library.)
(Photo credit: Oren Margolis, 2017)

Citation, full-text & image databases

  • Gli anni della Cupola: The Years of the Cupola Compiled by Margaret Haines. Online edition of the entire contents of the archive of Florence’s Opera del Duomo for the years during which Brunelleschi’s cupola was planned and constructed (1417-1436). 
  • Architecture & Patrimoine (France) Image database documenting France’s architectural heritage. Includes urban and rural locations; and religious, domestic, agricultural, military and industrial building types.
  • Archipedia (Society of Architectural Historians) Digital encyclopaedia of American architecture (launched 10/2012 & in continual expansion).
  • Archives of American Art (Smithsonian Institution, US) Primary source materials relating to the history of the arts (and architecture) in America, from 1620 to the present. Collections comprise  artists’, architects’, galleries’, collectors’, and critics’ papers (including sketchbooks and photographs), as well as numerous oral histories (& transcripts).
  • Archiseek Architecture news & views from Ireland.
  • Art Full Text (including Art Abstracts) Covers publications 1984 – present. Abstracts available from 1994. Full text coverage varies with journal title. Wide-ranging index to Western-language journal articles, book reviews and images in mainstream archaeology, architecture, conservation and  "fine" and "decorative" arts periodicals. All geographical areas and all periods (ancient – contemporary).
  • ARTstor Union collection of image collections worldwide. Approaching 1,000,000 images covering all periods, all geographic areas and all types of art, architecture and archaeology as well as other subject areas in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Hisitory of Medicine and Science. Contributing collections include libraries, museums and archives, including the Bodleian’s Western Manuscripts and Incunabula collection. All periods, all geographic areas.
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  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals Covers publications 1830s  – present. Index to a huge number of Western-language journal articles and book/exhibition catalogue reviews on architecture, historic preservation and urban design. All geographical areas and all periods.
  • Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA) NOTE: Covers publications ca. 1975 – 2007 only.  
    Index to Western-language journal articles, book reviews, monographs, dissertations, essays and exhibition catalogues on (mostly) European and N. American art and architectural history, ca. 300 C.E. - present. Includes tables of content. Conservation is also included; History of Photography is excluded.
  • Bridgeman Education 300,000+ images of objects from museums, galleries and private collections, as well as buildings and monuments. Images cover visual culture worldwide, from pre-History to the present day. Media covered include photography, fine art, engravings, sculpture, architecture, the decorative arts, artefacts and applied arts. It addresses the interests of such disciplines as art, architecture, archaeology, anthropology, & ethnography, history, science & medicine. All periods, all geographic areas.
  • Glasgow School of Art: Archives & Collections Image resource for the study of art, design, architecture and art education (including Charles Rennie Mackintosh).
  • International Confederation of Architectural Museums (ICAM) International organisation for architectural museums and related institutions.
  • Kunsthistorisches Institut Florenz (KHI) Online catalogue of the holdings this Florence-based major research library. Includes information about monographs, exhibition catalogues, essays, reviews and periodical articles on European art and architecture, with a primary (but by no means exclusive) focus on Italy.
  • Oxford-Grove Dictionary of Art (Oxford Art Online) Full-text extended essays (and bibliographies) on most aspects of the art world. Frequent updates. All geographical areas and all periods.
  • RIBA catalogue The RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Library is the leading UK resource for architectural research. Its catalogue also serves as an index to journal articles, monographs, and book and exhibition reviews. The card catalogue is still being converted to e-format, so not everything in the RIBA Library’s collections can be found online. Most publications from the 1980s on, however, are included.
  • Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) Encourages scholarly research in the field and promotes the preservation of significant architectural monuments. Publishes the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians.
  • Spiro (UC Berkeley) Catalogue of the 35mm slide collection (digitised) of the Architecture Visual Resources Library, at the University of California at Berkeley. Circa 65,000 images of architecture, environmental design & related works.
  • Vasari's Le vite (Lives of the Artists) Incomplete online version of Giorgio Vasari’s 1550 edition of Le vite: Le vite dei più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue in sino ai tempi nostri: descritte in lingua Toscana, da Giorgio Vasari, pittore Aretino. Con una sua utile & necessaria introduzzione a le arti loro (Firenze: Lorenzo Torrentino, 1550) in unabridged English translation.
  • WorldCat Massive union catalogue of countless libraries worldwide. Useful for finding books and archival materials beyond Oxford.