Buildings are a historical topic in their own right and an important source for historians, and the library’s collections support a range of study in this area. These include an eclectic range of works on specific buildings types (breweries, peasant houses, monasteries and workhouses to name a few) and works on understanding buildings, as well as their preservation, interpretation and display.
The collections also include a vast range of primary sources relevant to the subject. Landowners, tenants, architects, policy-makers and commentators are represented in editions of letters, diaries and papers alongside works of biography and prosopography. Travel writing and antiquarian histories include contemporary descriptions and impressions of the built environment. Household and trade records give insights into the building trade, and records of government highlight social concerns and resulting legislation. There is much accompanying visual material in the form of illustrations and plans.
Material is dispersed around the geographically-arranged collections, although the classmark BC.264 contains general British material. Subject headings such as architecture, buildings, vernacular can be browsed in the catalogue. The areas below suggest other places a researcher could look.