UCB Libraries


Graffiti in Melbourne. Photo by Peter John Chen. Available via CC License at Flickr.

ENVD 4300: Design for All








  • Starting Your Research
  • Books
  • Articles
  • Images
  • Evaluate & Cite Your Sources


Developing Keywords

Before you get started on your research, take some time to brainstorm terms that describe what you are interested in studying. For example, if I were interested in the design of interior building signage for the visually impaired, my list of terms might include:


Signs, signage, wayfinding

Blindness, visual impairment, disability

Space perception


Your list of terms will likely change as you go through the research process, finding new terms, discarding less useful terms, and refining your topic.


Finding Basic Information in Reference Sources

Reference sources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks can provide a basic overview of a topic. They can often be helpful early in your research when you are trying to understand the significance of your chosen topic, how it relates to a larger discipline, or its history and development.


The Art & Architecture Reference Collection contains a number of specialized dictionaries and encylopedias. Please feel free to browse the collection to see what is available. Examples of the kinds of works you will find include:


Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

Art & Arch REF NA31 .C86 2006


Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture

Art & Arch REF NA680 .E495 2004


Dictionary of Architectural and Building Technology

Art & Arch REF NA31 .C63 2004


Universal Design Handbook

Art & Arch REF NA2545.A1 U55 2001


Barrier-Free Design: A Manual for Building Designers and Managers

Art & Arch REF NA2545.P5 H55 1996


This is a small selection of the electronic and print resources available in the Art & Architecture Reference Collection.




Chinook is the catalog for materials owned by the CU Libraries. You can do a title search for a specific book, or a keyword search if you are looking for books on a particular topic. You can also use MyChinook to manage your library account (including renewals, holds, recalls, saved searches, etc.)

Chinook Catalog

When searching Chinook, you can connect your keywords using terms like AND, OR, NOT. You can also used parentheses, quotation marks, and asterisks.




AND: human factors AND architecture (must find both terms)

Phrases: “universal design” (must find phrase in that order)

OR: blind OR visual impairment (must find one of the terms)

Synonyms: (universal OR barrier free) AND design

NOT: architecture NOT computing (must find first term and not second term)

Wildcards: disab* will find disabled, disability, etc.


A few examples of the kinds of books that might be useful for your research include:


Access for all : approaches to the built environment

Electronic Resource


The ADA companion guide : understanding the Americans With Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA)

Art & Arch STACKS KF5709.3.H35 R48 2010


Biophilic design : the theory, science, and practice of bringing buildings to life

Art & Arch STACKS NA2542.35 .B56 2008


Inclusive design : design for the whole population

Engin STACKS TA174 .I464 2003


Inclusive design : designing and developing accessible environments

Art & Arch STACKS  NA2545.P5 I47 2001



Prospector - How to Find Books @ Other Libraries in Colorado

If you search Chinook and find that the CU Libraries do not have the item you are looking for (or if the item you are looking for is checked out), you can search Prospector, which is a combined library catalog of many libraries in Colorado and Wyoming.


Prospector is the FASTEST way to get a book if it is unavailable here at CU-Boulder.



WorldCat is an online catalog for over 9,000 libraries in the US and world wide, and it allows you to do a more thorough search than Chinook because you are not limited to only the items we already own. Instead, you are effectively searching the catalogs of most major libraries world wide.


For any books you find in WorldCat, you will be able to see if CU-Boulder owns that item. If you find something in WorldCat that we do not own, you should:

  1. Search Prospector to see if the book is available. If it is, request it via Prospector. The book will typically arrive in a few days, and you'll receive an email when it is ready for pick up.
  2. If the book isn't available via Prospector, you can request it via Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Please be aware that items ordered via ILL can take up to several weeks to arrive. Obviously, if your assignment is due very soon, this will not be an option.


Interlibrary Loan
If the item you are looking for is not in Chinook or Prospector, you can request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Generally, an ILL request will take longer to be delivered than material requested through Prospector.



