Have you registered for your free library card? If you haven’t, you’re missing out on some serious perks! The Internet Archive has a lending feature that allows users to electronically “borrow” books for 14 days. With over 2,000 borrowable books on architecture, patrons from across the globe can read works by Reyner Banham, Walter Gropius, Ada Louise Huxtable and Jonathan Glancey. There are also helpful guides, dictionaries and history books.
Signing up is easy. Head over to Archive.org and enter your email, a screen name, and password. Agree to the terms and conditions, and voilà, you have a library card.
The library card is all you need if you are happy to read the books online using the Archive.org interface. If you prefer to download your books as PDFs and read them on devices like phones or tablets, all of you have to do is download Adobe Digital Editions (available for Mac and Windows). This software is also free. If you need help you can turn to their handy tutorial.
We’ve sifted through hundreds of titles to create a selection of great architecture- and design-related books that you can borrow from the library. (And pssst, there are lots of non-architecture books that will probably interest you, but that’s for another post).
*N.B. Even though the Internet Archive is a virtual library that isn’t constrained by the physical nature of books, the lending system still follows traditional library conventions. If someone else has borrowed the book that you’re interested in reading, you can request to be put on the waitlist. “Why would they limit the number of people who can ‘borrow’ a file at a given time?” you ask? A librarian explains here.*
The new architecture and the Bauhaus by Walter Gropius
Modern architecture; the architecture of democracy by Vincent Scully
From Bauhaus to our house by Tom Wolfe
An introduction to modern architecture by J.M. Richards
The story of architecture by Jonathan Glancey
The oral history of modern architecture: interviews with the greatest architects of the twentieth century by John Peter
Theory and design in the first machine age by Reyner Banham
Three American architects: Richardson, Sullivan, and Wright, 1865-1915 by James F O’Gorman
Scope of total architecture by Walter Gropius
Pier Luigi Nervi by Ada Louise Huxtable
Louis Sullivan by Albert Bush-Brown and Donald D. Walker
Gaudi by Ignasi Solà-Morales Rubió; Francesc Català Roca
Landmarks of twentieth-century design: an illustrated handbook by Kathryn B. Hiesinger and George H. Marcus
Twentieth-century American architecture: the buildings and their makers by Carter Wiseman
Sixteen acres by Philip Nobel
A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture by James Stevens Curl
Site design and construction detailing by Theodore D. Walker
Stairs, steps, and ramps by Alan Blanc
See over 2,000 architecture books to check out HERE.