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Architecture Library Resources (Architecture, Interior Design, & Urban Design): Databases

Finding Journal Articles - Databases

Databases are tools for locating journal articles by their titles, authors, and topics. Kent State University Libraries subscribes to hundreds of databases. Each database has a different scope and some may overlap with others. Searching multiple databases may prove beneficial in many instances.  

Discovery@Kent State is a powerful tool that simultaneously searches KentLINK, OhioLINK, and several databases. Sometimes Discovery@Kent State is too broadly scoped and not ideal for a particular search. Utilizing more narrowly focused databases may be more effective and efficient in these instances.

Library databases sometimes, but not always, contain the full text of the article.  Many databases contain a "FIND IT" button that could reveal additional full text options. Furthermore, Interlibrary Loan  can often obtain articles not owned by Kent State. This process can take a day up to a few weeks to obtain the article. Consult a librarian with any questions.

Database Starting Points for Designers

The following list contains the databases most frequently used by design students. Most search the records of the articles (as opposed to the articles' full text).  Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Art Full Text, and Art & Architecture Complete are the best options for case studies. JSTOR has a broad scope and best suited for design history and theory. JSTOR also has the benefit of searching the full text of the article.

Specialized Content / Format Databases

Some databases contain specialized content on topics such as materials, building drawings, historic maps, images, or specific formats (such as dissertations and theses). See this devoted page for streaming media resources.

Additional Subject Specific Databases

The following databases primarily serve other disciplines but have relevance to design. These databases may be helpful when considering sustainable design, environmental psychology, landscape design, or other cross-disciplinary subjects.

Open Access & Online Resources

High-quality articles and publications can be found in various repositories across the internet.  Some articles are published under Open Access or Creative Commons licenses that allow for the research to be freely distributed. When encountering an online publication, it is essential to evaluate the source, authority, and content before incorporating it into a project. Check other pages for Open Access ebooks and journals.

Additional Broad Scope Databases

Broad scope databases search across multiple subject areas.  They often lack the depth of subject specific databases, but can uncover new perspectives.  Also consider searching Discovery@Kent State for cross-disciplinary results.

Design Instruction & Software Training

Learn new skills through online courses and tutorials. These resources provide in-depth instruction for Revit, Rhino, SketchUp, V-Ray, AutoCAD, ArchiCAD, Maya, Grasshopper, Dynamo, Fusion360, Bluebeam, Illustrator, Photoshop, ArcGIS, and more. In addition, LinkedIn Learning also contains courses on design thinking, graphic design, 3D printing, and more.