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Architecture: Precedents, Images, Interviews

Subject Guide

Digital Databases

The best place to find visual precedents is in the architecture journal literature. You can browse the journals, or search the project type in the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals where these journals are indexed. 

The databases below have images by project type and ARTstor has many architectural models and drawings. 

  Search for a particular building, or go under COLLECTIONS and open the Museum of Modern Art Architectural Collection.

ARTstor Blog - Learn about ARTstor collections, tools, services & events.

Art & Architecture ePortal - over 40,000 images from publications on art and architecture

Great Buildings CollectionGreat Buildings Online Database

Explore Architecture on by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) has an excellent building type section.

US Modernist


The Winnipeg Building Index

Maps, Data, and GIS

GIS & Geovisualization - A guide to some of the mapping resources available through the University of Manitoba Libraries.

Data Visualization - a guide for data visualization support.


GISHub Access

to ArcGIS Online

Access Libraries GIS data

Winnipeg Historical Maps - This Flickr collection includes maps covering Winnipeg transportation, growth and boundaries, zoning and planning, and geological engineering.



Data Visualization Workshops on GitHub.

For more information please contact:
Meg Miller
GIS & Data Visualization Librarian Elizabeth Dafoe Library

Image Source Books

Interviews with Architects

Le Corbusier

Image of Ronchamp, 1955 by Le Corbusier.
Ronchamp, 1955

Open Access Image Resources

Art & Architecture - Library of Congress Digital Collections
  • Hosted by the Library of Congress, this digital library contains material from more than 100 historical collections related to the history and culture of the United States. Browse the Art & Architecture Collections for images. 
Art Images for College Teaching (AICT)
  • AICT is a collection of free-use image resources for ancient, medieval, renaissance, baroque, 18 to 20th Century, and non-western art and Architecture. It is hosted by the University of Minnesota Department of Art History.
Canadian Centre for Architecture 
  • Consists of 100,000 prints and drawings, 65,000 photographs, and 200 archives.
Cities and Buildings Database: University of Washington Digitial Collections
  • "The Cities and Buildings Database is a collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web. It contains images ranging from New York to Central Asia, from African villages, to the Parc de la Villette, and conceptual sketches and models of Frank Gehry's Experience Music Project. They are freely available to anyone with access to the Web for use in the classroom, student study, or for individual research purposes."

Digital Bodleian Library
  • Select digitized content from the Bodleian Library, including architectural drawings, plans and rare materials. 
Getty Research Portal 
  •  "This multilingual and multicultural union catalog affords art historians and other researchers the ability to search and download complete digital copies of publications devoted to art, architecture, material culture, and related fields."
Gottscho-Schleisner Collection - Library of Congress Digital Collections
  • " Over 29,000 images primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures. Subjects are concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States, especially the New York City area, and Florida. Included are the homes of notable Americans, such as Raymond Loewy, and of several U.S. presidents, as well as color images of the 1939-40 New York World's Fair. Many of the photographs were commissioned by architects, designers, owners and architectural publications, and document important achievements in American 20th-century architecture and interior design."
MOMA - Exhibition History
  • Exhibition images from 1929-present, including exhibits on architecture and architects. 
Norbert Schoenauer Digital Case Studies Collection
  • Schoenauer was a Canadian architect, educator, and planner. Includes images, drawings, plans etc. 
Pacific Coast Architecture Database (PCAD)
  • PCAD includes a range of information on the buildings and architects of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. 
Smithsonian Digital Collection and Smithsonian Open Access
  • "The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex, with 21 museums and the National Zoo—shaping the future by preserving heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world." Diverse architectural image-based content is available. 
Society of Architectural Historians (SAHARA) - A digital Archive of Architectural Images 
  • "SAHARA is a digital image archive developed by the Society of Architectural Historians in collaboration with Artstor. SAHARA contains over 155,000 images of architecture and landscapes contributed by SAH members—architects, scholars, photographers, graduate students, preservationists, and others who share an interest in the built environment."
  • A database dedicated to the images of the collection of the British Architectural Library and the Royal Institute of British Architects, 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 decorative arts. 
The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections - Library of Congress Digital Collections
The New York Public Library Digital Collections 
  • "This site is a living database with new materials added every day, featuring prints, photographs, maps, manuscripts, streaming video, and more," including various content related to architecture. You can limit items/images to public domain only.
The University of British Columbia Open Collections 
  • Various architecture-related content, limit search results to images. 
University of Southern California (USC) Digitial Library 
  • "Spanning a wide range of visual media, the USC Digital Library offers digital images of drawings, illuminated manuscripts, maps, photographs, posters, prints, rare illustrated books, as well as audio and video recordings." Browse the Basel Mission Picture Archive and Architecture and Urban Planning collections, or search "Architecture" for a broad and diverse collection of image materials. 
Vancouver Public Library (VPL) Historical Photograph Collections
  • VPL's Special Collections has a significant collection of photos relating to British Columbia and Yukon, including buildings.
Visual Collections: images of art, history and culture: Architecture
  • The Visual Collections site from Cartography Associates contains dozens of digital image collections from Museums, Universities and private collections throughout the world.
World Digital Library - Library of Congress Digital Collections 
  • This collection contains cultural heritage materials hosted by the Library of Congress features numerous architectural drawings and photographs from collections around the world.