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Art & Architecture Source

Art & Architecture Source is the largest full-text art research database covering fine, decorative and commercial art, as well as architecture and architectural design. With strong international coverage, it offers hundreds of full-text art journals, magazines and books, plus detailed indexing and abstracts and thousands of images.

Architecture. Main international databases
Avery index to architectural periodicals

This resource is based on the multi-volume index of the same name, which was published in 1963, collaborated by the Columbia University Avery Library collection. Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals surveys over 2'500 journals. The index covers international, scholarly and popular periodical literature, including publications of professional associations, U.S. state and regional periodicals and major serial publications on the architecture and design of Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia.

Building Types Online

Birkhäuser Building Types Online is an online resource for teaching and practice of architectural design. It is based on Birkhäuser's professional publications issued between 2002 and 2016, and includes more than 850 case studies and more than 120 thematic articles on specific aspects of individual building types. It provides access to approx. 5000 mostly vector-based architectural drawings of high quality as well as to 2000 photographs of the buildings.

DETAIL Inspiration

DETAIL Inspiration provides online access to more than 5'500 projects published in the Detail journal. Each project described in the database is accompanied by DETAIL project documents, which can be downloaded as PDFs. Publication information (edition/year) helps users to find the right edition in their print collections. The database content is expanded and updated with the release of each new issue.

OLC Architektur - Online Contents

The OLC-SSG-Architektur database is a combination of Swets Online Contents and records selected by the SSGBibliothek TIB/UB Hannover. It indexes some 500 journals since 1993, totalling over 1 million records in the field of architecture.


OnArchitecture is an online audiovisual service providing a panorama of the world's main authors, works, experiences and problematics related to the field of architecture. OnArchitecture's collection features original videos, such as interviews, buildings and installations, all of this enriched with a selection of complementary material -documents and audiovisuals- about the main authors and figures of contemporary architecture. Currently, the platform contains 170 videos.

RIBA British architectural library

The RIBA Library catalogue contains records describing books, articles, manuscripts and images held by the British Architectural Library. Main subjects: architecture, applied arts, furniture, design, construction history, building conservation, urban planning and history.


RSWB®plus combines the German database RSWB® ("Raumordnung, Städtebau, Wohnungswesen, Bauwesen") and the international database ICONDA®Bibliographic ("The International CONstruction DAtabase") in a single search interface, therefore expanding their respective results. The breadth of its scope makes it one of the most important database for the construction industry and the academic disciplines connected with the study of archotecture. At the moment, RSWB®plus contains more than 1'400'000 bibliografic citations, with daily updates amounting to almost 20'000 record every year.


This database indexes more than 8'800 buildings and both architectural and urban planning projects. It can be searched by name of designer, place and keyword. The main focus is on 20th and 21st century architecture.

Architecture. Miscellaneous

In February 2019, after a three-year preparatory phase, Architekturbibliothek, the lexicon of Swiss architecture from 1920 to the present, saw the light. This consultation tool fills an important information gap, reaches a wide audience and involves students from the architecture and interior design thematic areas of the Hochschule Luzern. The Architekturbibliothek is also a lexicon for architects and a qualified and freely accessible archive of images for contemporary architectural photography.


Edited by Pavillon de l'Arsenal and Groupe Moniteur, this database collects architectural competions’ results, projects, and completed buildings published autonomously by the architects themselves. More than one thousand projects are currently available. The main focus is on contemporary French architecture.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI) on Web of Science

The Arts & Humanities Citation Index (A&HCI), is a citation index accessed online through Web of Science, with abstracting and indexing for more than 1’300 arts and humanities journals, and coverage of disciplines such as the arts, humanities, language, literature, music, history, philosophy, archaeology, architecture, religion, television, theater, and radio. Available citation (source) coverage includes articles, letters, editorials, meeting abstracts, errata, poems, short stories, plays, music scores, excerpts from books, chronologies, bibliographies and filmographies, as well as citations to reviews of books, films, music, and theatrical performances.


