Collection Spotlight: Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals

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Nov. 29, 2022, 3 p.m.
The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals serves the need for access to a wide range of both new and older periodical literature.
exterior of Slocum Hall, school of architecture, building

by Barbara Opar, Librarian for Architecture

Architecture is unique in many ways. And its major bibliographic tool, the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, is no different. With respect to research, the discipline of architecture spans the humanities, the social sciences as well as technology. While this is slowly changing, printed materials are still important for research, including periodical literature. Additionally, older materials hold as much interest as those which are current.

To serve such needs for access to a wide range of both new and older periodical literature, the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is produced at Columbia University. Again, this too is unique. While most indexes are automated, the Avery Index is compiled by librarians trained both in indexing and the field of architecture. Articles are read and reviewed before citations are produced and keywords added. As such, this is a traditional or bibliographic index. It provides citations to articles and their authors. Articles are indexed by author, title, subject, and keyword, providing users with the name of the specific journal, volume, issue, month, and year.

To check out this database at Syracuse University, first go to the Libraries’ website. While SUMMON does include articles from the Avery Index, the native interface allows for more refined searching. Once at the databases main menu, you may search by subject or simply enter this title into the box on the upper hand corner.

For most purposes, the basic search when used appropriately will retrieve most of the information needed. For details, check out this brief video located on the Architecture research guide. You can even test yourself!

While serving the needs of those researching architecture, the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is also an important source for investigating aspects of landscape design, interiors, industrial design, and regional history.

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