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Architecture Research

A guide to resources and research in Architecture
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Maggie Portis

Finding Architectural Plans and Drawings

Plans and drawings are essential references for architectural research. You can usually find them in periodicals (e.g., magazines and journals) and books.

Continue reading to learn more about where to look, as well as tips for finding and accessing materials.


Databases contain citations, and sometimes electronic access to full-text articles. Citations can direct you to the articles within the print periodicals at the library.


Álvaro Siza's "Art Pavilion" (left) and "Fundación Nadir Afonso" (right) from El Croquis 215/216.

From the Collection: Print Periodicals

Architecture magazines are great sources for finding plans. But, a lot of them are only available in print formats with no electronic or digital counterpart.

Databases like Avery (mentioned above) can help you locate citations for articles, including any plans they feature. Using these citations, you can find the articles in full within print periodicals at the library.

If you find the citation for an article you would like, try using our Scan a PDF service. Our library staff can send you a scan of the print version as a PDF. You may want to specify if you are looking for the plans or drawings contained in the articles. The scanners at the library are also free to use.

C3 covers.

From the Collection: Print Books

You can find architectural drawings in books about a specific architect or building. Consult the index of a book to locate these more easily.

There are also books that compile different projects related to a certain topic or theme. Check to see if the architect or building you are researching is listed in the index or table of contents.

Here are some books from our print collection that focus on architectural plans:

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