The largest, most essential architectural history organization in the U.S. is the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH). Per their mission, the society promotes the study, interpretation, and conservation of architecture, design, landscapes, and urbanism worldwide for the benefit of all.
Architectural History Libraries, Archives, and Research Centers
The Ryerson & Burnham Libraries constitute a major art and architecture research collection serving The Art Institute of Chicago and scholars in the fields of art and architectural history. The collections hold more than 500,000 print titles, including the Percier and Fontaine Collection of 17th-19th century architectural books.
A repository at the University of Minnesota's special collections library for the records of architects, engineers, contractors, landscape architects, interior designers, academics, and local professional societies from the Midwest region with works that extend throughout the United States and the world.
The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is an international research centre and museum with an extensive (non-circulating) library. It was founded in 1979 as a new form of cultural institution to build public awareness of the role of architecture in society, promote scholarly research in the field, and stimulate innovation in design practice.
The scope of the Avery collection in architecture is outstanding; it ranges from the first Western printed book on architecture, De re aedificatoria (1485), by Leone Battista Alberti, to the classics of modernism by Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier. Avery's drawing and archives collection holds approximately 1,500,000 drawings and original records.
Established in 1985 as a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, the Archive documents the history of women's contributions to the field of architecture by collecting, preserving, and providing access to the records of women in the field.
Architectural History Research Websites and Reference Sources
A photographic archive of the archaeological and architectural remains of ancient Athens (Greece), intended primarily as a resource for students and teachers and as a source of images for use in term papers, projects, and presentations.
An online database with information on more than 65,000 built and unrealized projects from various architects and planners, mainly 20th century. You can look up projects by architect, town, or keyword, and results are presented in a wiki-style form.
70,000 openly accessible and shareable core records for works of architecture and the built environment compiled by the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, Artstor, and the Getty Research Institute.
Maintained as a public service to promote an awareness of who African American architects are and where they are located, sponsored by the Center for the Study of Practice at the University of Cincinnati.
A scholarly research tool that includes textual and visual sources and points the researcher towards analytical issues associated with representing the interior since the Renaissance in Western Europe and North America.
The Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects sponsors many Chicago architecture projects and programs and publishes the magazine Chicago Architect six times per year as an authoritative resource for architects, the larger design community, and the public about architecture and related issues of interest to Chicago architects.
Chicago Architects Project (CAP) is an ongoing and evolving research project illustrating the relationships among architects, their mentors and their proteges within the Chicago area. The goal is to create a dynamic online diagram showing these relationships that can be utilized by architects, historians and students.
A wealth of resources on Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago, the Columbian Exposition, and Chicago’s built environment and urban and regional planning in general, created at the University of Chicago with others in 2009.
From the Northwestern-based editors: "The Classicizing Chicago Project is rooted in the field of 'classical receptions studies.' ATLAS delivers snapshots of this dialogue between present and past across media and time, but within the city of Chicago and its environs. Through our current illustrated short-form essays, and the audio, video, and walking tours we plan to develop, we map the moments, places, and ways in which classical antiquity and Chicago constantly redefine each other."
Architecture Image Collections (also on the Find Images tab of this guide)
Here are several collections of specifically architectural images:
Over 85,000 digital images from the British Architectural Library. All can be purchased or licensed through the website, and low resolution images can be downloaded for non-commercial private study or research.
The over half-million measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories of some 38,600 structures and sites contained in this LOC collection are being continually digitized and added here.
Based in Washington, D.C., the AIA has been the leading professional membership association for licensed architects, emerging professionals, and allied partners since 1857. They have nearly 300 state and local chapters.
Founded in 1834 for "…the general advancement of Civil Architecture, and for promoting and facilitating the acquirement of the knowledge of the various arts and sciences connected therewith…," RIBA could be described as the British counterpart of the AIA.
As a very popular, commercial site with lots of advertising, Curbed.com is still a valuable source of architecture news, particularly for contemporary events, and it can be scoped to concentrate on certain cities (Chicago, New York, LA, New Orleans...)
ArchDaily was founded in March 2008, as an online source of information for architects searching for the latest architectural news: projects, products, events, interviews and competitions among others.
Their RSS feed: