Architecture and Urban Design Collection Policy


subject description and guidelines

  • Broad coverage of historical and contemporary research materials on the built environment, including architecture (for professional practice), city and regional planning, urban design planning and history, history of architecture, historic preservation planning, and related disciplines including landscape architecture, interior design, and environmental analysis.


  • The major constituencies served by this collection are the undergraduate students who participate in the five-year professional degree program (B.Arch). The college also offers M.Arch I (Professional) and M.Arch II (Post-Professional) degree programs. Additional primary clientele include those studying the History of Architecture and Urban Development (M.A. and Ph.D) and those pursuing an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning. The collection also seeks to support (in a collaborative and interdisciplinary manner) with several campus libraries, the research needs of those pursuing advanced degrees in City and Regional Planning (M.R.P and Ph.D.).


collection strength

  • The materials on Architecture are the strongest part of the Fine Arts Library collection and date back to the early years of the institution. As well, there are important special collections on architecture and urban planning among the Rare Book and archival holdings at Kroch Library. The FAL collects monographs, serials, visual, and digital materials, at the comprehensive level, which is sufficient to support doctoral dissertations and independent research.

geographical guidelines

  • Historically, our collecting strength has been on the history of architecture of the western world, and in particular Western Europe and the United States. In the past few decades, however, these geographical boundaries have shifted to include more materials from throughout Europe, North, Central and South American nations, and significant developments throughout Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

language guidelines

  • English language materials are collected extensively and Western European Languages selectively. We depend on area bibliographers for collecting imprints originating in Latin America, Russia, Central Europe, India, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. A current collecting priority is on materials originating in India and we have raised this collecting level to a comprehensive ranking. Strengths in addition to English include: French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Some 21st Century titles in Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Portuguese.


  • English 
  • French 
  • German 
  • Italian 
  • Spanish 

chronological guidelines

  • Contemporary and 20th Century research materials are strongest. As noted above, our extensive 19th Century holdings are housed in the Rare Books Collection.


  • Popular, home decorating or design, “how to”, test prep., career guidance manuals, horticulture, garden design basics, software packages and software manuals. We depend on colleagues at other campus libraries to provide advanced mapping and geo-spatial materials and data. Building science materials are collected selectively (with design needs in mind) and in consultation with engineering selectors.

material types

  • Monographs, serials, periodicals, reference tools, electronic image resources, and e-texts.


housed in

  • Fine Arts Library 

special collections or noteworthy resources in the field

  • University Archives has been active in acquiring the papers of city planners and landscape architects since the mid-1960s. In total, they hold the papers of approximately 150 planners and several associations dedicated to urban planning. Their holdings also include the papers of approximately forty architects and a dozen landscape architects. For more information on special collections in these areas please see the electronic guide available here:

related library subject collection


academic department

  • Architecture (ARCH) 


library contact

  • Walker, Martha -  Architecture Librarian and Coordinator of Collections (Fine Arts Library)