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Subject guides: Architecture

Architecture section

Welcome to the UCL Library Services subject guide to Architecture. This guide provides links to and information about resources relating to this subject, and covers both our printed and electronic collections:

Training sessions

Regular training sessions on electronic library resources are held throughout the year in the DMS Watson building Teaching Cluster. For dates and times see the Information Skills Training pages. Individual training sessions on specific databases and other electronic resources can be arranged on request.

For further information or to arrange an individual training session contact the subject librarian for Architecture at
lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk or see contact details below.

WISE for Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences

WISE is a comprehensive, step-by-step online guide to finding and using information effectively. It includes detailed information on how to use all the resources listed below. Click here to access WISE, select Built Environment, Engineering, Maths and Physical Sciences and log in using your UCL user id and password.

Printed collections

The principal collection for architecture and construction is in the Bartlett Library on the fifth floor of Wates House. There may also be relevant material in the Main Library, in the Science Library, the Institute of Archaeology Library, or in the library of the School of Slavonic & East European Studies (SSEES) on Taviton Street. See separate pages for maps and opening hours.

Printed Collections

The Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves. A typical classmark for an open-access book will consist of the name of the subject (indicating a section of the library) followed by letters and numbers denoting its classified position on the shelves in that section. For example:

ARCHITECTURE F 24 SLE for Contemporary Staircases by Catherine Slessor (where Architecture is the collection, F 24 the classified position within the architecture section of the collection and SLE the first three letters of the author's surname).

ARCHITECTURE B 9.9 LEC for books on Le Corbusier (where Architecture is the collection, B 9.9 the classified position within the architecture section on twentieth century architects and LEC the first three letters of the architect's surname. See further details of the classification scheme as below).

Some important sections in the Architecture collection are as follows:

ARCHITECTURE A- for general studies of architecture and related subjects
ARCHITECTURE AB - for architectural engineering
ARCHITECTURE B - for architectural history
ARCHITECTURE B 9.9 - for monographs on twentieth century architects
ARCHITECTURE BA - for preconstruction (construction management, drawing, architectural economics, building law etc)
ARCHITECTURE D - for materials
ARCHITECTURE G - for building types

To consult a list of classification schemes for the Architecture section, please ask at the Issue Desk, or look at the online list.

Some useful sections in other library sites are:

ART (Main Library, South end, 1st floor)

LONDON HISTORY (Main Library, South end, 2nd floor)

ENGINEERING (Science Library, 4th floor)

MANAGEMENT (Science Library, 2nd floor)

STORES holds rare material, and older and low-use items, all off-site in Wickford. For information about Stores, please see the Stores pages. To request an item from Stores, click here.

Historic and rare material is kept in our SPECIAL COLLECTIONS at Kew. To explore lists of UCL archive collections, visit the new UCL Archives database. To find out more about this resource, and about Special Collections, visit the UCL Special Collections homepage.

Use Explore to find the exact class mark (shelf location) of a book.

Journal collections

Journals are kept separately from books. Architecture journals form part of the BARTLETT PERIODICALS collection in the Bartlett Library. The current year's issues can be found on the current display stands in the corner by the Issue Desk. Older issues are shelved in the periodicals section in the centre of the Library. Journals are usually available for overnight loan (after 4pm until 10am the following morning). For information on electronic journals, see below.

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Electronic collections

Electronic Resources

Material held in electronic format is available to registered members of UCL. For access to electronic resources - both at UCL and remotely - you will need to identify yourself with your UCL userid and password. The first time you access electronic material from off-site you will also need to set a cookie which will identify you as a member of the UCL community. For information about this, visit the information for electronic Library resource users section of the Library Services website.

Indexes and Abstracts

The Library subscribes to a number of bibliographic databases. The following are particularly useful for architecture, construction and related disciplines:

  • Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals indexes the contents of over 2,000 periodicals. Coverage starts from the 1930s with selective coverage back to the 1860s.
  • CBA ( Construction & Building Abstracts) which includes abstracts from over 150 international construction-related journals.
  • ICONDA (International Construction Database) which covers worldwide literature on building, construction, civil & construction engineering and architecture. Coverage is from 1976 onwards.
  • RIBA Library Catalogue which indexes the contents of architectural periodicals as well as containing details of books and audiovisual materials. Coverage starts in the 1980s.

Other useful electronic resources include:

  • Construction Information Service (CIS) is an index of standards, regulatory and advisory documents for the UK construction industry plus their full-text images.
  • RIBA Product Selector is an online directory of products and services for the construction industry.
  • Digimap is an online digital mapping and data extraction facility using Ordnance Survey data of Great Britain.

Electronic Journals

As with other electronic resources, a range of electronic versions of journal titles is available to registered members of UCL. Visit http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/ejournal/ for a full list of titles and information on how to access them. Architecture titles can be browsed alphabetically by following the link to the e-journals page and clicking on the “Subject” heading. From there, select your subject from the category list.

Exam papers

For information about exam papers, and access to all undergraduate and postgraduate papers for the last 5 years up to 2010, go to http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Library/exam.shtml. Online papers for Architecture are available via this link. Paper copies of exam papers for the current year are held in the Environmental Studies Library. Older papers are available in printed format and are kept in Stores. These can be requested by clicking here.


The MetaLib cross-search and resource-finding tool provides quick access to a range of resources for Architecture, including e-journal collections, subject gateways and directories, image databases, eprints, trade literature and information about organisations. For example, MetaLib can display a list of relevant indexing and abstracting databases to help shape your study of the built environment. For further information see our online guide. Or, if you prefer to work through an interactive tutorial on cross-searching databases using MetaLib, click here.

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Other libraries

The British Architectural Library at the Royal Institute of British Architects is the largest resource in the United Kingdom for research and information on all aspects of architecture. Free reference access is available to visitors on production of proof of identity and address, but only RIBA members may borrow books. Anyone studying architecture may sign up for free student membership.

The Senate House Library (University of London) collects architecture books as part of its Art collection. Any registered member of UCL can join the library and borrow from there.

The Marylebone site of the University of Westminster Library holds materials on architecture, and also has map & slide collections. It is available for reference use by any member of UCL, but only academic staff and research postgraduates may borrow from there. (The library may however limit access to materials which are designated for its own taught courses.)

For more information about the use of other libraries, see the full information at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/otherlib.shtml.

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Contact details

For further help, visit the Bartlett Library Issue Desk, which is staffed during the Library's opening hours. The issue desk can also be contacted on extension 24900 or on 020 7679 4900 for external callers.

The Subject Librarians for Architecture and for Construction & Project Management are Suzanne Tonkin and Caroline Fletcher, who are based in the Bartlett Buiilt Environment Library and who may be contacted by email at lib-sciteam@ucl.ac.uk, or by telephone on extension 24901 or 020 7679 4901.


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Last modified 30 May 2012

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