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The Architecture subject guide provides some basic tips on how to find books, articles and images related to architecture.

Finding Photos, Drawings, Plans, etc.

To find digital images in LionSearch use the Content Type filter on the left side of any LionSearch results screen.

  • Use the Advanced LionSearch form.
  • Enter your search.
  • When the results screen appears, find the Content Type section in the gray column at the left.  In that section, click More.
  • Select multiple content types that are right for your search (like Art, Image, Photograph, Drawing, Model, etc.)
  • Click Apply after choosing your content types.
  • Click on any item with an orange banner for digital images.

Many of the best images are still found in paper books and journals, especially if you want to scan a high resolution image.  So often it will be helpful to find a book on your designer or building type, etc.

An easy way to browse a selection of recently designed buildings and public spaces is to use the free e-journal ArchDaily.  It uses press releases from design firms and posts the graphics provided by the firms.  The information is fresh, but also very brief.

Notice especially the browsable categories ArchDaily provides under the Projects tab.  Try a few of these.

Once you have chosen projects of interest, try LionSearch or the Avery Index to find texts that are based on more than merely a press release.

This is an excellent source for descriptive information and graphics for recently designed buildings – especially when structural details are needed.


The Building Types Online database contains 850 case studies of recent building projects that are documented with 5000 architectural drawings and 2000 photographs. The high-quality architectural drawings are mostly vector-based, drawn to scale and available for download. While the photographs are not high resolution, they do help to provide context to the drawings.  Upon entering, download the "Taxonomies" file to see the useful design tagging that is assigned to each project.

NOTE:  Use the search box on the LEFT side of the screen. Do NOT use the search box in the top right corner of the screen.


The Avery Index is a database with descriptions of articles in environmental design magazines.  It also allows you to search for a particular type of illustration such as plans, photos, aerial photos, sections, axomometrics, and other graphics. 

To search for a particular type of illustration or drawing, select your options from the Document Feature box before you perform your search. There are many Document Feature options to select from including plans, sections, elevations and models. Choose as many as you like.

Video Tutorial:

For more help with finding specific drawings and photos in Avery, view our video tutorial.

Resources in this section are all paper-only.

The following Journals are known to have good scale drawings with a lot of photographs. If your search results in LionSearch or Avery returns any of these Journal Titles, look at these first:

This series of books contains basic plans, sections and some elevations to scale. Each book also contains a CD-ROM with the digital versions of the drawings. You will have to check the table of contents or index to see which buildings are in each book.
-- the scale of the drawings printed in the book varies
-- the CD-ROM contains drawings at a scale of 1:200 in both ,eps and ,dxf file formats

This two volume set contains basic plans, sections and some elevations to scale. You will have to check the table of contents or index to see which buildings are in each book. Despite the similar titles, these are not the same as the series listed above.
-- plans & sections are at a scale of 1:250, site plans vary in scale

These two books are good sources for houses by LeCorbusier.