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Architecture Resources: Biographical Resources

Search terms

Use search terms for books in OskiCat (UCB catalog) or Melvyl (all UC campuses catalog) and articles in the Article Databases.

Architects --Biography 
Architects --Homes and Haunts 
Architects -- (City, State or Country Name) -- Biography 
Architects --Interviews 
Architects -- (Country Name) - Correspondence 
Architecture --Addresses, essays, lectures
Architecture --Film Catalogs 
Architecture --Video Catalogs 
Bibliography --Interviews 
--Catalogs --Journeys 
--Correspondence --Knowledge and learning 
--Criticism and Interpretation --Written works

For a specific architect, use the examples as illustrated below for Frank Lloyd Wright.
In Melvyl: title keyword: Frank Lloyd Wright or subject: Wright, Frank Lloyd - Archives 
In OskiCat: author: Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 - Archives.

Wright, Frank Lloyd --Aesthetics --Diaries 
Wright, Frank Lloyd --Archives --Exhibitions 
Wright, Frank Lloyd --Autobiographies --Influence

Newspaper Indexes

Check in the Main Library Newspaper/Periodicals/Microform Room for indexes to newspapers published in the geographical area where your architect lived and worked. See also the News Databases list under Electronic Resources


Print Directories

Exhibition catalogs

Frequently overlooked, exhibition catalogs often contain scholarly and detailed information about architects. They are indexed in several sources, including:

Oral histories

Films & videos

Films, videos, oral histories, slides and photographs can be important sources of information.


Architecture Periodical Indexes

Selected List from the Environmental Design Library, UC Berkeley. Search under personal name or a specific building name as title word, subject or author. For more see the full list of Architecture Article Databases.

Archival sources

Biographical dictionaries & encyclopedias




  • Allgemeines lexikon der bildenden kunstler von der antike bis zur gegenwart. Leipzig: E.A. Seemann, 1907-1950. Also available in print. 37 vols. German language. Perhaps the most comprehensive source of biographical information about artists, including architects, from ancient times through the 19th century. Individual signed articles include extensive bibliographies drawing from sources in all languages. 6-vol supplement covers the early decades of the 20th century.
  • African-American architects: a biographical dictionary, 1865-1945. ed. by Dreck Spurlock Wilson. New York : Routledge, 2004.
  • Avery obituary index of architects.2nd ed. Boston: G.K.Hall, 1980. Lists over 17,000 architects, city planners, art historians, etc. International in scope. Individual entries refer to obituaries in one of the numerous journals indexed by the Avery Library. Obituaries are included in Avery Online. The Obituary Index was originally published in 1963 in book form, with a second expanded edition in 1980 in print and microfilm. Records are available in Avery Index.
  • Biographical dictionary of American architects (deceased), ed. Henry F. Withey. Los Angeles: New Age Pub. Co., 1956. Also available in print.
  • Biographical dictionary of British architects, 1600-1840. 4th ed, by Howard Montague Colvin. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 2008.
  • Directory of historic American architectural firms, American Institute of Architects Foundation and the Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records. NY: Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records, Inc., c1979.
  • Index of architects of several countries & many periods (except English mediaeval)..London: RIBA Library, 1956. Entries for nearly 4,000 architects worldwide. Each entry refers the reader to particular pages in one or more of 60 major books or encyclopedias where biographical information about the architect can be found.
  • Lives of celebrated architects ancient and modern: with historical and critical observations on their works, and on the principles of the art, by Francesco Milizia. London: J. Taylor, 1826. 2 vols. Also available in print.
  • Macmillan encyclopedia of architects / Adolf K. Placzek, editor in chief. New York: Free Press; London: Collier Macmillan, c1982. Illustrated biographies on architects worldwide who were born before December 30, 1931, or are deceased. Scholarly entries also include a list of works and bibliography. A building name index is located at the end of volume 4. Arranged alphabetically by architect's name.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography : in association with the British Academy: from the earliest times to the year 2000 / edited by H.C.G. Matthew and Brian Harrison. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Also available in print. Includes people who were connected with the British Isle, anyone who left a mark on Britain's history.


See also Electronic Resources - Types, Dissertations for more resources.