UCB Libraries

ENVD 4364-003: Modern Architecture

Need additional assistance? Ask a Librarian right now, or Schedule a Research Consulation with the Art & Architecture Librarian.


  • Proposal
  • Bibliography
  • Primary Sources
  • Articles
  • Go Further
  • Presenting

Your Assignment

Part I: Draft a Research Proposal. Identify the subject you intend to research taking into consideration preliminary sources available to you. Consider a subject that needs exploration, rather than one that many scholars have already investigated. Decide if your research paper will be analytical or argumentative.

Identify Your Subject

Reference sources such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are a great tool to get acquainted with a topic. They can help you identify aspects of your topic that you are especially interested in. Using different reference sources you can investigate your topic from multiple perspectives.
They typically include a bibliography, which is good way to get an overview of what has been written on a topic. Try to identify an angle or a subject that isn't covered.
Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Oxford Art Online

An extensive online encyclopedia of Art & Architecture. Individual entries are written by scholars in the field and typically include an extensive bibliography of relevant resources.


Gale Virtual Reference

Searches across many reference sources at once, providing full text entires. A perfect tool to look at one topics through many different lenses.


Reference Universe

Indexes the library's print reference works such as dictionaries, handbooks, encyclopedias.


Encylopedia of Modern Architecture

Print reference source specifically for Modern Architecture.


Go on to making an Annotated Bibliography >>


Your Assignment

Part II: Create an annotated bibliography. In drafting the annotated bibliography you will begin to seethe value of the sources your selected and where your research fits into a broader spectrum of completed investigations.

Automate your Bibliography

There are several programs available that allow you to save citations you find on the web and automaticaly generate bibliographies. Using them at the outset of your research means you won't have to go back. These are huge time savers!
Citation Managers


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. It also creates and formats bibliographies automatically using the citations you store in it.



A Firefox plugin that easily captures citations from library catalogs and article databases. Integrates with Microsoft Word and OpenOffice to generate bibliographies, footnotes, and in-text citations.



Stand alone software that allows you to organize your citations, add pdf's, and annotate. Integrates with word processing software.


Have a strange source you're not sure how to cite? Check out our MLA Style Quick Guide [PDF] or the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers.


Go on to Finding Primary and Secondary Sources >>


Your Assignment

This bibliography must have primary & secondary sources. Primary source information is source material that is closest to the person, information, period, or idea being studied.

Finding Books

Books will be some of the most important sources (both primary & secondary) you will find on your topic. Many will include drawings, plans, and images that are considered primary sources. Primary sources also include architects' writings, essays, or interviews, many of which have been published in books.
Library Catalogs


Chinook is the catalog for books and other materials owned by the CU Libraries. Articles are not in Chinook

Find Plans: You can determine if the book you are looking for has illustrations or plans by looking under the description headings for col. ill. (colored illustrations) or plans. Add <plans> to your keywords to get items that contain plans
Find Writings: Do an author search for an architect you are interested in to see if any books are published by or composed of writings by your architect.


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 23 libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. Once requested, the items will generally be delivered to Norlin within a few business days.



If you need still more sources, Worldcat will search most American libraries and some foreign libraries. You can request books via Interlibrary Loan (ILL), there will be a link in the Worldcat to "Request from ILLiad."


Go on to Finding Articles and Magazines >>


Your Assignment

I highly recommend that in addition to using texts, you utilize period magazines and journals such as Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Forum and Casabella among others. Magazines provide a unique insight into the thoughts of the time distinct from historical reflection years later.

Finding Articles & Magazines

Finding articles in magazines requires using an Index, which brings together the individual titles from multiple magazines and makes them searchable. Indexes are often focused on a specific subject.

Scope: The topics and periods that an index includes articles on.

Coverage: How many magazines and journals it includes and for what dates.

Article Indexes

Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals

The primary resource for finding architectural periodicals.

Scope: Architecture and Design throughout History

Coverage: 700 architectural magazines both scholarly and popular as far back as 1865.

Finding Primary Source Articles: Use the date-slider to limit articles to the period of activity for your subject.

Reader's Guide Online

An excellent tool for finding primary source articles detailing public reception/perception of current events.

Scope: Popular Culture & News

Coverage: Most popular magazines dating as far back as 1890.

Getting Articles in Print: If you find an article and we don't have it electronically, chances are we have it in print. Search Chinook for the journal title, then either find it on the shelves or request a PDF.

Proquest Historical Newspapers

An excellent tool for finding primary source newspaper articles

Scope: Major U.S. Newspapers

Coverage: From the mid 1800's to the 1980's


Art Full Text
An excellent general resource for art, art history, architecture, and related topics.

Scope: World-Wide Art throughout history

Coverage: 600 scholarly and popular art magazines dating back to 1923.



A full-text archive of important scholarly publications in the humanities and social sciences. It covers far fewer journals and so is best used when you need to be able to search the full-text of articles.

Scope: Not defined

Coverage: 33 scholarly journals in Architecture, 191 scholarly journals in art history covering their entire publishing history.



Does your paper intersect with topics beyond Art, Architecture & Design? Check out all our databases organized by subject here.


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.


Go Further in your Research >>


Your Assignment

Part III: Construct your thesis and delve further into your research. A solid research paper requires weeks of gradual preparation and it is a discovery process in and of itself. Enjoy the process of pealing away layers of history and learning about a subject, an individual, a building, a theory or a construction method in a new way.

Digging Deeper

Research is an iterative process, everytime you go back and search again you know more than the time before. Use this new knowledge to improve your searches and your keywords. Make use of the bibliographies of the sources you find to go back through the scholarly record.
Developing Keywords

Wherever you are searching you will want to develop good keywords. Check out the How do I Create Keywords guide to learn more about advanced keyword searching.



Think of all the other ways a topic, idea, or person could be referred to, don't forget foreign languages. Now that you know more about your topic, think of different ways to describe the same thing

ex: building, structure, construction, edifice



Put all phrases in quotations in order to limit your search just to the specific idea

ex: "Mies Van Der Rohe"


Truncation & Wildcards

Whenever a word has multiple endings add an asterisk at the end to search all variations.

When a word has multiple spellings add a ? in the place of the variable letters.

ex: Modern* searches Modern, Modernism, Modernity


Boolean Searching

Power search by using Boolean searching to do many search many combinations of keywords at once. Find out how here.



Need Help Furthering your Research?

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.


Schedule a Research Consultation with a librarian to get in-depth help and guidance. I can help you overcome a roadblock in your research or with developing excellent keywords and search strategies.


Go on to Presenting your Research >>


Your Assignment

Part VI: Present your work to your peers in the form of an Oral Presentation with PowerPoint.

Finding Images

Images are key to a successful presentation. Using high quality images that capture exactly what you are talking about make presentations both more engaging and more enlightening. Use our How do I Find Images Guide for many more image resources.
Image Databases


Over one million images of visual and material culture, covering all geographic areas and historical periods. ARTstor is the best resource for finding high-quality images of art.


CU Digital Library

Images digitized by the University Library and Visual Resources centers. The architecture and planning collection contains 100,000 images.


AP Images

Provides access to Associated Press photos. Particularly useful for images of architecture, public spaces, archaeological sites, etc. Limit by date to close in on images from your time period.


Creative Commons

From here you can search many different online image resources (such as Flickr) for pictures you can freely use, change, or re-mix.