Bloomsbury Visual Arts - About Bloomsbury Architecture Library

About Bloomsbury Architecture Library

‘Every university library should subscribe’ - Barnabas Calder, Times Higher Education

Bloomsbury Architecture Library is the award-winning collection for the study of architecture, urbanism, and interior design. This dynamic, interactive resource offers access to wide-ranging text and image content, from architectural history to cutting-edge design guidance, and offers unrivalled coverage of all aspects of architecture from almost every country in the world.

Bloomsbury Architecture Library approaches the subject through architectural history and theory, connecting to contemporary design practice and the best current thinking about the issues that matter including: global perspectives, politics, sustainability, and the future of architectural design. The entire span of architecture history from pre-history to the present day is covered.

  • Explore 5,500 years of the world’s architecture through Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture 21st edition
  • Undertake research through Bloomsbury’s extensive library of architecture books
  • Browse through an interactive visual timeline of global architectural history
  • Study buildings in-depth with the Key Buildings pages
  • Explore the world's architecture through the interactive world map

Fully-searchable throughout, browsable by theme, or accessible through interactive features such as the visual timeline and world map, the content includes introductory guidance as well as in-depth research – making the Bloomsbury Architecture Library an essential resource for students, scholars, researchers, and professionals in the fields of architecture, architecture history, art history, interior design, urban studies, and landscape architecture.

The Library, formerly known as the Core Collection alongside its sister collection Architecture Design and Practice Online (available separately for purchase), is a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and winner of Library Journal’s Best in Reference 2022.

The collection includes

Sir Banister Fletcher's Global History of Architecture 21st Edition

Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture 21st Edition

Produced in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects and the University of London, and exclusive to the Core Collection, the landmark new edition of this iconic reference work includes:

  • Two volumes, seven parts and 102 chapters that clearly divide 5,500 years of architecture by cultural context, resources, and technologies for easy comparative analysis
  • Unparalleled detail on the world’s architecture from pre-history to the present day
  • A global focus, reflecting the very latest scholarship in global architectural history
  • Descriptions of thousands of major buildings, accompanied by over 2,200 photographs, drawings, and building plans including new and original material.

This is the first full re-write since Banister Fletcher was alive, with updates by over 100 experts.

Handbook of Interior Architecture and Design Cover

Critical and Contextual Books

Explore an extensive library of books from Bloomsbury’s fast-growing, forward-thinking list of architecture publications. Topics range from architectural history, to architectural politics, urbanism, landscape, and interiors – all designed to provoke further thought and support research.

Building Page

Building Pages

Individual building pages bring together the most essential information about the world's most important buildings all in one place.

These pages include a building's location, dates, architects/designers, building type and key materials. It also includes images and short descriptive text, plus useful links through to the rest of the resource.



Bloomsbury Architecture Library features an interactive timeline, putting the world's key buildings and architectural history in perspective. It provides context for movements, themes and periods throughout 5,500 years of history.

Users can click on the images to discover more, with links through to the Building Pages and in-depth reading via reference articles and book chapters.

World map

World Map

Browse the world's architecture through the interactive world map. The map links through to the rest of the resource, and highlights the number of building pages and articles available per region. This feature supports smooth and straightforward location-specific research.

Glossary Cover

Sir Banister Fletcher Glossary

From abacus to ziyada, the Sir Banister Fletcher Glossary contains over 900 key architectural terms, clearly explained and defined. Taken from Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture, the glossary covers a complete range of technical, design, and historical terms, including non-English language vocabulary, and serves both as a core reference resource and an invaluable primer to enhancing the reader’s understanding of global architectural history.

Forthcoming architecture collections to the Bloomsbury Visual Arts Hub

Global Encyclopedia of Women in Architecture

Filling a major gap in architectural historiography - the first authoritative reference to women architects and their work, and to key terms for gender and feminism in architecture. With over 1,000 entries and 600 images, covering 135 countries, all fully cross-searchable and browsable by theme, online and exclusive to the platform.

Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World 2nd edition

Exclusive to the platform, the definitive resource for the study of the world’s vernacular and traditional building cultures. The second edition of this classic work will present a major development in the field, its expanded scope capturing two decades of concerted effort to document and understand the world’s fast-disappearing traditional and vernacular building cultures.

It will feature 3,000 illustrated entries written by the world’s leading scholars of vernacular architecture and material culture, all fully cross-searchable and browsable by theme.