This bibliographic guide focuses on how to research buildings and places with an emphasis on Bay Area and California. For more resources see Finding Local Information; San Francisco Bay Area Architects and Architecture Resources; California Landscape Architecture and Gardens; Vernacular Architecture and Landscape Architecture Resources; History and Literature of Landscape Architecture, and other guides available from the Environmental Design Library website: http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/ENVI/. Be sure to check the online Library catalogs, OskiCat or Melvyl, for many additional resources, or contact the reference desk in the Environmental Design Library.
Content reviewed: September 2008. Elizabeth Douthitt Byrne, Head, Environmental Design Library.
|QUESTIONS TO ASK||INFORMATION RESOURCES TO USE|
|Built, designed, owned or commissioned it (client)? Owns, regulates, or manages it now?||Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks; Periodical Articles; Newspaper Articles; Archives; City Directories|
|Lived in or used it or worked in it? In the present?||City and Neighborhood Histories (PDF); Company Histories; City Directories|
|Lived in the neighborhood when it was built?
Lives there now?
|City Directories; Interviews & Oral Histories|
|Were the important people associated with this place?
|Architecture Biographical Dictionaries; Landscape Architecture Biographical Dictionaries; California Biographical Sources|
|What||Information Resources to Use|
|Type of building or place is it?
Are the precedents for it?
|Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks; Building Styles; Building & Landscape Types|
|Was the original function or use of the place?||City Directories; City Histories; Neighbohood Histories (PDF)|
|Additional or changed functions has it had?||Sanborn & Other Fire Insurance Maps|
|Style is it; how does its style fit in the history of design?||Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks; Architectural Histories; Style Guides; American Architecture|
|Activities went on in the neighborhood when it was built?
Current activities take place there?
|Newpapers; City & Neighborhood Histories; General Plans|
|Was the political, regulatory, and economic environment in which it was built?||Newspapers; Zoning & Building Codes; Public Records; City Histories; General Plans|
|Are its features, materials or plants, and what do these choices signify?||Observation; Architecture Dictionaries; Landscape Architecture Dictionaries; Garden Plants; Archives|
|Is the (often invisible) structure under or behind the design?||Guidebooks; Archival Drawings; Plans, Photos|
|Important events happened here?||City Histories; Guidebooks; Newspapers|
|Condition is it in?||Observation; Public Records|
|Was there before it was built?||Maps; City Histories; Neighborhood Histories; Photos|
|Where||Information Resources to Use|
|Is it now?||Maps|
|Was it originally (as city grew & change)?||Historic Maps; Sanborn Maps; San Francisco Genealogy|
|Did the construction materials originate?||Products & Trade Catalogs; Architectural & Neighborhood Histories; Archives; Newspapers|
|Does it fit technologically (typical or advanced for the time)?||Histories of Building Technology, Building Materials and Construction; Landscape Materials|
|Why||Information Resources to Use|
|Was it built or designed?||Newspapers & Periodical Articles; Archives; General Plans|
|Was it built or designed in this specific location?||Census Data; Sanborn Maps; Architectural Histories; General Plans|
|Was it built or designed to look the way it does; what was the designer's intention?||Interviews; Works on Architects; Works on the Landscape Architect; Architectural Style Guides; Archives|
|Is and was it important or significant?||Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks; City Histories; Neighborhood Histories; Cultural Histories; General Plans|
|When||Information Resources to Use|
|Was it constructed?||Sanborn Maps; Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks; Archives; Public Records|
|Was it altered?||Newspaper & Periodical Articles; Public records; Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks|
|Were buildings around it constructed; which were there when the place was new?||Photos; Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks; City Histories; Neighborhood Histories; Early Films of San Francisco|
|How||Information Resources to Use|
|Did people respond to it originally?||Newspaper & Periodical Articles; Diaries; Oral Histories; Films, Videos|
|Do people respond to it now?||Interviews; City Histories; Neighborhood Histories|
|Did it affect the neighborhood or people in the community?||Sanborn Maps; Interviews; Public Records; Newspaper Articles|
|Did/do neighborhood people influence its design or use?||Newspaper & Periodical Articles; Observation; Public Records|
|Does it compare to similar places elsewhere?||Architectural Guidebooks; Landscape Guidebooks; Archives|
|Does it relate to its landscape or setting?||Newspaper & Periodical Articles; Observation; Archives|
|Was the topography altered to accommodate this place; how was it accomplished?||Topographic Maps; Photos; Neighborhood Histories|
|Much did it cost to build? Was it expensive?||Archives; Public Records; Newspapers|
|Does it fit in the designer's body of work (typical? a departure? have signature details?)||Works on the Landscape Architect; Works on the Architect|
|Does it look now compared to original appearance?||Archives; Photos; City Histories; Architectural Histories|