Architecture 385 - History of Architecture I: Pre-Modern

library guide

Full Text

Librarians: Kristin Henrich

UILibrary Website:

If you need additional help with your research, contact the Reference Desk or schedule a Research Appointment with me.

Books & Reference Works


Books (either shelved in the stacks on third and fourth floor or in the Reference area on the first floor) can be the best place to start your research. 
Use reference works such as encyclopedias to:

  • Get an overview or background information on a topic 
  • Get ideas for focusing your own research
  • Find bibliographies of more in-depth sources
  • Find quick facts and statistics
  • Find biographical information

Use books with the following in mind:

  • Books on a broad topic may contain chapters or essays on your topic. Often these are not indicated by the title. When searching, think both broadly and narrowly. 
  • Check the index of a book to find your subject.
  • The bibliography in a book can be a great place to find additional sources.
  • Books range from popular to scholarly and, as with all sources, you should be aware of the author's credentials.

Using the UI Catalog to Find Books

The UI Library Catalog is best viewed as a discovery tool.  The catalog first searches items that the University of Idaho Library owns and which match your keywords.  Once you have clicked “Search”, your results list will begin with these items, followed by items that match your keywords but which the library does not own.  Although our library may not own a book on your topic, you can always request it through InterLibrary Loan, which will appear as a green icon to the right of where a call number would be.

Once you have identified a book you wish to use in the results list, click on the title of the book to pull up its record.  Be sure to check that the location is “UI Library”, make note of the call number, and use the floor maps to find the book in the library.

You can search the library catalog by keyword, author, or title, and limit by year (of publication), language, and format.  Keep in mind that our catalog searches all of our books, all of our DVDs, but only some of our articles.  If you find a book that looks good and you don’t see a call number, check to be sure it isn’t an article.
When searching for books on a topic, a combination of keywords, linked by the word “and”, generally works best.  Here are some examples:

“architecture and Islam”

“India and architecture”

“garden* and Chin*”

On the last example, note the use of asterisks.  These stand in for extra letters, allowing garden* to represent gardens, gardeners, or gardening. The same is true for Chin*, which can represent China or Chinese. 

For help with searching the catalog, see the Quick Guide. 

The reference section is located on the 1st floor of the library. Because it is a fairly small area, browsing the shelves in the general area of your topic is a quick way to look for relevant material. Books are shelved using the Library of Congress classification scheme.

WSU Libraries

You can borrow books from WSU’s libraries. Your Vandal Card is all you need to get a library card at WSU.

Articles & Journals


If you are looking for a specific journal, such as Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, use the Magazines & Journals A-Z link, found on the library homepage, to find out what magazines and journals the UI Library owns and whether they are online or in print. In this example, after you type in the title, you can click directly to the JSTOR database and then browse by volume, issue and year.

Articles are found in periodicals.  Examples of periodicals are magazines, journals, and newspapers. Scholarly (also called peer-reviewed or refereed) journals are one of the primary means of disseminating ideas in academic scholarship.  For a quick review of these concepts, take a look at Module 1.3 of the University of Idaho Library’s Information Literacy Tutorial.

How To Find Current Articles
Articles are located by searching for your topic in an article database (sometimes called an article index). For an overview of databases and how to search them effectively, see Module 3 of the Information Literacy Tutorial.

Databases  Useful for Architectural History I

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
The only comprehensive American guide to the current literature of architecture and design; surveys more than 2,500 U.S. and foreign journals. Three-fourths of these are not indexed in any other source. Avery covers the international scholarly and popular periodical literature, including the publications of professional associations, U.S. state and regional periodicals, and major serial publications in the architecture and design of Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia. Nearly 13,000 citation records for architects” obituaries are also included – an excellent source of biographical information, and often the only one for less-published architects. Coverage1930-present; selective coverage from 1860’s.

ARTstor has collections of over 500,000 digital art images and associated data that can be used for noncommercial and scholarly, non-profit educational use. Images are international in scope and coverage includes a wide variety of civilizations, time-periods and media .The images are drawn from different sources, such as museums, archaeological teams, photo archives, slide collections, and art reference publishers.

Art Index and Art Index Retrospective
Art Index covers the years 1984 – present and Art Index Retrospective covers 1929-1984. Citations to articles in all aspects of art, architecture, and design. Periodical coverage includes English-language periodicals, yearbooks, and museum bulletins, as well as periodicals published in French, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish, Dutch, and Swedish. In addition to articles, this database indexes reproductions of works of art that appear in indexed periodicals.

Oxford Art Online Full Text
Provides web access to the entire text of The Dictionary of Art (1996, 34 vols.) with ongoing additions of new material and updates to the text, plus extensive image links and searching capabilities. Covers visual arts including painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, decorative arts and photography.

Humanities International Index
Provides cover-to-cover indexing and abstracting for over 1,700 journals and contains more than 1.5 million records. Coverage1975-present for some journals

JSTOR Full Text
A collection of the back issues of full text older scholarly journals.  No issues in the last 3 years are included. One of the disciplines that offers journal-by-journal title browsing is "Architecture & Architectural History."

Religion and Philosophy Collection Full Text
Includes articles on archaeology, anthropology and architecture from journals such as Antiquity. Coverage 1975 – present for some titles

Google Scholar
Google has a specific search that takes you to a variety of more scholarly publications (not just articles, but many types of documents).  It is much less defined than the databases above. Some items retrieved are not strictly scholarly. Searching it results in a scatter of publications, all of which need to be scrutinized.  However, it is an impressive resource, sometimes pulling up articles not found elsewhere, old and new.  Sometimes you will see a link called “U Idaho Article Linker” to determine if the UI Library has the journal.


Getting Your Hands on the Article

Many articles are available in full text in the databases. You will see links for HTML or for PDF Full Text formats.  If the article in a database is not available in full text, look for the link or symbol for “Article Linker.” ALinker Clicking on this link will automatically search our library catalog to find out if we have print or electronic copies of the article.  If we do not have the article you are looking for, Interlibrary Loan can almost always get the article for you from another library.


Citing your sources gives credit to the author and also allows other researchers to locate the works that you used in your paper. Guidelines for citing your sources, along with examples, can be found in style guides listed on the library homepage.  The reference desk also has hard copies of all style manuals.

Make sure to copy all the relevant information about any source you might want to use in your paper: author, title, journal name, date of publication, page number, etc. For help in citing your sources (that is, telling the reader where you got your information), see Modules 6.2 and 6.3 of the Information Literacy Tutorial. Make sure to click on the “Online Resources” to get more details and test out your skills.

The ease of cutting and pasting from electronic resources can lead to putting your name on a work that is not really yours. This is both illegal and unethical. For more tips on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it, see Modules 6.4, 6.5 and 6.6 of the Information Literacy Tutorial.

Preparing An Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography gives more information than merely a list of the authors, titles, publishers and dates of the works. For guidance on what you can choose to include in your annotations, see the following websites:

Cornell University, Olin & Uris Libraries, How to Prepare An Annotated Bibliography:

OWL, Purdue University Online Writing Lab, Annotated Bibliographies: