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Practice of architecture

Liaison librarian

  • Jennifer [dot] Garland [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-4785

  • McGill users only
  • Open access resource
  • Free resource
  • In-library-use only
  • Catalogue record

Sources for Background Information

Guides and Handbooks

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Glossaries

  • Art and Architecture Thesaurus - Getty Research Institute
  • A Dictionary of Architecture
  • A Dictionary of Architecture and Building
    NA31 S84 1905 (Ref)
  • Dictionary of Architecture and Construction
    NA31 H32 1993 (Ref)
  • Dictionary of Art - Oxford Art online
    (includes Grove Art Online)
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation
    NA31 D55 1996 (Ref)
  • Encyclopedia of Architecture Design, Engineering & Construction
    NA31 E59 1988 (Ref) v. 1-5
  • A Glossary of House-Building Terms = Glossaire des termes de construction
    TH9 C4 1976 (Ref)
  • A Visual Dictionary of Architecture
    NA31 C44 1995 (Ref)

Searching the Catalogue: Helpful Tips

To search an exact phrase...use Quotes
"architectural theory"

To narrow your search...use AND
architecture and theory

To exclude certain words from your search...use NOT
(planning and architecture) not urban

To use various terms for similar concepts...use OR
(theory or history) and architecture

To search the root of a word...use ?
archite? will retrieve

Search the Library Catalogue

Core and Additional Databases, and Selected Journals

Indexes and Databases

  • Architectural Index (Annual)
    Z5941 A66 (Ref)
    Blackader Library has 1975-1997. Selective years may also be searched online.
  • Art Full Text, Art Index, and Art Retrospective
  • ARTstor (image database)
  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
  • Canadian Periodicals Index (CPI.Q)
    AI3 C242 (McLennan Ref) and online via McGill Library
  • Canadian Architectural Periodicals Index: 1940-1980 = Index des périodiques d'architecture canadiens: 1940-1980
    Z5944 C3 B47 1986 (Blackader-Lauterman Desk)
  • Compendex Plus (Ei Compendex)
    online via McGill Library
  • RIBA British Architectural Library Catalogue Online (formerly API)
  • Web of Science (ISI)

Researching an Architect

Background Information

  • Contemporary Architects
    Folio NA680 C625 1987 (Ref)
  • Dictionary of Art - Oxford Art online
    (includes Grove Art Online)
  • Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture
    NA40 I45 1991 (Ref)
  • International Dictionary of Architects & Architecture
    NA40 I48 1993 (Ref) v. 1
  • MacMillan Encyclopedia of Architects
    NA40 M25 1982 (Ref) v. 1-4
  • Young Asian Architects
    NA1460 Y68 2006 (Ref)

Biographical Reference Sources

  • Architectural Association Bibliographies online
  • American Architects From the Civil War to the First World War
    Z5944 U5 W63 [1976] (Ref)
  • American Architects From the First World War to the Present
    Z5944 U5 W635 [1977] (Ref)
  • Les architectes parisiens du XVIIIe siècle
    NA1050 M297 1995 (Ref)
  • Architekten der dritten Welt
    NA1614 K8 1980
  • Benezit. Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs
    N40 B47 1976 (Ref)
  • Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (deceased)
    NA736 W5 [1956] (Ref)
  • A Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Ireland 1600-1720
    NA996 L6 1981 (Ref)
  • A Biographical Dictionary of English Architects 1600-1840
    NA996 C6 1995 (Ref)
  • Biographical Dictionary of Philadelphia Architects, 1700-1930
    NA735 P4T28 1985 (Ref)
  • Dictionnaire des architectes
    NA40 O85 [1970] (Ref)
  • Dictionnaire des architectes français
    NA1052 L3 1872 (Ref) v. 1-2
  • A Dictionary of Artists of the English School
    N6796 R4 1970 (Ref)
  • Edwardian Architecture: A Biographical Dictionary
    NA968.5 E38G7 1986 (Ref)
  • English Medieval Architects: A Biographical Dictionary to 1550
    NA996 H3 1984 (Ref)
  • Havlice. Index to Artistic Biography
    N40 H38 [1973] (Ref)
  • Master Builders: A Guide to Famous American Architects
    NA736 M37 1985 (Ref)
  • Masters of Modern Architecture
    Folio NA680 P374 [1958]
  • Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon / Artists of the World (includes Thieme-Becker Künstler-Lexikon)
    A world biographical dictionary of artists. Includes, as nearly as possible, all known painters, sculptors, engravers, architects, and decorative artists. Signed articles by outstanding scholars, long bibliographies. Locations of works of art frequently given. Numerous cross-references.
  • Who's Who in Architecture
    NA996 W5 1923 (Ref)
  • Who's Who in Architecture from 1400 to Present Day
    NA40 W48 1977 (Ref)
  • Women in Architecture: A Contemporary Perspective
    NA1997 L67 1990 (Ref)


