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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Finding and Using Resources -> Module10 -- Finding and Using Images


Finding Images

Images of architects, buildings, cities, landscape

Google as a first step

As with many searches, the most efficient first step is Google [] or in this case Google Images [ ]. Google will search many sites with good (and sometimes bad) images, including for instance the Great Buildings Collection Online: (which is also lots of fun to browse).

When google isn't enough

Some of these options may be obvious, some are less so. All are included here as a comprehensive checklist and memory aid.

  • Books have images!! [Told you some of these would be obvious!] Search the online catalog for books in the UNLV Libraries on your building or architect.

  • Magazine articles have images too. Search periodical indexes, especially the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals to find articles with images in magazines.

  • Reference tools both print and electronic may prove helpful.
The ASL has the Encyclopedia of World Art in the Arch Ref section (N31 E4833). Online is Oxford Art Onine (for UNLV faculty/students): . As an example, using Grove's browse/limit functions I was able to get entries on Latin American artists/architects working 1900-2000 in the modern style!

Another online resource available to UNLV faculty and students that specializes in images [and that you won't find through Google] is ARTstor ( ARTstor is a repository of hundreds of thousands of digital images and related data, and the tools to actively use those images. Although it is currently more art than architecture, there are architecture images being added on a consistent basis. See for instance the Museum of Modern Art Architecture and Design Collection, and the Hartill Archive of Architecture and Allied Arts � both included in ARTstor.

A guide/tutorial to using ARTstor can be found on the web page of the College of Design Art Architecture and Planning Library at the University of Cincinnati

Sometimes elevations and plans can be difficult to locate. I highly recommend Ed Teague's World Architecture Index: a guide to illustrations, in the ASL Arch Ref section (NA 202 T4 1991). This index leads to images in books, most of which are in the ASL. Take the time to see how this index works. If you know the location of a building, you can go directly to the listing by city [called the Site Index]. If you do not know the location, check the building name [Work] index or the Architect index, which will lead you to the city entry. This entry is the one that gives you the abbreviation of the book that has the site plan or elevation. The list of abbreviations is in the front of the World Architecture Index, and gives all the information you need to find the book in the online catalog.

Las Vegas building images [including sometimes elevations and site plans] are one of the ASL's specialties. See our page on Las Vegas architecture which includes online images of buildings submitted to the AIA annual design award competition.

Check the list of free online image collections in the ASL net guide [], many of which are databases and not accessible through Google. Some collections to become familiar with include:

Putting images to use

Downloading images from the web -- with proper credit given to the source of course -- is one standard method for including images in your work. Don't forget that the ASL also has several scanning stations equipped with Adobe, Macromedia, and Microsoft Office software suites.

Questions? Ask the Architecture Studies Librarian online or any of the staff in the Architecture Studies Library. The general phone number for the library is 702-895-1959.

If you have comments about the usefulness of this module and/or how it can be improved, please contact Jeanne Brown, Architecture Studies Librarian, at

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:32 PST