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HIST 320: Public History (Prof. Brian Leech)

This Web guide focuses on historical architectural styles. The resource types are arranged roughly in order from the more general reference materials to focused and/or academic studies.

Reference Resources - Web Resources - Books - Articles - Questions?

Reference Resources

The encyclopedias and dictionaries on architecture are found in the NA section of the reference collection, on the 2nd floor of the library. You can browse there for information on particular architectural styles. Two encyclopedias I recommend are:

Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture - REF NA680 .E495 2004

Encyclopedia of American Architecture - REF NA705 .P3 1995

Web Resources

All of the resources listed here are freely available on the internet and are best used for general reference on the style you are researching.

Architectural Styles of America and Europe
This website features detailed information about a variety of architectural styles; browse the headings in the top menu to find the one you are researching. The author, geographer Thomas Paradis, originally created the site for a class he taught at Northern Arizona University; he is currently an associate provost at Butler University.

  • You might also find Paradis's reference list useful; locate the books you want through ALiCat/I-Share

Explore Architectural Styles (General Services Administration)
The GSA is an independent U.S. government agency whose primary purpose is to support the functioning of other federal agencies (for example, through procurement of goods and services). It also manages many government properties, some of which are considered historic. This page provides an overview of the architectural styles represented by its historic properties, as well as links to those properties, so you can see examples.

Architectural Styles (City of Rock Island)
The City of Rock Island has its own brief overview of the architectural styles represented in its historic districts. Click on a style to see a summary and sketch.


Augustana has more books about historical architecture than you might expect. Search ALiCat using terms such as these:

  • dwellings AND history
  • historic buildings
  • historic architecture

Use the limiters on the right-hand side of the results list to narrow your search. Scroll down to ensure you find them all. My suggestions: narrow by ...

  • Topic
  • Language (there's a lot in Swedish!)
  • Region (for example, Illinois, Midwest, or even Rock Island)


Search one or more of these databases if you want focused studies on an architectural style.

Go to: Library home page --> Databases --> Databases A-Z

Art & Architecture Complete
Our only database with a focus on architecture. It's provided by Ebsco, so should be accessible and easy to use.

America: History & Life
One of Augustana's two main history databases, America: History & Life focuses on the U.S. and Canada. Its scope includes historical architecture, from a historical (rather than art-historical) perspective.

A full-text database, JSTOR includes journals on architecture. I recommend going to the Advanced Search screen and limiting to Articles (to avoid book reviews, which JSTOR has in large numbers). Before you run your search, scroll down and limit to the most relevant subject areas. For this project, Architecture & Architectural History, American Studies, and History are probably best.

Academic Search Complete
Always a good general database to search. If you'd like magazine and/or newspaper articles in addition to journal articles, this is the best place to start.


You are welcome to email me at with questions about your research for this class. You can also find me at the research help desk on the second floor of the library off and on during the week.

Or talk to anyone you find on duty at the research help desk: in person, or via phone (309-794-7206), email (, or the "Ask an Augustana Librarian" chat box on the main library webpage.

Page created by Stefanie Bluemle, librarian for history, religion, and philosophy. Updated March 2017.