Divisare is the result of an effort of selection and classification of contemporary architecture conducted for over twenty years. Patient work, done with care, image after image, project after project, to offer the ideal tool with which to organize the knowledge of contemporary architecture. Instead of a quick, distracted web, a slow, attentive one. Instead of hastily perused information, knowledge calmly absorbed. This is why Divisare is a place to perceive architecture slowly, without distractions. No click — like — tweet — share, no advertising, banners, pop-ups. Just architecture, no more and no less.

Domus Archive
AccessOn-campus access only

Domus is an architecture and design magazine founded in 1928 by architect Gio Ponti and Barnabite father Giovanni Semeria. Published by Editoriale Domus, the magazine is issued 11 times a year on a monthly basis. Domus Archive gives access to all issues from 1928 to three before the current one, in digital form.

Please ask for login credentials at the library desk.


The e-rara platform grants free online access to the digitized edition of rare books held by Swiss libraries. The “Architecture and urbanism” section is highlighted here: it contains books on architectural theory and history, landscape architecture, urbanism, construction science and art history.

Great buildings collection

This database, edited by Kevin Matthews,contains architectural drawings, architects' biographies, 3D models, images, and bibliographies. Search options include: building name, architect name, and place.


Konkurado is Switzerland's independent public and private procurement information platform in Switzerland for past, present and future architectural and engineering competitions. As a project run by the Foundation ‘research design competitions’, Konkurado covers three core domains:

  • It facilitates calls for competition and tender offers.
  • Tailor-made areas on its digital platform guide participants through procedures from start to finish.
  • It serves as an archive of relevant competition data, ensuring long-term accessibility.

USI affiliates may login on the platform with their NetID to access the complete content of Konkurado (click on Login at the top right and then on Università della Svizzera italiana).


BAUFO indexes research projects in Germany focusing on urban planning and renewal, urban development, and contiguous fileds. Edited by the Institut für Landes- und Stadtentwicklungsforschung und Bauwesen des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (ILS NRW) and the Fraunhofer-Informationszentrum Raum und Bau IRB, this database lists projects from the Sixties onwards. Search languages: German and English.

Urban planning

URBADOC is a major international resource bringing together over 700’000 references to documents relating to urban and regional policy and planning from key European database producers, with the aim of improving the international exchange and dissemination of information within these subject areas. The founding database producers are: Archinet, an association for architectural information (IUAV, CNBA, QUASCO - Italy), Association Urbamet (IAURIF, DGUHC-CDU du ministère de l'Equipement, INIST - France), Centro de Información y Documentación Cientifica (Spain), Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik (Germany), Greater London Authority, Information Services (United Kingdom). Each database can be searched separately or all the databases can be cross-searched. The databases on Urbadoc are updated four times a year.

Urban studies & planning

This collection includes 12 peer-reviewed journals published by SAGE and participating societies, encompassing over 17,900 articles. SAGE Urban Studies & Planning Collection covers such subjects as Anthropology, Economic Development, Economics, Education, Environmental Science, Planning Pedagogy, Planning Practice, Planning Theory, Policy Analysis, Political Science, Public Administration, Regional Geography, Regional Science, Residential and Community Development, Social Dynamics, Spatial Dynamics, Cultural Dynamics, Sociology, Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Culture, Urban Geography, Urban Policy, Urban Politics, and Welfare Economics.


ArTec - Università IUAV di Venezia

The ArTec (Archivio delle tecniche e dei materiali per l’architettura) database of Università IUAV di Venezia, is a web platform for searching and retrieving information about materials, products and systems in their physical archive. The database provides technical documentation of specimens and mock-ups stored in ArTec, but also guided access to web resources by linking to the product manufacturer's website in order to broaden the understanding of technical specifications.

Materials databases

Material-Archiv is a unified platform for different collections of materials connected to architecture, art, and design. The database contains descriptions of the physical properties of various materials, and shows their applications by means of case studies and practical examples. The records describe different types of wood, paper, metal, synthetic material, stone, glass, ceramics and dyes.

Materials database CDM-BTM

The Centro documentazione materiali (CDM) of the Dipartimento ambiente, costruzioni e design offers, in its two locations at SUPSI in Canobbio and Academy of architecture in Mendrisio, a bulding-related material and products library in the form of a collection of catalogues, flyers, CDs, VHSs, models and samples.
Journals and publications about building materials are also available. The online database provides and interface for searching the CDM documentation and accessing information about commercial companies where products are available for sale.

Materioteca - Politecnico di Milano

Materioteca is a service of the library at Campus Durando, and offers consultation, advice and loans. The structure was created in 1999 inside the Chemistry department.
Materioteca provides up-to-date information on traditional and innovative materials, their properties and application opportunities. It contains 5000 specimens classed by material type: polymers, wood, ceramics, glass, metal, paper/cardboard, recyclings, stones and building materials, fabric, fibers and threads, composite materials, innovative materials, and smart materials.


AGORHA (Accès global et organisé aux ressources en histoire de l'art) is the managements and diffusion platform of INHA (Institut National d'Histoire de l'Art - France) and Galerie Colbert. It also provides access to digital items in the Répertoire d’art et d’archéologie numérisé.

Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon : AKL

Over 1 million artists’ biographic profiles: next to the 37 Thieme-Becker and the 6 Vollmer volumes, it contains the complete database of the first 43 volumes of the Allgemeine Künstlerlexikon (165'000 full-text articles and 220'000 editing board documents). Each artist’s record is enriched with cultural background, work details, work locations, exhibitions, detailed biographic description, and a very large bibliography.


Arkyves is a database, treasure trove and toolbox for those interested in the History of Culture. It is a single access point for thematic searches across a wide variety of cultural heritage collections, contributed by partners like the Dutch Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands Institute for Art History, the Herzog August Bibliothek, and the university libraries of Milan, Utrecht, Glasgow, and Illinois.
Very rich, but standardized subject information is offered as all collections share the use of ICONCLASS, the most widely accepted multilingual classification system for cultural content.

Art index retrospective

This database provides users with access to over half a century of indexing of more than 600 periodicals covering fine, decorative and commercial art dating back to 1913.Content in Art Index Retrospective includes articles, interviews, film and book reviews, bibliographies, conference reports, editorials and much more. This unique resource guides users to contemporary criticism of art at the time of its debut, helps track the body of work of an individual artist or an entire movement, and provides access to artists’ interviews, commentaries and more.

ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM)

ARTbibliographies Modern (ABM) is the premier source of information on modern and contemporary art dating from the late 19th century onwards, including photography since its invention. The database provides full abstracts of journal articles, including book and exhibition reviews, as well as art publications such as exhibition catalogs, monographs and artists’ books, including those drawn from the collections of the Tate Library and the Bibliothèque Dominique Bozo, Musée LAM. More than 15,000 new entries are added each year, with entries dating back as far as the late 1960s.


Artprice.com is an auctions database, containing data over more than 670'000 sold artists by 4'000 auction houses worldwide..

Bibliography of the history of art: BHA

Produced by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the CNRS-INIST, the BHA is the largest and most complete database in the history of art, containing citations and abstract from all international art publication since 1973. It covers all visual arts, from the fine arts to decorative and applied arts, material culture, photography, up to contemporary art performances and installations. The no longer maintained International Repertory of the Literature of Art (1975-1989) and Répertoire d'art et d'archéologie (1973-1989) are also included.

International bibliography of art (IBA)

International Bibliography of Art is the successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA). The database includes detailed abstracts for all new content, in-depth abstracts for scholarly articles, and authority files of controlled terms. It covers European art from late antiquity to the present, American art from the colonial era to the present, and global art since 1945. Visual arts in all media are covered: painting, sculpture, drawing, video, installations, new media, decorative and applied arts, museum studies and conservation, archaeology, folk art and material culture, classical studies, antiques, architectural history.

Library Stack

Combining database, archive, publisher and distributor, Library Stack connects digital materials from art, design, theory and architecture to global library cataloging systems. Items in Library Stack are indexed with both informal keywords and controlled Library of Congress vocabularies (the “Format” and “Subject” menus), and can be searched via our structured indexes, direct queries, or by browsing through our Featured Stacks.

Most items in the Library Stack collection collapse or confound typical distinctions between projects made by artists, architects or designers, and projects notionally about those respective fields. The collection includes PDF zines made by curators; downloadable exhibitions curated by artists; experimental sound compositions; magazines about experimental sound art; fonts channeling cultural histories; and political artworks in the form of custom browser extensions. Library Stack itself emerges from this same sphere of hybrid practice.

OLC Arts and Art Sciences - Online Contents

The OLC-SSG-Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft is a combination of Swets Online Contents and record selected by SLUB Dresden and Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg. It indexes more than 400 journals from 1993, and contains more than 700'000 records.


SIKART is an information platform on art in Svitzerland and Liechtenstein fom the Middle Ages until today. Edited by a scientific board and richly illustrated, it undergoes frequent updating. SIKART targets art experts as well as the general art public, and is based on the 12'000 standard records plus the 1'200 extended records contained in the illustrated Biographical dictionary of Swiss art.

Design and Applied Arts Index (DAAI)

DAAI is an important source of information for all aspects of design and crafts, from textiles and ceramics to vehicle design, advertising and sustainability. Covers journal articles, exhibition reviews and news items from 1973 to the present.

Applied arts
BCIN - Bibliographic Database of the Conservation Information Network

BCIN, the Bibliographic Database of the Conservation Information Network, is the web's most complete bibliographic resource for the conservation, preservation and restoration of cultural property. A worldwide network of libraries and documentation centres contribute data on their combined holdings, including previously unavailable material from private sources, to the BCIN database. Cited literature includes: books, published and unpublished monographs and serials, journal articles, conference proceedings, technical reports and theses, audiovisual materials, software and machine-readable files. Available online since 1987, BCIN is a trusted resource for professionals, museums and other heritage organizations. It now contains nearly 200,000 citations, including the first 34 volumes of the Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts (AATA), published between 1955 and 1997.

Conservation – Restoration

JSTOR currently includes more than 2,000 academic journals, dating back to the first volume ever published, along with thousands of monographs and other materials relevant for education. JSTOR has digitized more than 50 million pages and continue to digitize approximately 3 million pages annually.


Internet Archive (archive.org) is a nonprofit organization aiming to provide reserachers, scholars and the general public with a large free digital library. It contains e-books, audio, video, web pages and software.

Digital libraries
BASE: Bielefeld academic search engine

BASE is one of the most important search engines for Access web-based scientifically relevant publications. It is developed and updated by the Library of the Bielefeld University, and provides access to more than 25 million digital documents from 1'730 different sources.


DigiZeitschriften is a German consortium dedicated to retro-digitizing and online publishing of scientific journals, mainly published in the German linguistic area. More than one hundred are already online, many others are planned.


Virtual library of medieval manuscripts in Swiss collections. Nearly one thousand manuscripts from approximately thirty libraries. Regular additions are planned.


e-newspaperarchives.ch provides access to titles digitized by the Swiss National Library and its cantonal partners.
This collection contains 128 titles comprising 587'732 issues, 4'973'421 pages and 40'545'935 articles (updated: 13 February 2020).


E-Periodica is ETH-Bibliothek's platform for digitised Swiss journals. In the field of architecture, a large selection of journals, including Das Werk / Werk-Archithese / Wek, Bauen und Wohnen from 1914 onwards, as well as Archi, Tracés, Tec21, Schweizer Ingenieur und Architekt and many others have been digitized. All journals on the platform are freely accessible. Depending on the agreement with the individual publisher, there may be an embargo for more recent issues.


Digital library of the BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France), Gallica provides access to more than 1'100'000 digital documents (books, journals, images, maps, etc.). The main focus is on French culture, but several foreign classics are also available.

Heidelberger historische Bestände = Heidelberg historic literature

Digital library of the Heidelberg University. It contains the Bibliotheca Palatina manuscripts, the Heidelberg incunabula, and a huige selection of digitized books. A very valuable section on architecture, art and archaeology is also available.


OAIster is a meta-catalogue of digital documents for serching in collections throughout the world, offering more than 20 million documents from one thousand collections. Searching is done via the Worldcat platform.

Brepolis medieval

Brepolis Medieval Bibliographies combines l'International Medieval Bibliography (IMB), main source for Europen medieval studies, and the Bibliographie de civilisation médiévale, dealing with the central period of the Middle Ages.

Swiss historical dictionary

Complete access to the records of the Swiss historical dictionary, simultaneously published in Italian, German, and French. Not all records are currently available, since the publication of the Dictionary is still in progress. Updates will be made avilable online when ready for publishing.

Philosopher’s index

The Philosopher's Index is a current, comprehensive, and easy-to-use subject and author index to philosophical articles; books; anthologies; and contributions to anthologies. The Philosopher's Index is a bibliographic database with informative author-written abstracts covering scholarly research in the fifteen fields of philosophy, published in journals and books since 1940. Records cite journal articles, books, contributions to anthologies, and book reviews. The Index includes more than 622 regularly indexed current journals from more than 40 countries in English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Polish and many other languages. Topics covered include: aesthetics, axiology, philosophy of education, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of history, philosophy of language, logic, metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, metaphilosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of science, social philosophy, and the philosophy of religion.

Encyclopædia Britannica Academic

Britannica Academic delivers fast and easy access to high-quality, comprehensive information. Written by Nobel laureates, historians, curators, professors, and other notable experts, Britannica Academic’s articles provide trusted information with balanced, global perspectives and insights. The combination of the Encyclopædia Britannica plus Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools provides a variety of reliable sources for thorough collegiate research. Search language: English

General topics
Le Grand Robert online

The largest French dictionary available. Contains all the conjugations of all the verbs, feminine and plural forms, etymology, nuances of use, quotations, and more.

Le Petit Robert online

The 2010 online edition of Paul Robert's popular French dictionary Le Nouveau Petit Robert De La Langue Francaise which was first published in 1967. The Dictionary contains 60,000 word entries with 300,000 definitions illustrated by examples. 1,240 author biograpnical references. It also includes idioms, homonyms, synonyms, antonyms, and hundreds of citations. Updated annually.


Database of full text online news, business, financial, legal, medical, biographical, government and domestic and international newspaper resources.

Library, information science & technology abstracts : LISTA

Library, Information Science & Technology Abstract (LISTA) indexes more than 600 periodicals, plus books, research reports and proceedings. Subject coverage includes librarianship, classification, cataloging, bibliometrics, online information retrieval, information management and more. Coverage in the database extends back as far as the mid-1960s.

Ulrich's periodicals directory

Ulrich's Periodicals Directory is a bibliographic database providing detailed, comprehensive, and authoritative information on serials published throughout the world. It covers all subjects, and includes publications that are published regularly or irregularly and are circulated free of charge or by paid subscription. Updated weekly, the database is searchable and browsable by title, subject, language, electronic availability and more. There is also a news section, and links to libraries and interest groups.

A&A - Art and architecture

The Art and Architecture web site by the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London) features more than 40'000 images selected from the Courtauld Institute of Art Gallery and Conway library collections.


akg-images are one of the big European picture archives with over 10 million images in its collection. Specialized in the field of culture, akg-images' collection is essentially made of reproductions of works of art, photos (ancient and contemporary), prints and illustrations from all around the world. The photographic database offers a large thematic selection: fine arts, history, politics, religion, cinema, science & techniques, géography, music, architecture, daily life, literature, civilization, archeology, travel, mythology, etc. Full access to images in on payment.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft kunsthistorischer Bildarchive und Fototheken (AKBF)

Arbeitsgemeinschaft kunsthistorischer Bildarchive und Fototheken (AKBF) is an online platform of German iconographic archives of art history and image collections. More than six million images can be searched in the collection of: Deutsche Fotothek der SLUB (Dresden), Photothek des Kunstgeschichtlichen Instituts (Florence), Rheinische Bildarchiv der Stadt Köln, Bildarchiv Foto (Marburg), Photothek des Zentralinstituts für Kunstgeschichte (Munich), Fototeca della Bibliotheca Hertziana - Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte (Rome).


Archnet is a globally-accessible, intellectual resource focused on architecture, urbanism, environmental and landscape design, visual culture, and conservation issues related to the Muslim world. Archnet’s mission is to provide ready access to unique visual and textual material to facilitate teaching, scholarship, and professional work of high quality. Officially launched in 2002 as a partnership between the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Archnet has since evolved into the largest open, online architectural library with a focus on Muslim cultures.


ARTstor is a digital library of images, information about the images, and software tools designed to enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship. ARTstor contains over 1 million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences. The images in ARTstor come from a wide range of civilizations, with initial strengths in European, American, and Asian cultures. The collection has been derived from several source collections that are the product of collaborations with libraries, museums, photographic archives, publishers, slide libraries, and individual scholars.

Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur

Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur contains around two million images of art works and buildings from all Europe. 1.4 million images from various institutions were originally published on microfilm between 1977 and 2000 as "Marburger Index - Inventar der Kunst in Deutschland", while 300'000 additional images were collected in Armenia, Austria, Benelux, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.


Within the organization of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation) bpk is a department assigned to the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Founded in 1966 as Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz, bpk now offers all the services of a modern photo agency. With an archive of over 12 million photographs, mainly related to the history of art, bpk holds one of the most distinguished contemporary historical photo collections in Europe.
Open access (paid download)

Britannica ImageQuest

Britannica ImageQuest gives access to over 3 million images from 62 leading collections, provided by trusted sources such as The Bridgeman Art Gallery, Getty Images, the Science Photo Library, Ingram Publishing, the National Geographic Society. Images are completed with citation metadata and are all rights-cleared for educational, non-commercial use. Search language: English


E-Pics is ETH Zurich's platform for digital and digitised photographs and images. Collections, archives, institutes and units of ETH Zurich as well as external partners manage and present their image holdings. The majority of the images can be viewed publicly and researched by keyword.


Joconde groups around 500'000 records describing French museums items relating to archaeology, art, anthropology, history, science, and technology. Images often complement the description and classification.


OldMapsOnline indexes over 400.000 maps. This is only thanks to the archives and libraries that were open to the idea and provided their online content. The project began as a collaboration between Klokan Technologies GmbH, Switzerland and The Great Britain Historical GIS Project based at the University of Portsmouth, UK thanks to funding from JISC.


Prometheus is a digital image archive for art and culture. Prometheus provides a common user interface that allow searching across multiple image archives, databases from art history research institutes, and museums, primarily in Germany. Content includes 61 art history, design, architectural, theological, history and archaeological image databases containing approximately 756,000 images. Create a profile to save and edit images for presentation.


RIBApix provides around 60’000 images from the collections of the British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects, one of the world’s most extensive visual archive devoted to architecture. RIBApix covers world architecture of all periods together with related subjects such as interior design, landscape, topography, planning, construction and the decorative arts.