  • American Architects Directory, Third Edition, 1970
    NA53 A37 1970 (Ref)
  • Architectes répertoire directory
    NA11 A87 (Ref)
  • Architects in Practice, New York City, 1840-1900 [1979]
    NA55 N5 F72 (Ref)
  • Atlantic Architects: An Illustrated Directory
    NA60 C2 A75 (Ref)
  • B.O.S.S. Directory of Canadian Architects 1995
    NA60 C2 D57 1995 (Ref)
  • Canadian Architectural Directory
    NA60 C2 R6 (Ref)
  • Directory of African American Architects
    NA53 D37 (Ref)
  • Directory of Canadian Architects
    NA60 C2 D57 (Ref)
  • Directory of Historic American Architectural Firms
    NA1996 A5 (Ref)
  • Directory of Official Architects and Planning Yearbook
    NA60 G7 D57 (Ref)
  • Directory of U.S. Architects online
  • International Directory of the American Institute of Architects
    NA53 A614 1981 (Ref)
  • List of Architects, as of 1st April, 1977 (India)
    NA60 I5 C6 (Ref)
  • ProFile: The Directory of U.S. Architectural Design Firms
    NA53 P763 (Ref)
  • RAIC (Royal Architectural Institute of Canada) Members Directory 1995-1996
    NA60 C2C35 1995-96 (Ref)
  • Tableau des membres (Ordre des architectes du Québec) 94-95
    NA60 C2 O73 (Ref)

Selected Internet Sites



Professional Societies

Other Internet Resources

  • Abacus Construction Index is a portal encompassing popular construction information websites in the UK. A basic search interface is provided, as are topic headings for guided browsing.
  • archINFORM One of the largest databases for international architecture, includes information over more than 18000 built and unrealized projects from various architects and planners. The architecture of the 20th century is the main theme of this database.
  • Canada Green Building Council is a coalition representing various segments of the design and building industry which aims to promote the mainstream adoption of green building principles, policies, practices, standards and tools. The website also has information about Green Building Rating & Labelling Systems used in Canada.
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) contains information on household maintenance and materials used for construction. A Library page includes links organized by subject. For CMHC publications, search the Catalogue, using 'Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation' in the author field.
  • National Building Museum (U.S.) This institution's website hosts virtual exhibits dedicated to exploring architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning. Additional information about physical exhibitions, transcripts of lectures and issues of the museum publication Blueprints are available.
  • SPIRO "the visual online public access catalog to the 35mm slide collection of the Architecture Visual Resources Library (AVRL) at the University of California at Berkeley"; see About SPIRO for more information.

Other Resources


    • Architecture: A Bibliographic Guide to Basic Reference Works, Histories, and Handbooks is limited to books in English and Western European languages published between 1875-1980 and accessible in US libraries (from the preface). Resources pertaining to the practice of architecture are found in chapter two. Entries are annotated.
      Z5941 E38 1984 (Ref)
    • Architecture Sourcebook: A Guide to Resources on the Practice of Architecture
      "contains primarily English-language publications [published before 1995] on architectural building types and complementary basic references and core collections that are considered essential to architects in the United States...a selective rather than comprehensive list" (from the Introduction). Emphasis on current resources. Divided into two parts, part one listing sources organized by 14 building types, and part two listing basic reference resources. Includes suggested Library of Congress Subject Headings. Entries briefly annotated.
      Z5943 A72 W39 1997 (Ref)

  • Index to Information on Individual Architects in a Select List of Books
    Z5941 B7 [1979] (Vertical File -- ask at the Information Desk) provides references to specific architects within general works on architecture spanning a range of historical periods and architectural types.
  • Information Resources in Architecture
  • Papers, American Assoc. Of Architecture Bibliographers Thirteen volumes containing bibliographies of bibliographies on selected architects, architectural styles, and locations. Check the subject headings in the Catalogue record (click on the title to see the full record); note that volume 11 of the series serves as the index to volumes 1-10.
    Z5941 A5 [1965-1979] (Ref) v. 1-13
  • Sources of Modern Architecture: A Bibliography is divided into three sections: biographical bibliography, subject bibliography (organized into Modern Architecture; Architectural Theory; Aesthetics, Architecture and Society), and national bibliography (organized by countries). The biographical section contains short synopses of the architects' life and work.
    folio Z5941 S48 1967 (Ref)

      , a practical and detailed "discussion of the sources of information and the appropriate retrieval techniques available to the professional architect" (from the Introduction). Covers steps in the research process and evaluates specific sources.

    NA2540 I53 1983 (Ref)

Catalogues of Special Collections

  • Catalogue of the RIBA British Architectural Library and the Architectural Publications Index (API)
    A freely accessible online catalog containing records for selective holdings in the British Architectural Library. The online version of the API, indexing over 300 periodicals (see a complete list), is accessible from the same resource. Coverage: selective for materials catalogued or indexed since the 1980's. Note the 'Name of Architect' search option.
    Available online

Standards and Codes

  • Architectural Building Codes: A Graphic Reference
    KF5701 S38 1997 (Ref)
  • Architectural Graphic Standards
    TH2031 R35 1988 (Ref)
  • Canadian Codes Centreonline provides information about national Codes.
  • Graphic Standards Details: Openings
    TH2261 G73 2005 (Ref)
  • National Building Code of Canada
    TH226 N3 1995 (Ref)
    See National Research Council Canada online for general information about the Code.
  • Quebec Construction Code - chapter I, building, and National Building Code of Canada 1995 (amended)
    KEQ868 A35 A2 2001b (Ref) and - Régie du Bâtiment du Québec online
  • Time-Saver Standards for Architectural Design: Technical Data
  • Time-Saver Standards for Building Types
    NA2760 D42 2001b (Ref)
  • Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning, 2nd ed.
    NK2110 T56 2001 (Ref)
  • Time-Saver Standards for Residential Development
    NA9051 T55 1984 (Ref)
  • Time-Saver Standards: Site Construction Details Manual
    TE177 D56 1999 (Ref)


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