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Research Resources: Class Guides

AMS 474: Building Lancaster

Reference Resources - Encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks and bibliographies

Reference or secondary sources are informational resources written by individuals who were not the actual participants in the topic at hand. They may be of value to your research since they often provide greater objectivity and different perspectives as a result of the passage of time. Common secondary sources include encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and bibliographies.

Please Note: The general call number range for United States local history - Pennsylvania is F146-F160
The general call number for United States local history - Lancaster is F157.L2
The general call number range for Architecture is NA1-NA9428

History of Lancaster (Ellis & Evans, eds.)
Ref Room F157 .L2E4 1883 Vol. 1 & index

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, A History
Ref Room F157 .L2K6 1924 Vol. 1-4

Illustrated Historical Atlas of Lancaster County (1899)
Ref Room Atlas G1263 .L3 B5 2006 Vol. 1

Our Present Past: An Update of Lancaster's Heritage
Stacks F157 .L2H53 1985 Vol. 1

A Field Guide to American Houses
Ref Room NA7205 .M35 1984 Vol. 1

Dictionary of Architecture and Construction
Ref Room NA31 .H32 2006 Vol. 1

Encyclopedia of Architecture, Design, Engineering, and Construction (AIA)
Ref Room NA31 .E59 1988 Vol. 1-5

Search Terminology - Keywords and Subject Headings

When conducting research, always consider alternative keywords and subject headings for your topic. Begin by analyzing your topic or research question, and break it down into its key concepts. What keywords appear? Are there alternative keywords that come to mind?

For this course, keywords may include: architecture, construction, building design, urban planning, architectural styles, etc.

Subject headings may include: "Lancaster County (Pa.)--History", or "Lancaster (Pa.)--Buildings, structures, etc." or "Lancaster (Pa.)--Pictorial works" or "City planning--United States" or "City planning--Pennsylvania--Lancaster" etc.

How to find books

  • Select CATALOG from the Library home page. In finding books for this class, try using the keyword and subject terms mentioned above.
  • When you discover a book of interest, select the "DETAILS" tab, and then the "FULL RECORD" tab to look at the assigned subject headings for that item. Note related subject headings, and click on them to find other books that are described in a similar way, and may prove useful.
  • Remember to search out call numbers in both the STACKS and the REFERENCE ROOM. Call numbers are designed to mirror themselves in these two areas. If you find a valuable book in the STACKS, you will find similar, high quality REFERENCE items under the same call number in the REFERENCE ROOM.

How to find and locate journal articles

Start by consulting the following electronic resources:

A collection of abstracts and articles from over 1500 scholarly journals, many dating from the nineteenth-century to the last 4 or 5 years.

OmniFile Full Text Mega
Access to full text articles, page images, article abstracts, and citations from thousands of sources. Coverage back as early as 1982.

ANB Online - American National Biography
The American National Biography includes more than 17,400 men and women whose lives have shaped the nation. Updated quarterly.

New York Times - Full Image
The New York Times (Sep 18, 1851 - Dec 31, 2005, full-text) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue.

America: History and Life
Comprehensive bibliography of articles on the history and culture of the United States and Canada, from prehistory to present. Covers abstracts 1964 to the present.

If the article you find is available in full-text, follow the appropriate links. If not, take note of the JOURNAL NAME being cited, and go to the Journals at F&M page to see if the library subscribes to the journal. If so, locate the journal in print or microfilm, and make a copy for your research.

For additional article resources, look under the Electronic Resources - A to Z List on the Library homepage.

Don't Forget: Always consult the bibliography at the end of a journal article for additional resources!

World Wide Web

The World Wide Web can be a helpful environment in which to access scholarly information. To search for more authoritative sites, use mediated search directories such as the Librarians Index to the Internet or Google Scholar.

Lancaster Architecture

Lancaster's Architectural Heritage - City of Lancaster, PA
A well-organized, content-rich site containing an overview of Lancaster's Architectural Heritage. Sections include Architectural History, Architectural Styles, Walking Tours, Historic Districts, and Additional Links.

To Build Strong and Substantial: The Career of C. Emlen Urban
This 53-page booklet examines more than forty-five examples of Urban's work that survive within the City of Lancaster, as well as seven demolished landmarks. In addition to historical background and an architectural description of each building, the booklet includes a labeled site map so readers can trace the progression of Urban's career through a self-guided walking or driving tour.

F&M Wohlsen Construction Archive Photograph Collection
The Wohlsen Construction Archive Photograph Collection contains corporate and architectural photographs relating to the Wohlsen firm dating from 1890 to the 1980s. The collection consists primarily of architectural photographs taken from a two volume collection entitled Buildings Erected by Herman Wohlsen, circa 1890-1920. In addition, a number of later 20th century commercial buildings are also represented.

House History Guide -
Our house history website is designed to help you learn how to research the history of your house. In addition to the tutorial, we have also included several case studies of Lancaster County buildings. These examples show various architectural styles as well as the cultural and economic diversity reflected in the building construction. Although Lancaster County buildings have been chosen as case studies, the process of conducting a house history is similar throughout the United States.

Heritage Sites - Lancaster County Heritage
Heritage site profiles compiled for the Lancaster County Planning Commission's Heritage Program.

Freedom of Religion Walking Tour
This tour features eight houses of worship established between 1730 and 1850 in downtown Lancaster.  The tour was developed as a partnership between the County of Lancaster, the PA Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Historic Preservation Trust of Lancaster County, and the Downtown Ministerium. The Freedom of Religion Walking Tour provides a tour route and overview of all the churches included in the series. Each of the other brochures focuses on the history of a particular church. - Vintage Postcards
CardCow is a great resource for vintage images of Lancaster architecture.

Pennsylvania Architecture

Philadelphia Architects and Buildings
The Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project (PAB) is a regional initiative that dramatically expands free public access to information on the built environment of the five-county Philadelphia area and beyond, by providing a user-friendly, web-based, image rich resource. As of November 2009, the database contained over 264,000 projects and buildings, 25,000 architects, engineers, and contractors, and over 125,000 images.

Architecture Archives of the University of Pennsylvania - Collections
The Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania preserves the works of more than 400 designers from the 18th century to the present. The research collections in the Archives are available to faculty, students, and scholars for independent study as well as to support teaching in the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions.

United States Architecture

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey, 1933-Present
The Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) collections are among the largest and most heavily used in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Since 2000, documentation from the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) has been added to the holdings. The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies. Administered since 1933 through cooperative agreements with the National Park Service, the Library of Congress, and the private sector, ongoing programs of the National Park Service have recorded America's built environment in multiformat surveys comprising more than 556,900 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 38,600 historic structures and sites dating from Pre-Columbian times to the twentieth century.

National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. Research the National Register by clicking here.

Other "How To's"...

Additional Help

Contact Christopher Raab for further assistance or fill out a research appointment request form to meet with a librarian.

Last updated: 12/15/09 cmr


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