The Artstor Blog

Now available: Avery/GSAPP Architectural Plans and Sections (Columbia University)

Rem D. Koolhaas, Two Libraries for Jussieu University (first floor section and condensed section), 1992. Data source: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University and Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. © 2014 OMA AMO / Beeldrecht / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Artstor, the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library are now sharing approximately 10,000 images of architectural plans and sections and related materials in the Digital Library.

The collection, which is projected to include 20,000 images, is based on GSAPP’s history of modern architecture curriculum and covers the history of modern buildings, focusing primarily on 20th-century modernism, with a few earlier and later projects spanning from 1871 to 2013. Comprising 1,000 projects from 44 countries, the majority of them of built works, the Plans and Sections project also includes documentation of unbuilt projects and of competitions such as the Chicago Tribune Tower and the Lenin Library. This collaboration makes this rich body of visual material and related scholarship available online for the first time

In reaching this agreement, Carole Ann Fabian, Director of Avery Library, expressed her enthusiasm in making this important scholarly resource available to researchers, instructors, and students in more than 1,700 institutions worldwide. “Avery is thrilled to have worked with GSAPP and Artstor to develop this core collection of plans and sections for teaching the history of modern architecture. Our GSAPP faculty advisors, Professors Mary McLeod and Kenneth Frampton, have shaped the record of this history through their scholarship and decades of teaching here at Columbia. Their curatorial guidance, Avery’s incomparable collections and Artstor’s extraordinary Digital Library platform, have made this project possible. Our collaboration fulfills a critical need for a shared, authoritative collection of key works that document the masterworks of modern architecture, and is now available to the Artstor community.”

This project marks the second collaboration between Artstor and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. With the support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership grant, the two organizations also collaborated on the creation of the Built Works Registry (BWR), a community-generated and freely available registry of architectural works and the built environment.

Artstor has also collaborated with Columbia University on making two other architecture-related collections available in the Digital Library: one of photographs of traditional and contemporary architecture from the collection of the Visual Media Center, Department of Art History and Archaeology, as well as a collection of interactive Quick Time Virtual Reality (QTVR) panoramas of monuments and sites.

“It is a truly an invaluable opportunity to have a collection selected with the expertise of two GSAPP scholars from the resources of the Avery Library, one of the largest architecture libraries in the world,” said Artstor President James Shulman. “Columbia University’s contribution of plans, sections, and photographs of models to the Artstor Digital Library will be a vital resource for teaching and studying modern architecture at institutions worldwide.”

The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University in New York City is regarded as one of the most important and prestigious architecture schools in the world. It is home to the well regarded PhD programs in Architecture and Urban Planning, the Masters of Architecture, and Masters of Science programs in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture, Urban Planning, Urban Design, Historic Preservation, and Real Estate Development.

The Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is one of the most comprehensive collections relating to architecture and the fine arts in the world. Avery collects a full range of primary and secondary sources for the advanced studies, containing more than 600,000 volumes, including 40,000 rare books, 2,300 serial titles, more than two million architectural drawings and records, and is the steward for the Columbia University art collection. Avery Library produces and publishes the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, a comprehensive listing of journal articles published worldwide on architecture and design, archaeology, city planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation.

View the collection in the Artstor Digital Library.

Learn more on the collection Avery/GSAPP Architectural Plans and Sections page in Artstor.