Subject Guides: Architecture


This quick guide provides you with information on the collections, services and facilities that are useful for your subject area, all helpfully gathered together in one place.

Get To Know Your Librarian

Your academic liaison librarian is here to support you during your studies, and can help you source, access and use the resources you need, both in GSA Library and elsewhere

David Buri
Office Hours: 09.00-17.00 Mon-Fri
Telephone: +44(0) 141 353 4701
David on RADAR
Contact Your Librarian or Book an Appointment

Before You Start

Watch our short orientation videos for quick bitesize guidance on how to access and use our collections and facilities.

Discover the Library

Use Discover to search across our print collection of 60,000 books and journals, as well as the 1000s of online resources we subscribe to on your behalf, all from a single search box. Your results will provide details of a resource’s physical or  virtual location and its availability. Read our Borrowing Materials page to find out more about how to borrow from us and your entitlements.

Find Your Key Texts

Your Stage leaders or tutors may provide lists of key texts that you are required to read as part of your studies. To access your list of texts, log into Canvas and browse the left-hand menu of your course.

Reference copies of most of your required readings will be held at our Service Desk and can be borrowed for up to 3 hours. Extra copies, where possible, can be found on the open shelves and borrowed for 3 weeks. These are complemented, where available, by electronic versions which are perfect for quick reading, checking facts, or for when the library is closed.

Access Your Course Materials

Canvas provides access to all your course materials, from timetables to project briefs, and from contact details to assignments.

Browse Our Shelves

There may be times when you simply want to browse the library’s shelves for books on particular topics – the useful shelfmarks below will help you.

Professional Skills

  • 001.4 Research methodologies and study skills
  • 692.8 Building contracts
  • 720.26 Law for architects
  • 720.284 Architectural drawing
  • 720.68 Professional practice
  • 721.0285 CAD

International Architecture

  • 720.941 Britain
  • 720.94143 Glasgow
  • 720.943 Germany
  • 720.944 France
  • 720.945 Italy
  • 720.946 Spain
  • 720.948 Scandinavia
  • 720.95 Asia
  • 720.973 American


  • 691.1 Wood
  • 691.2 Stone
  • 691.3 Concrete
  • 691.4 Brick
  • 691.6 Glass
  • 691.7 Steel

Building Elements

  • 690.1 Architectural details
  • 690.12 Facades
  • 690.13 Walls
  • 690.15 Roofs
  • 690.1822 Doors
  • 690.1823 Windows
  • 690.1832 Stairs
  • 696 Services

Building Types

  • 725.21 Retail
  • 725.23 Offices
  • 725.3 Transport
  • 725.4 Industrial
  • 725.5 Health
  • 725.71 Cafes, bars and restaurants
  • 725.98 Bridges
  • 726 Religious buildings
  • 727.1 Schools
  • 727.7 Museums and galleries
  • 727.8 Libraries
  • 728 Residential
  • 728.5 Hotels

Architectural History

  • 720.1 Architectural theory
  • 722 Ancient and classical
  • 723 Medieval
  • 724.1 Renaissance
  • 724.5 19th century
  • 724.6 20th century
  • 724.7 21st century

Other Useful Shelfmarks

  • 307.76 Urban sociology
  • 697.8 Solar engineering
  • 711 Urban design
  • 712 Landscape architecture
  • 720.47 Sustainability
  • 720.92 Architects A-Z
  • 747 Interior design

Search Databases

To complement our print collections, we subscribe to hundreds of online resources, from e-books to e-journals, and from image databases to film. These resources are great for essays or dissertations, and can be accessed even when the library is closed. To find out how to access our electronic resources off-campus, see our Databases A-Z page.

Databases with most relevance to your subject include:

Browse Journals and Magazines

Journals and magazines are a great way of keeping up-to-date with contemporary practice in your field, because it can take a while for cutting-edge practice to be written up in books.

All our print journals are arranged on our shelves alphabetically by title, with the latest issues found in the reading area on Level 1 of the library. In many cases we also stock back-runs, and these can be found on rolling shelves towards the back of Level 0.

Please note that, unlike our books, journals are reference-only and cannot be borrowed, though individual articles can be photocopied subject to copyright limits.

Alongside our print journals, we also subscribe to 1000s of electronic journals. Journals and magazines with most relevance to your subject include:

Read Magazines On-The-Go

Our eMagazines service allows you to discover digital magazines across art, design and architecture, and read them online. For many of our magazines, past issues are also available for you. You can even download our e-magazines to your mobile device for offline reading – perfect for when you are out and about.

Watch Film and Moving Image

Planet eStream is a video streaming service offering access to nearly 2,000 off-air recordings of films, documentaries and animation across a host of subjects, with new content being added all the time. Search for content by keyword or category

MUBI is a curated showcase of independent and arthouse cinema. GSA students can sign up for a free account here.

Our DVD collection is located on Level 0 of the library and provides around 2000 artists’ films, documentaries, animations and movies. Our Borrowing Material page provides information on your borrowing entitlements. Our Databases A-Z page provides information on the online film and moving image resources available to you.

Read Past Dissertations

We hold past dissertations from most GSA programmes of study, often going back several years. Many students like to look at previous examples of successful dissertations when beginning to prepare their own. All our dissertations can be browsed here.

Research a Building

Looking for information on a particular building? Download our handy guide.

Discover the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Collection

Glasgow School of Art Library acts as one of the principal repositories for published research on Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect of the School’s beautiful Art Nouveau building and one of its most famous alumni. It is our aim to collect as much published material on Mackintosh as we can, from academic catalogue raisonnes to small exhibition pamphlets, and from guide books to children’s books.

Discover the Glasgow & Scotland Collection

The Glasgow & Scotland Collection includes many volumes on the history, society, economy and cultures of the city and its nation, most dating to the 19th or early 20th centuries when Glasgow was at the height of its fortunes as the ‘Second City of the Empire’. These years saw the city taking a prominent role in civic and commercial life, due to its strong trade links and industrial expertise.

Discover the Modernist Architecture & Design Collection

The Modernist Architecture & Design Collection includes books published from the 1930s to the 1960s, and is heavily illustrated. It comprises national surveys, original monographs from the period on key architects, and books highlighting specific building typologies, with a particular emphasis on post-war church architecture.

Other Useful Resources

Depending on your interests or the projects or electives you undertake, the following resources may also prove useful to you during your studies.

Can’t Find What You Are Looking For?

There will be times when you require resources that even the most specialist of libraries cannot supply. But don’t worry, as there as several ways in which you can access the resources you need.

InfosmART logo

Learn how to find the information you need, critically evaluate it, and reference it correctly in your dissertations and projects with InfosmART, our award-winning portfolio of easy-to-follow interactive modules in study and research skills.