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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Art, Design & Architecture Resources for Rapidly Shifting Courses Online

This is a guide for Art, Design & Architecture Resources in response to the University of Illinois' guidelines for COVID19.

Digital Libraries

Multidisciplinary Digital Libraries 

  • The Contemporary Culture Index (or ccindex) is a two-part website consisting of an infoweb and a database that provides bibliographical information on a variety of publications, many obscure and out of print, in the subject areas of architecture, art, cinema, cultural studies, design, literature, music, philosophy, photography, and social sciences. Both a practical resource and a complex intellectual exercise, Contemporary Culture Index provides detailed contextual essays along with basic metadata, information on institutional holdings, and actual and proposed subject headings.
  • Digital Collections – The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s digital collections. Includes digitized books, photographs, newspapers, maps, and other materials.
  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) – This portal allows users to search freely accessible digital surrogates of works held by libraries, museums, and archives across the country. Contributors include the UIUC, Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, Yale Center for British Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery, the New York Public Library and others.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals – Peer-reviewed scholarly journals available freely online.
  • European Library – This online portal offers quick and easy access to the collections of 48 leading European national libraries and research collections. It includes over 20 million digital items and over 125 million bibliographic records.
  • Europeana – Provides access to millions of digitized items from a range of Europe’s leading museums, galleries, archives, and libraries. The collection includes text, images, sound, and videos.
  • Gallica – Digital library of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Includes books, maps, manuscripts, sound recordings, and more.
  • Getty Research Portal – An online search platform providing global access to digitized art history texts in the public domain. Through this multilingual, multicultural union catalog, scholars can search and download complete digital copies of publications for the study of art, architecture, material culture, and related fields.
  • Internet Archive – Digital Library that includes texts, audio and moving images. It is also the home of the “Wayback Machine” that archives webpages.
  • Hathi Trust – A repository that combines digitized collections from dozens of the nation’s great research libraries.
  • Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog – Search library catalogs from Europe, Australia, and the US, as well as the Directory of Open Access Journals, Internet Archive, Google Books, and the European Register of Microfilm and Digital Masters.
  • Merlot II - Collection of online materials for online learning. Through the California State University System. (Follow link, then select subject on left side of screen.
  • OER Commons - Public digital library with free open educational resources.
  • Picturing Places is a free educational resource, which was created by the British Library. As noted in the “About the project” section, the site is an outcome of the library’s research project entitled Transforming Topography which started in 2013 and it continues to grow. Picturing Places features the Library’s topographical materials and those held by twenty institutions, including private collections across Europe.
  • Zenon – Online catalog maintained by Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, which indexes periodicals, archival collections, electronic resources, and books in support of research in archaeology and classic studies.



  • Architecture - Directory of Open Access Books
  • The Architecture Player features editor-curated, user-submitted architecture videos, which the site refers to as clips. The Player’s primary content consists of thoroughly-conceived and well-produced clips clustered thematically into horizontal video strips.
  • Archnet is a free resource for architecture content related to the Muslim world. Version 2.0 launched in 2014, but the resource was originally developed in the early 2000s by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture—one of ten agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network focused on economic, social and cultural development around the world—and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • Building Technology Heritage Library – Created by the Association for Preservation Technology International to provide access to period trade catalogs and other building construction documents.
  • is a region-specific website featuring profiles of architectural design firms located in China and Hong Kong. The site is freely available on the open web, and is part of the larger network of sites produced by PSA Publishers in Zurich.
  • Colossus – A digital archive of twentieth-century architecture magazines, such as AIA Journal, Architectural Forum, Pencil Point, and Progressive Architecture.
  • Fire Insurance Maps online (FIMo) is a historical map research tool that makes available the largest online collection of full color Sanborn fire insurance maps, as well as real estate atlases, plate books, and other land use maps for North America.
  • HABS/HAER – The Library of Congress’s image database for The Historic American Building Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscape Survey collections.
  • The Interactive Architecture Lab (IALab) is a website that promotes the namesake multidisciplinary studio housed by The Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. Its purpose is to promote the studio’s mantra of experimenting with emerging technologies to support design and research concerning living and non-living interaction in the built environment.
  • SAH Archipedia - Created by the Society of Architectural Historians, SAH Archipedia provides researchers with the construction history and images of over 20,000 structures and places throughout the United States.
  • Section Cut aggregates the "most valuable resources and best-designed objects in existence” for designers and architects.
  • urbanNext is a website created in partnership with ACSA (the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture), Architect’s Newspaper, the Architectural Review, Architzer, and the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.
  • WikiArquitectura is a free online encyclopedia that documents architects and buildings from around the world, and which describes itself as the largest architecture encyclopedia available on the internet.
  • Zaha Hadid at Serpentine Galleries offers a web-based experience of Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings, a retrospective of the architect Zaha Hadid’s artworks shown at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in 2016-2017. The experience, curated by Google Arts & Culture and Zaha Hadid Virtual Reality Group, introduces public virtual audiences to Hadid, her early paintings and drawings, and some of these works as reimagined in 3D VR.