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Architecture and design

The key physical resources will be available in the Architecture and Music Library (Armus) located in the Zelman Cowen building.

Searching the Library

To find plans for a specific building, do a Library Search for the name of the building or the name of the architect(s) combined with 'plan*'. The asterisk (*) will find 'plan' as well as 'plans'.

e.g. Fallingwater  plan*

e.g. murcutt  plan*

If your building is slightly more obscure, this strategy may not yield many results, and you may have to think more laterally! Try incorporating more synonyms into your search.

e.g. (Kanamaru-za OR "Kabuki Theatre") (plan* OR drawing* OR illustration* OR image* OR photograph*) 

In some cases, you may have to drop the 'plan' concept altogether, and simply search for the building and/or architect, then browse results. Sometimes a book will contain plans even if this keyword isn't indexed in Library Search entry for that item.

Another strategy would be to search for the architectural period and/or style rather than the building or architect's name. For example, to find plans for the Chartres Cathedral, you could search the Library Search for books on "Gothic architecture". Once you find a promising book, you could then browse the index for references to the Chartres Cathedral.

Searches & modified text courtesy of The University of Sydney Architecture, Design and Planning Libguide

Searching specialised databases

The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is a great place to find building plans.

  1. Go to advanced search for the name of the building or architect you're interested in
  2. Then limit your search by Document Feature (this box is further down the page). Useful limits include:
    • Sketches
    • Section
    • Plates
    • Plans
    • Photos
    • Maps
    • Isometric drawings
    • Illustrations
    • Graphs
    • Elevations
    • Drawings
    • Details
    • Computer drawings
    • Axonometric drawings
    • Aerial photos

Building plans (Brisbane, Queensland)

The Fryer Library holds 25 000+ architectural plans and drawings for schools, churches, hospitals, hotels, halls, private residences, theatres and many types of commercial premises such as banks, butcher shops, blacksmiths and offices.

The collection includes the work of major Queensland architects and architectural firms and reflects the variety of styles found in both public and domestic architecture over some five or six decades.

Notable Queensland buildings, many of which no longer exist, are also available. Material dates from the last two decades of the nineteenth century, but is particularly strong in the period between the two World Wars.

Browse a list of our Architectural collections.


See the Map Guide

All maps, atlases and digital map data held by the University of Queensland Library can be found via Library Search. Maps are available in several formats including:

  • Printed sheets or atlases
  • Digital data either on electronic databases or via the Internet