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Architecture & Design: Precedent Analysis

Subject Guide and Course Reading Lists


  1. What exists? 
    Determine if your topic has been addressed in journals and/or books.
  2. Where is it located? 
    Determine the location of the needed information:
    1. NYIT Libraries collection.
    2. Non-NYIT Libraries collection.

Pattern 1: Periodicals/Serials/Journals

Instructions: Search Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals (1930-) for

  • architect OR architectural firm
  • name of design AND (either name of architect OR location)
  • name of design AND limit by Physical Description
  • [ keyword ] (e.g., natatorium) AND limit to Source (e.g., GA Document)
  • The more recent your project, the more likely you will find details, sections, plans, elevations, etc.
  • Once you have identified citations of interest, proceed to Pattern 3.
  • See also: Architectural Publications Index, NYIT Journal Locator.

Pattern 2: Books/Monographs

Instructions: Search

  1. The library catalog for books at your local NYIT campus library (e.g. Manhattan or Education Hall).
  2. The library catalog for books at all NYIT campus libraries.
  3. WorldCat for
    1. Books on a topic.
    2. Books on an architect or architectural firm.
    3. Books *by* an architect.
    4. Journals by Title or ISSN in order to identify New York libraries with holdings.

Pattern 3: Where Is It Located?

Search the NYIT Library catalog by:

  1. Journal Title or ISSN to determine NYIT periodicals/serials/journal holdings.
  2. Book Title or ISBN to determine NYIT book/monograph holdings.

Item locations include:

  • Manhattan Library or Education Hall Library.
    • Circulating collection (open shelving).
    • Reserve collection (behind the Circulation Desk)
  • New York Public Library
  • Partner Libraries:
  • New York City Libraries
  • TIP: You will benefit by having an understanding and relationship with the NYIT Libraries collection. Visit and spend time in the libraries. Browse the current periodicals shelves and see what is new.



  • When scanning Avery Index search results focus on the physical description and number of pages.
  • Begin by concentrating on high-value sources: E.g.s, Croquis, GA Document, Architecture and Urbanism (A+U), Detail, Space, etc.
  • The full contents of books are generally not searchable. Physically open them and look at their tables of contents and indexes. Note the dates of publication.
  • For more information visit the architecture library guide.

Art and Artists

Do not forget to search the New York Tech Library catalog by artist name. Do you need help? Visit


The New York Public Library now offers remote access to portions of its vast research collections via Scan & Deliver. Apply for a free library card online today.


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