Accessing Resources from Off Campus
In order to use the databases listed below (and any other licensed resources provided by the library), you MUST download, install, and run VPN software. For more information about VPN, please see the library's page on Off Campus Access.


Choosing a Database

You will not find articles in Chinook. In order to find individual articles on your topic, you will need to use a database. The library provides access to hundreds of databases, and many of them focus on a particular discipline such art, art history, or architecture.


The Find Articles & More page provides access to all of these resources and arranges them by topic. Given the nature of your research topic, you will likely need to consult databases in a range of subject areas, including architecture, psychology, engineering, and the sciences.


Relevant Databases for Your Assignment

Avery Index

The Avery Index is the most comprehensive database for researching architecture, landscape architecture, and the built environment. It includes citations and abstracts from books, journal and magazine articles, essays, exhibition catalogs, dissertations, and websites. It is also an excellent source of plans, sections, elevations, and drawings.


Engineering Village

With a focus on engineering literature, this database will help you find articles on structual or architectural engineering, construction, and related topics.



Provides access to scholarship on psychology and the psychological aspects of related disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, anthropology, business, and law.


Web of Science

Covers the sciences and social sciences. A good general resource for scientific scholarship.


Academic Search Premier

While not specifically focused on any given subject area, this general and interdisciplinary database has a little bit of everything in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.



Image Resources from the Libraries


Over one million images of visual and material culture, covering all geographic areas and historical periods. VPN required for off-campus access.


Architecture & Planning Collection via CU Digital Library

Maintained by the College of Architecture & Planning Visual Resource Center, this collection of over 46,000 images focuses specifically on architecture, landscape architecture, and the built environment. VPN required for off-campus access.


Art & Art History Collection via CU Digital Library

Maintained by the Department of Art & Art History Visual Resources Collection. Provides access to a growing collection of high-quality digital images. VPN required for off-campus access.


AP Images

Search for images from the Associated Press. Useful for finding images from newspapers, magazines, wires, etc. Excellent source for contemporary photos of historical sites. VPN required for off-campus access.


Image Resources on the Web

Flickr & Flickr Commons

Useful source for images of architecture and historical sites. Note that user-contributed photos vary in quality. Flickr Commons contains images from photographic archives, museums, and libraries.


Google Image Search

Use the advanced search options to find larger, higher quality images.



Scholarly vs. Popular Sources





Original research presented with evidence, critical arguments, and other material.

Discussion includes personal opinions, and typically focuses on material for entertainment or leisure.


Author's credentials are given, usually a scholar with subject expertise.

Author may or may not be named; often a professional writer; may or may not have subject expertise.


Editorial board is listed on cover or near the Table of Contents. Some publications may also note that articles are refereed by peer reviewers.

No editors listed and no referee process described.


Scholars, researchers, students.

General public; the interested non-specialist.


May use specialized terminology.

Vocabulary in general usage; understandable to most readers.

References (Endnotes, Footnotes, etc)

Required. All quotes and facts can be verified. A bibliography is also usually included.

Rare. Little, if any, information about sources.


Contribute to your understanding of the text; could include diagrams, charts, or other technical material.

Often merely provide pleasing visual content rather than support for assertions in the text.

Example Publication

Architectural Record



Citation Styles & Management

For information about citing print and electronic sources in a range of styles, see “How to Cite a Source.”


Using MLA Style? See the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Using Chicago Style?  See the Chicago Style Quick Guide or the full version of the Chicago Manual of Style.


Writing a longer paper and need to keep track of citations? RefWorks is a web-based citation management tool that allows you to save citations and retrieve them later using "Find it at CU" buttons. Citations from most databases can be easily exported directly to RefWorks.


Need More Help?

Wondering if you're citing something correctly? Or maybe you need help with structuring your paper? Take advantage of the CU Writing Center. Making an appointment with a consultant at the Writing Center allows you to receive one-on-one help with your writing.


Want to speak with a librarian right now? You can contact us in person, via the phone, or even over IM. Use the Ask Us page to chat with a librarian even if you're away from campus.