17 useful online resources for architecture essays.

1. Online resources in Library Search

When working off campus, you can still access the full collection of ebooks, electronic journals and professional magazines, newspapers, conferences and more, from Library Search.

Additional ebook titles are being added to the collection every day while we are all working remotely. Search by author, title or keyword to find books to help you with your essay topic.

We’ve put together a page of tips and help videos all about Library Search on our finding information skills guide

2. Your Subject Guide

The Subject Guide for Architecture, Planning and Landscape draws together in one place, the resources available from the library to help you with your academic and design work. Use the Journals and Database page to access subject databases such as Avery and Building Types Online.

The Subject Specific Resources page gives you a curated list of good quality image and buildings websites which will be great to reference in your essays.

You can contact the Liaison Team for one-to-one support or send your questions to Library Help, where there are staff logged into our live chat service, 24/7.

Between Library Search and your Subject Guide, you will be able to find excellent information to use in your essay, but there are many other resources you may want to try.

Screenshot showing the subject guide homepage.

3. RIBA ebooks

The Library recently purchased 89 ebook titles, available through a partnership between RIBA and Taylor & Francis. You can access the RIBA ebooks in Library Search when books match your keywords, or you can find a full list on our recent blog post.

Screen shot showing RIBA ebook platform for reading online.

4. Building Types Online

Find excellent quality building examples for your academic work. The database includes case studies, articles, essays, building plans and photographs for different building types and construction methods. You can find out more about

5. Avery Index to Architectural

Published by the Getty Research Institute, the index is a comprehensive American guide to the current literature of architecture and design. It surveys more than 2,500 international journals and provides nearly 13,000 citation records for architects’ obituaries. Some of the articles have full-text attached, while others will link using the Find@Newcastle University button to take you back to Library Search to access the full-text if we have it.

You can filter your results to scholarly journals or the wider professional collection.

6. Art and Architecture Archive

A full text, full colour archive of 25 art and architecture magazines from the 19th to 21st centuries. You can search across the whole archive or individual magazines.

7. Architects Journal Buildings Database

The AJ Buildings Library is a digital database that showcases more than 1,900 exemplar projects, most from the last 20 years but including major projects back to 1900.

When accessing the database for the first time, you will need to set up an account using your Newcastle email on the Architects Journal website. Click on Sign In at the top left of the homepage, and then register, to complete the form. You will be able to log in to the Buildings Database.

You can search for projects by age, cost, architect, building type, footprint, location, and a combination of these. Each project featured in this digital database includes full project data (more than 20 items of information) and comprehensive architectural photographs and drawings (plans, elevation, section) – all provided at high resolution.

Drawings can be downloaded and printed out to their original scale. Vector pdfs and CAD files are not available for download and all copyrighted images are protected.

8. Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts can be used to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource to use to find documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, record new ones, create clips and playlists and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search for other user’s public playlists to help you in your own search. 

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

9. JSTOR

JSTOR is a full-text collection, giving you online access to scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage with basic search

10. ArchDaily

ArchDaily is a great resource that provides news and information from around the world on all aspects of architecture. Founded in 2008, is is one of the biggest and most popular architecture websites in the world.

You can keyword search across the website, or use the browse options to find information about hot topics, different types of architectural project. The interviews section is well worth exploring.

11. Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, videos, music, websites, and more. You can do a simple keyword search around your topic area, and refine by the information type. Or search within the ebooks for specific titles.

Screenshot of Internet Archive search results for concrete architecture

12. US Modernist Library

The USModernist Library is the world’s largest open digital collection of major US 20th-century architecture magazines with approximately 2.7 million downloadable pages – all free to access. You can search for a specific modernist house, search by architect, original owner or keyword.

13. RIBApix

RIBA’s image library of over 100,000 photographs and drawings
from the RIBA Collections, available to view, buy and download. Many of the images are protected by copyright so will need to be used with caution.

14. Architectural Association photo Library

With over 8,000 images, the slides, negatives and prints of historical and contemporary architecture are all available in low resolution for educational purposes. It also includes photographs of work produced by students at the School of Architecture since the 1880s, as well as a video archive for its lectures, conferences, and seminars.

15. Pathé Newsreel Archive

Access over 85,000 high res videos on the British Pathe Youtube channel. The archive contains films produced from 1910 to 1970, and covers all sorts of subjects relating to architecture. Watch features on the construction of the Empire State BuildingFrank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax BuildingLe Corbusier’s Couvent de la Tourrette, and Montreal’s Expo’ 67 and the construction of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome.

16. archINFORM

This is the largest online-database about worldwide architects and buildings, including information about more than 81,000 built and unrealised projects. The information varies for each project but includes images, commentary, drawings and links to references to read more about the project.

You can search the database using your topic keywords, or by architect, building name or location.

17. Construction Information Service

CIS is produced jointly with the National Building Specification (NBS) especially for architects, civil and structural engineers, building control officers, building services engineers and other professionals in the construction industry. It provides industry information and legislation, along with full-text access to key professional publications, including Architects Journal.

The full-text documents cover all aspects of the building, engineering, design and construction process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *