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Penn State University Libraries

Databases & Electronic Resources Related to Architecture & Landscape Architecture

To access ALL Databases & Electronic Resources that the University Libraries offer, please go to the Databases by Title (A-Z) List




Icon for for LionSearch database

LionSearch is a single search box for finding the combined resources provided by the Penn State University Libraries. The results are compiled from hundreds of databases and the Penn State University Libraries large catalog of books and other materials. The advantage of LionSearch is that it casts a very wide net and brings back a lot of results from many sources. Consider it to be the Google for the University Libraries. LionSearch is very helpful at the begining of a research project or when researching a broad topic.

For more information about using LionSearch, including Tips and Tricks and Video Tutorials, visit the LionSearch Help page.


Articles and Databases

Icons for Avery, BuildingGreen Suite, CuminCAD and AGRICOLA

The University Libraries provides access to numeorous databases that index journals and periodicals on a broad range of topics available on the Databases by Title (A-Z) List. Below is a list of databases that cover topics related to Architecture & Landscape Architecture.

Keep in mind that Penn State does not carry every journal indexed in these databases. You will need to search The CAT - PSU's Libraries Web Catalog to see if a particular journal is carried by Penn State. Penn State also provides electronic access to many journals. To see if a particular journal title is provided electronically, use the E-Journal Title Search. Articles from periodicals not at Penn State can be requested via Interlibrary Loan.

Penn State Libraries Get It Button

Some databases are linked to The CAT - PSU's Libraries Web Catalog via the Get it! button as shown above. Clicking a Get it! button will allow you to automatically search Penn State's collections for both print and electronic journals. Get it! will also take you directly to the Interlibrary Loan interface if necessary.

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals
-- Selectively indexes journal articles and reviews on architecture and landscape architecture (including archaeology, decorative arts, interior design, furnishings, city planning, and housing) which appear in more than 2,500 design journals. Indexing is fairly up-to-date and goes back to 1919 (and some scattered items from even earlier).

Art Index (1929-1984 via Art Index Retrospective)
Art Index (1984 - present via Art Abstracts)
-- The most commonly used periodical index for the visual arts (painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, decorative arts, crafts) and, to a lesser degree, related disciplines (including some urban design, architecture, design, cinema, scenic design, museology, cultural criticism, and critical theory). Most of the journals indexed are published in English, but a selection of French, Italian, German, Spanish, and Dutch titles are included. In addition to articles and reviews, individual works of art unaccompanied by text (often gallery ads) are indexed. The indexing goes back to items published in 1929. This index has been divided into two separate databases: Art Abstracts, which covers roughly 1984 to present (and adds brief abstracts for literature indexed since 1994), and Art Index Retrospective, covering 1929 to 1984.

Arts and Humanities Citation Index
-- Part of the Web of Science conglomerate, this index covers numerous arts and humanities journals. It also provides users with the ability to track known citations in the literature.
-- Coverage: 1975 - present

Bibliography of the History of Art
-- The Bibliography of the History of Art indexes and abstracts art-related books, conference proceedings, dissertations, and articles from 2500 periodicals as well as exhibition and dealer's catalogs. Developed at the Getty Information Institute, it includes and extends the coverage of two art indexes: RAA (Repertoire d'Art et d'Archeologie) from 1973 to 1989 and RILA (International Repertory of the Literature of Art) from 1975 to 1989.
-- Coverage: 1973-Present
-- Updates: Quarterly

BuildingGreen Suite
-- BuildingGreen Suite integrates online versions of GreenSpec product listings, high-quality articles about green buildings, peer-to-peer comments, project case studies, and full text access to Environmental Building News from 1992 to date. This information is searchable and cross-referenced by CSI MasterFormat division, LEED credit, or green topic. Each article, product listing, and case study also lists related content and information sources.

CumInCAD (Cumulative Index of Computer Aided Architectural Design)
-- CumInCAD is a cumulative index of publications about computer aided architectural design. It provides abstracts to thousands of papers in journals and conferences and it provides the full text and illustrations for more than half of the papers. When asked to logon, create your own ID and password.

AGRICOLA (agriculture & related sciences)
-- AGRICOLA is the National Agricultural Library's bibliographic database. It has over 3.3 million bibliographic records of journal articles, theses, patents, software, and technical reports related to agriculture and related subjects including ecology, entomology, environment, forestry, horticulture, rural sociology, soils, water, and other related topics. The following are indexed: journal articles, books, book chapters, USDA, State Experiment Station, State Extension service publications.
-- Coverage: 1970 - present (some older materials); indexes journal articles, books, book chapters, USDA, State Experiment Station, State Extension service publications.
-- Updates: Monthly

CAB Abstracts (agriculture, nutrition and global health)
-- CAB Abstracts is a comprehensive file of over 8500 journals as well as conference proceedings, theses and annual reports. The journals included in CAB Abstracts cover: plant sciences, entomology, soils, forestry, agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, rural recreation & tourism, management and conservation of natural resources, and other related topics.
-- Coverage: 1973- present
-- Updates: Weekly

America: History & Life
-- America: History and Life includes about 400,000 annotated or abstracted references to American and Canadian history. Published since 1964, the database includes over 2,000 journals worldwide, including state and local historical journals as well as historical articles from hundreds of major humanities and social science journals. It also includes thousands of book and media reviews, citations to published books, and dissertations.

Compendex (engineering)
-- The combined Compendex®, Ei Backfile & Inspec® databases allow for searching on a broad range of topics within the scientific, applied science, technical and engineering disciplines.
-- Coverage: 1884 to present
-- Updates: Weekly

NTIS (engineering, science & social sciences)
-- NTIS, or National Technical Information Services, is a multidisciplinary database that reports on research in the U. S. and other nations in the fields of engineering and the sciences, with some coverage in areas including education, business, economics, health sciences, government policy, sociology, etc.
-- Coverage: indexes government sponsored reports and research, 1964-Present
-- Updates: Bi-weekly



Icons for The CAT, PALCI, WorldCat and ILLiad.

Books at Penn State:

CAT: PSU Libraries Web Catalog
-- The online catalog of materials owned by Penn State Libraries. All formats (books, journals, audiovisuals, maps, recordings, etc.) are included. Circulation status for individual items also provided.
-- Coverage: Presently contains about 2 million titles. Updates: Continuous up-to-the-minute as new records are added.

Books Located Elsewhere:

Uborrow: CIC University Libraries (BigTen)
-- Uborrow is the online catalog for the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Libraries. The CIC University Libraries provides access and mutual borrowing for the 500,000 students and 35,000 faculty and research staff of the CIC (Big Ten universities and the University of Chicago) to a mega-library consisting of the 15 combined institutions, any sub-group of those institutions, or any single institution. Through the CIC University Libraries, a user at any CIC libary can search and borrow the materials at any other CIC library, as easily as at one's local library.

In addition to accessing the catalogs of the CIC University Libraries, authorized Penn State users can REQUEST library materials from any CIC library, just as if they were at their own library.

The CIC University Libraries can be an excellent source for materials for Arch & LArch students, as several of the Big Ten Universities have programs in Architecture, Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning.

E-ZBorrow: PALCI
-- E-ZBorrow is the online catalog for the Pennsylvania Academic Libraries Connection Initiative (PALCI). In addition, to Penn State, other participating libraries include: Temple University, University of Pittsburgh and over 50 other Pennsylvania, New Jersey and West Virginia academic libraries.

In addition to accessing the catalogs of other PALCI Libraries, authorized Penn State users can REQUEST library materials from any PALCI library, just as if they were at their own library.

PALCI can be of use for Arch & LArch students, as Carnegie-Mellon, Drexel, Lehigh, Penn, Philadelphia University and Temple are all participating universities.

-- WorldCat includes over 38 million records for books, periodicals, magazines, and any other type of material cataloged by OCLC member libraries. The database includes records for material as early as the 11th century.

Center for Research Libraries
-- The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an international not-for-profit consortium of colleges, universities and libraries that makes available scholarly research resources to users at member institutions. CRL's outstanding collections include more than five million volumes of research materials rarely held in North American libraries.

Note: While an online catalog is available at this site, Penn State patrons must make requests for materials via the University Libraries Interlibrary Loan Department.

Dissertations & Theses (ProQuest)
-- With more than 2 million entries, Dissertations & Theses is the single, central, authoritative resource for information about doctoral dissertations and master's theses. Dissertations published from 1980 forward include 350- word abstracts written by the author. Master's theses published from 1988 forward include 150-word abstracts. Titles available as native or image PDF formats include free twenty-four page previews. UMI offers over 1.8 million titles for purchase in microform, paper or electronic formats.
-- Coverage: 1861 to date.
-- Updates: monthly (usually between the 20th and 25th day)

ILLiad (University Libraries Interlibrary Loan)
-- Interlibrary Loan obtains material not owned by the Penn State University Libraries from other libraries and document delivery sources. Interlibrary Loan service is available to all Penn State faculty, students and staff who are currently registered with the University Libraries. Patrons can submit requests and manage their accounts through ILLiad.



Various images from our image databases.

Digital Image Collections at Penn State
-- These database provides access to digital images from several of Penn State’s collections:

Art History Department Visual Resource Collection: a group of more than 82,000 images documenting the history of painting, sculpture, architecture, and decorative arts. Access is Penn State only.

Central Pennsylvania Architecture and Landscape Architecture: Images focusing on the buildings and landscape of central Pennsylvania. Open access to ALL for educational uses.

Worldwide Building and Landscape Pictures: Images documenting the history of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban development. Access is Penn State only.

Palmer Museum of Art Collection: Descriptions and images of more than 7,000 works in the permanent collection of Palmer Art Museum at Penn State, including American and European paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, and sculpture. Open access for ALL for educational uses.

University Park Campus History Collection: Photos, drawings, and documents from the University Archives chronicling the growth of Penn State's Largest Campus.

ARTstor (pictures of art, architecture, and visual culture)
-- ARTstor is a database of digital images of works of art and of artifacts of visual culture, intended to support teaching, research and learning in visual culture and related fields. The database contains hundreds of thousands of good-quality images and is growing rapidly. It is comprised of over 150  collections that may be searched separately or simultaneously. Several of these collections are good sources for images of architecture and landscape architecture including:  ART on File: Contemporary Architecture, Urban Design and Public Art, The Carnegie Arts of the United States Collection, The Hartill Archive of Architecture and Allied Arts, The Museum of Modern Art: Architecture and Design, SAHARA (Society of Architectural Historians Architecture Resources Archive)

Access to this new project, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is currently provided as a test to a limited number of institutions. Please send your comments or questions about this new service to Henry Pisciotta (

Newspaper Photos (AccuNet/AP Photo Archive)
-- This database only works for “newsworthy” architecture & design. An average of 800 state, regional, national and international photos are added daily to the AP Photo Archives. After a year, approximately 200 of the best daily photos are retained permanently.

Permitted uses of these images include: 1. printing copies for educational and research use; 2. creating PowerPoint presentations, slides, and multimedia presentations when usage is confined to the licensed institution; 3. posting on a secure web site available only to authorized users; 4.e-mailing single images to an individual e-mail recipient.


Online Encyclopedias

Icon for Online Encyclopedias

International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences
-- The International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences is the online equivalent of the 24 volume encyclopedia published in 2002. Content is organized around more than 30 primarily interdisciplinary topical areas of active research and significant promise (for example, memory, crime and violence, markets, modernization), combined with the categories: Overarching Topics,Disciplines, Intersecting fields, and Applications. Includes extensive indices, searchable full-text, and embedded electronic reference links. Annual updates are planned for release from 2004.

Oxford Art Online
-- A huge compendium of historical information on people, places, major works, styles, periods, techniques, etc. Covers all of the visual arts including some landscape architecture. (Although it is much stronger on historical than contemporary topics. It does, however, contain entries for many contemporary land artists and mention of many important landscape projects.) If you don’t find what you want, be sure and try again using the “Advanced” search screen, which always searches the full text of each article.