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Later American Architecture

Starting Your Research

Before beginning your research, gather what you already know about your project, site, or building.  These facts also serve as keywords that you can search when looking for books, articles, and images.  Here are some basic facts you may want to list for yourself before you get started:

  • Project/Site Name:  Be sure to note alternate names for the project, including the name in another language.  Searching these variant names may produce different results.  Is the building or site part of a complex?  Has it changed names over time?  As you continue your research, you might expand this list.
  • Architect or Landscape Architect: List both the firm name and the individual architects.  If the firm's name is an acronym, you may find more results by searching for the long form of the name as well (for example, LTL Architects vs. Lewis Tsurumaki Lewis)
  • Location: In what city and country is your precedent located?
  • Other Associated People:  These could be original owners, restoration architects, etc.

Find Books

Some buildings, sites, and projects have entire books dedicated to them.  Some will not.  Start your book search by searching VIRGO for the name of your building.  Remember, you may want to try a few variations of the name!  If you don't find a book about your building, think broader... search for books about the architect or aandscape architect, or the architecture of the city in which your project is located.

Search VIRGO

 

You may also have success by using Google Books to search for your project or site.  Google Books allows you to search the full-text of many books (mostly English-language).  So, you'll be able to determine if your site is mentioned in a book, even if it isn't a big enough part of the content to make it into the title or abstract.  Remember, Google Books limits the amount that you can preview because of copyright.  Once you've discovered a book that includes your site, copy and paste the title back into VIRGO to track it down here at UVa.

Search Google Books

Finding Articles with Plans/Sections

The Avery Index is the fastest way to discover what articles have been published about a precedent.  Avery allows you to search summaries of articles published in over 2,000 architecture journals at a time!  For the best results, keep these tips in mind:

  • Try variations of the name of your precedent if you don't find results right away
  • If a search for the building or site name doesn't yeild results, try the architect's name and look for articles published around the date of your project
  • Use the advanced search feature at the bottom of the main page to limit to articles that include plans or sections.  This option is under "Physical Description"

NOTE: Avery helps you discover what articles exist about your topic, but it usually doesn't include the full text as a PDF.  To get your hands on the article, use the Find@UVa button.  The Find@UVa button will try to find the article as a PDF in UVa's collections.  If it can't, it will give you the option to search VIRGO to see if we have print issues of the journal you're looking for.  Remember-- MANY architecture journals are not avaialble in PDF, but we have lots of issues of journals here in the library!

Search Avery

Find High-Res Images

Here are some places to find great images:

  • ARTstor - A database with high-resoulution images. While not every building is in ARTstor, it is worth searching for yours!
  • Google Images:  Use the "Search Tools" button at the top of your image results to limit to "Large" files for higher resolution.
  • Flickr: Crowdsourced images from users across the web.  Sometimes you'll find a tourist's photo, sometimes a pro's!
  • Scan your own!  Sometimes the best images are in a book or article.  The library has numerous scanners that you can use to make your own high-resolution files.

Remember, just like when you use a book or article, you need to cite your sources when you use an image!  Remember to keep a note of the image's creator, title, date, where and when you found it, and any additional information you need to properly credit the source.