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Architecture Research Basics: Indexes & Databases

Selected Architecture Indexes & Databases

  Core Architecture Database ~ Secondary Architectural Related Databases ~ Multidisciplinary Databases ~ Urban Studies Databases

Online or Print? Perdiods Covered Dates of Scholarship Covered Additional Information

Avery Index to Periodical Literature 

Online All Periods 19th c - Present The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals database offers a comprehensive listing of journal articles on architecture and design, including bibliographic descriptions on subjects such as the history and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, historic preservation, and interior design and decoration. ***Cross Searchable with DAAI + ARTbibs + IBA

ARTBibiolographies Modern 

Online 19th c - Present 1960s - Present Full abstracts of journal articles, books, essays, exhibition catalogs, PhD dissertations, and exhibition reviews on all forms of modern and contemporary art, with approximately 12-13,000 new entries being added each year. ***cross-searchable with DAAI + Avery + IBA
Art Full Text & Art Index Retrospective Online All Periods 1929 - Present Two cross-searchable databases offering indexinf to primary material and later, full text plus abstracts and indexing of an international array of peer-selected publications—now with expanded coverage of Latin American, Canadian, Asian and other non-Western art, new artists, contemporary art, exhibition reviews, and feminist criticism.  Full-text coverage for selected periodicals is also included. 
Applied Science Full Text & Applied Science & Business Retro Online Late 19th c - Present 1913 - Present Features a range of applied science and technology articles from trade and industrial publications, journals issued by professional and technical societies, and specialized subject periodicals, as well as special issues such as buyers' guides, directories, and conference proceedings. All abstracts are in English and majority of titles are published in the U.S.
Bibliography of the History of Art / RILA Online All Periods 1975 - 2007 Offered through the Getty, BHA indexes and abstracts articles, art-related books, conference proceedings, dissertations, and art exhibition and dealer's catalogs, covering European and American art from late antiquity to the present. RILA covers the years 1975–1989. In 1982, Getty began to support RILA, and in 1990 the Getty began to collaborate with INIST-CNRS to produce the BHA, which was a merger of RILA and the Répertoire d'art et d'archéologie.
Design & Applied Arts Index & DAAI Retro Online 19th c- Present 1903 - Present Indexes articles, news items, and reviews published in design and applied arts periodicals from 1973 onwards. Covers both new designers and the development of design and the applied arts, surveying disciplines including ceramics, glass, jewellery, wood, metalsmithing, graphic design, fashion and clothing, textiles, furniture, interior design, architecture, computer aided design, Web design, computer-generated graphics, animation, product design, industrial design, garden design, and landscape architecture. *Cross Searchable with ARTBibs + Avery + DAAI
International Bibliography of Art Online All Periods 1973 - Present Currently includes 2008-09 indexing created by the Getty Research Institute (formerly known as Bibliography of the History of Art, and the definitive scholarly resource--books and journals--for western art history). Indexing will continue in the coming months and may expand to include art from Asia, Latin America and Africa. 
RIBA British Architectural Library Catalogue Online  Online All Periods Early 19th c - Present Searches articles in over 300 of the world's most respected architectural periodicals details of books and audio visual materials acquired by the RIBA Library, including information on books available for loan to RIBA members
Pidgeon Digital Online 1960s - Present 1960s - Present Searchable collection of illusrtated talks by contemporary architects and related designers. The collection was founded in 1979 by Monica Pidgeon (long-time editor of the influential magazine Architectural Design) and lectures are continually added.
Urban Abstracts Print 1950s - Present 1974 - Present Compiled in the Research Library of the Greater London Council, covering such topics as city planning, urban transportation, urban development, and urban design.
Urban Studies Abstracts Online 1960s w/selected historical coverage - Present 1973 - Present Covers essential areas related to urban studies, including urban affairs, community development, urban history, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline. The index contains 51,600+ records, which are carefully selected from the most important sources within the discipline.


Secondary Architectural Related Databases

Online or Print? Perdiods Covered Dates of Scholarship Covered Additional Information
ACSA Conference Proceedings Index Online All Periods 1995 - Present Searchable index of Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture conference proceedings. Provides author, title, and full-text searches of proceedings from Annual Meeting, International Conference, and Technology Conference proceedings. The database is open to the public but ACSA members can log in to access the downloadable PDFs. 
Burnham Index to Architectural Periodical Literature Print All Periods 1916 - 1965 Indexes books and 200+ periodicals 1919-1965 from the Burnham Library of Architecture, Art Institute of Chicago. Better coverage of Midwest architecture than the Avery Index for the early part of the 20th century. Much but not everything is incorporated into Avery. 

