Skip to Main Content

Summer Design Institute

Resources from the 2014 Summer Design Institute Library Orientation

What You Should Know About The Library

Our Internet is Bigger Than Yours

The library facilitates access to resources that are unavailable to the general public online because of copyright and licensing.  This includes articles, books, music, film, data, and tons more.  Using the Library’s resources while doing your research is essential to getting the best, most scholarly stuff out there, without having to purchase it yourself.  Pay to read that article you found while Googling? I don’t think so.


If We Don’t Have It, We’ll Get It

We have over 5,000,000 books, but sometimes that’s not enough.  If you can’t find what you need in VIRGO (our catalog), don’t worry.  We have an Inter-Library Loan program that allows us to borrow an item from any library, worldwide, that will lend it to us.  All you have to do is place a request and our minions will have the item sent here as quickly as possible.
Or… If you think we really should own that book… place a Purchase Request.  We want you to have the materials you need.  We’ll buy it for the library, and you’ll get first dibs!


Print Is Not Dead

While more and more publications have gone digital, approximately 50-60% of journal articles about Architecture are still only published in print.  Our databases (like the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals) help you find articles on your topic whether they’re available as PDFs or not.  We have tons of journals on our shelves that aren’t available online yet, and they may have the best images, plans, and information for your work!


Our Best Resource?  People.

The library isn’t just full of books, it’s full of expertise. Need to know how to keep your research organized? Want to learn how to work with GIS? Need to figure out copyright issues for that article you need to publish?  Want to make a movie?  We’ve got people that can help, and they’re all happy to work with you. Start with your Architecture Librarian, Rebecca (


You Can Do Your Work Here

We have spaces to hide from studio chaos, and group study rooms (reservable online) with multiple display screens to help you share ideas.  The ScanLab in the Fine Arts Library has macs with 11x17” scanners and the full Adobe suite of software.  They also connect to the School of Architecture servers, so you can work seamlessly.


We’ve Got Stuff for Makers

When you’re in full-on Studio mode, we’re still here for you.  We’ve got subscriptions to Make magazine and Fine Woodworking to help you with your designs.  The MADCAD database gives you online, searchable access to major building codes.  You can use our photography stand to capture your designs.  And stop by our Materials Collection in Fine Arts to take a look at samples of translucent concrete, fungus insulation, bamboo decking, and aerogel (the lightest solid EVER).


We’re About Information, Not Books.

Sure, books and journals are a big part of what we do.  But information is so much more.  We have millions of digital images, huge data sets, streaming video, and chunks of corian.  We help people use 3-D scanners, aerial cameras, motion capture suits, composition software, content management systems, and maps.  And we’ll help you navigate research from inspiration through publication and design, whether you’re writing an article or building a house.


Just Ask.

No matter what, just ask.  No one comes to UVa familiar with all the resources we offer, and even if they did, things change quickly.  We are always happy to work with you whether you’re struggling with a research tool, unable to find what you need, or just wondering if there’s a better way to do your work.  Get in touch! 

Research Librarian for Architecture:  Rebecca Coleman (

AskALibrarian Chat

Handy Library Links (Bookmark these!)