Buidling Green Suite
Online Mostly 20th Century - Present 1990s - Present Features a rich array of media and information resources, including full-text access to Environmental Building News, the BuildingGreen Suite of online tools, GreenSpec directory of products, and the LEEDuser web tool. Also included is the High Performance Buildings Database (HPB) which provides case studies of projects ranging from homes and commercial interiors to large buildings and even whole campuses and neighborhoods. These may be certified green projects, or simply projects that have one or more notable environmental features. Each published case study is reviewed to focus on useful lessons and consistent energy and environmental data.
CAA Reviews Online All Periods 1998 - PResent Resource for scholarly and critical reviews of studies and projects in all areas and periods of art history, visual studies, and the fine arts, providing peer review for the disciplines served by the College Art Association. Publications and projects reviewed include books, articles, exhibitions, conferences, and other works as appropriate. It also publishes essays on these subjects, as well as on art education and policy and related topics.
Compendex Online 19th c - Present 1884 - Present Comprehensive database of scientific and technical engineering research, covering all engineering disciplines. It includes millions of bibliographic citations and abstracts from thousands of engineering journals and conference proceedings. When combined with the Engineering Index Backfile (1884-1969), Compendex covers well over 120 years of core engineering literature.environmental data.
CUMINICAD: CumulativeIndex of Computer-Aided Architectural Design Online 1980s - Present 1980s - Present A cumulative index of publications about computer aided architectural design. It includes bibliographic information about 7,500 records from journals and conferences such as ACADIA, CAADRIA, eCAADe, SiGraDi, CAAD futures and others. All papers include full abstracts. Full texts, in PDF, of some 4,800 papers are also available. A separate index of some 900 papers in Spanish language are maintained. To access full texts one needs to be a member of a CAAD association. Reigster online for enhanced access.
Dissertations Online All Periods 1861 - Present Access to citations and abstracts for every title in the Dissertation Abstracts database. Dissertations written from 1997 forward are available full text. The database includes citations to dissertations from 1861 to those accepted last semester. Citations for dissertations and master's theses published from 1980 forward have abstracts. Be sure to identify your "subject code" for a more precise subject search.  Includes PU dissertations.
Factiva Online All Periods 1960s - Present Provides general and business news and information from more than 9,000 sources in 22 languages, including influential local, national and international newspapers, leading business magazines, trade publications, and news wires. Excellent coverage of construction and building, and business aspects of architecture and design
Foreign Doctoral Dissertations Database (CRL) Online  All Periods Varies The Center for Research Libraries has more than 750,000 uncataloged foreign doctoral dissertations, of which approximately 20,000 are included in this database. an alternative to this database is Worldcat where all the CRL dissertations are included.  
InformeDesign Online 1980s - Present 1980s - Present A clearinghouse for design and human behavior research, a collaboration between the American Society of Interior Designers and the University of Minnesota. A searchable database of research summaries in "practitioner-friendly" language, browseable by categories like "issues," "space," and "occupants." Research-based design criteria is part of their interpretation of original research articles and reports with the aim of bringing research to practice and positively influencing the design of the built environment. The database "indexes" 100 refereed journals from about 2000 to the present. Acess is free, but registration is recommended.
MADCAD Online 1990s (w/some legacy codes)-Present 1990s - Present MADCAD's eLibrary provides online access to building codes and standards. Princeton's package includes the ICC Codes (2003, 2006, and 2009), the NFPA NFC Set, ICC/ANSI, and several legacy code collections
Material ConneXion Online Features primarily new products 2000s - Present Includes over 1,500 materials and processes. The database allows you to discover the latest and most exciting materials originating from a large spectrum of industries, typically unnoticed or difficult to reach by the design community. All the materials are juried into the database by a panel of material specialists and knowledgeable professionals. Covers current industrial manufacturing products, processes, and processed raw materials. Historical products or companies are not covered. As subscribers to Material Connexion, all Princeton affiliates have unlimited access to the Material Library in New York City. For more information about this, please contact Hannah Bennett (
National Register of Historic Places Online    All periods 1900s-Present Searchable database about properties listed on the National Register. Not all registered places have been entered into the database. Best to cross check print volumes of the Register. Entries feature images of each place.
PAIS International & PAIS Archive Online 1910s - Present 1910s - Present Citations to articles, books, reports, and select government documents on U.S. and international public policy issue. Generally considered to be a comprehensive index to policy literature.


Multidisciplinary Databases

Online or Print? Periods Covered Dates of Scholarship Coverage Additional Information
ABI/Inform Online All Periods 1971 - Present Covers 190 journals with more than 170+ in full text. It includes hard-to-find local and regional business publications with news about local companies, analysis, information on local markets, and more. ABI/INFORM Dateline allows users to research employment opportunities, compile data on benefits and compensation, learn about corporate strategies, and other topics from a local and regional perspective. ABI/INFORM Dateline includes major business tabloids, magazines, daily newspapers, wire services, and area business publications.
Academic Search Online All Periods Coverage varies with publication but roughly 1865 - Present

This multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,650 journals, including full text for more than 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. PDF backfiles to 1975 or further are available for well over one hundred journals, and searchable cited references are provided for more than 1,000 titles.

Alternative Press Index Online Primarily contemporary issues with some historic coverage. 1969 - Present Indexes 380 alternative, radical, and left publications, most of which not indexed elsewhere. Useful for identifying alternative public policy perspectives on housing, land use, the environment, and other architecture issues outside the mainstream.
Arts & Humanities Citation Index (via Web of Science) Online All Periods 1975 - Present

Indexes 1,100+ leading journals in arts and humanities, providing citations for articles and book reviews. Full Search, Cited Reference Searching includes all the cited references (footnotes) of each article it covers and can be used to look up a reference to a work the user has identified as helpful, and identify other articles citing that work, thus retrieving related articles. Allows for a "Citation Alert," notifications sent by e-mail when another article cites one you have found helpful.

America: History & Life Online Prehistory - Present 1954 - Present

Contains bibliographic citations and abstracts for articles and dissertations on the history and culture of the U.S. and Canada from prehistory to the present. A good source for social and cultural histories of architecture and building types. Includes book reviews.

Bibliography of Asian Studies Online All Periods relating to East, Southeast, and South Asia  1971 - Present BAS includes citations to Western-language periodical articles, monographs, chapters in edited volumes, conference proceedings, anthologies, and Festschriften, etc. on all subjects (especially in the humanities and the social sciences.)
Proquest Business Online All Periods 1913 - Present

This business database provides full text for over 1,000 business publications. The rich collection of titles in Business Source Elite provides information dating back to 1985. More than 10,100 substantial company profiles from Datamonitor are also included.

Conference Papers Index Online  Primarily contemporary issues but some historic coverage. 1982 - Present Indexes papers and poster sessions from major scientific conferences and meetings around the world. Subject emphasis since 1995 has been in the life sciences, environmental sciences and the aquatic sciences, while older material also covers physics, engineering and materials science.
Education Full Text Online All Periods 1929 - Present Comprehensive, up-to-date coverage of English-language periodicals, monographs and yearbooks. Cover-to cover indexing, abstracts, and full text from hundreds of journals covering such topics as: comparative education, competency-based education, higher education, literacy standards, prayer in public schools, student counseling, teaching methods and evaluation, and dozens more.
FRANCIS Online All Periods 1984 - Present Citations and abstracts to over 1,775,000 articles in multiple languages in the humanities and social sciences.
Historical Abstracts Online 1450 - Present 1954 - Present
Covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) including world history, military history, women's history, history of education, and more - essential for libraries supporting upper-division and graduate research. This authoritative database provides indexing of more than 1,800 academic historical journals in over 40 languages back to 1955.
Middle Eastern & Asian Studies Online All Periods 1900 - Present
Bibliographic index of research, policy and scholarly discourse on the countries and peoples of the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa. Disciplines incl. politics, law, international relations, economics, literature, religion, arts, anthropology, history and archaeology. The database includes the catalogue of the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), a major collection in London.
ProQuest Research Library Online All Periods Coverage varies with publication but roughly 1990 - Present

Collection of thousands of journals, magazines and newspapers for information on a broad range of general reference subjects.

Readers Guide & Readers Guide Retro Online All Periods 1890 - Present Indexing and abstracting of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and Canada, plus the full text of selected periodicals. Good sources for book reviews and popular architecture.
Sociological Abstracts Online All Periods 1952 - Current Indexing and abstracting of the world's literature in sociology and related disciplines, both theoretical and applied. Covers 2,500 journals, conference papers, dissertations, and book reviews. Includes materials in 30 languages.
Web of Science Online All Periods Varies with Index Multidisciplinary index to journal literature in the Sciences (1900+), Social Sciences (1965+), and Arts and Humanities (1975+). Offers the option to find cited references, which are the authors lists of articles used in their research.