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Architecture - Rare & Archival Collections

Book Collections - Ryan Rare Book Room

The Ryan Rare Book Room (RRBR) houses multiple collections of early architectural publications including first editions of some of the most important treatises on architecture. You may search the entire rare book collection using the search box below. Noted collections include the Helen Park List, the Hitchcock List, Italian Architectural Treatises, Roman Vedute, Rome outside of Rome, Greek Architecture, and others. Many titles fall under multiple collections. 

For details of specific collections please see descriptions and holdings below. Please note that additional rare books are held in the Rare Books & Special Collections department in the Hesburgh Library.

Search the Ryan Rare Book Room Collections

Helen Park List

Helen Park’s article, “A List of Architecture Books Available in America Prior to the Revolution” was originally published in the Journal of Architectural Historians in 1961, with 87 titles, and revised and printed as a book in 1973, with an expanded list of 106 titles. This work is an invaluable catalog of architectural publications that were available in colonial America, published between 1485 and 1775. In fact, this list demonstrates the origins of a colonial architectural style. Specific titles illustrate motifs that were directly employed by builders. What is also significant about this work is that it shows precisely what books were not available in the colonies and exactly how British in nature the architecture books are that were available. Specifically, colonial America was influenced by British Palladianism, through the Earl of Burlington and his followers Colen Campbell, Giacomo Leoni, Robert Morris, and William Kent. While this list is predominantly British, it also contains the most important architectural treatises, including those by Palladio, Alberti, Vitruvius, and Serlio.

This list also highlights the use of “handbooks” for building, as alternatives to using trained architects, who were scarce in colonial America. Instead, early American buildings were built using these guidebooks, many of which show the signs of their obvious use, having been carried in pockets, used in all types of weather, and held with dirty hands. These guidebooks, of which all British authors of the genre are present, demonstrate the foundation of colonial America.

The Architecture Library’s collection of the Park List was started with an initial donation of over 60 titles by the Ryan family in 1997. We are, whenever possible, able to add to the collection, which now consists of over 80 titles and is fully searchable through our online catalog. The complete list of Park List books can be found in both our Reference Collection and within the Ryan Rare Book Room in the Architecture Library.

Park, Helen. A List of Architecture Books Available in America Prior to the Revolution. New edition, Revised and Enlarged with a foreword by Adolf K. Placzek. Los Angeles: Hennessy & Ingalls, 1973.

Henry Russell Hitchcock's List of American Architectural Books

In 1946 Henry-Russell Hitchcock published a bibliography entitled American Architectural Books: A list of Books, Portfolios, and Pamphlets on Architecture and Related Subjects Published in America Before 1895. The purpose of this bibliography, in Hitchcock’s own words, was “to serve students of American architecture on the periods between the Revolution and the end of the nineteenth century, as well as institutions and individuals who collect American architecture books” (Hitchcock, vii). Since its publication, however, this bibliography has served a much larger role in the history of American architecture. It demonstrates the source material that became the foundation for American design and the origin of American taste. What this list also provides is a printed record of buildings, some of which are no longer extant. This work, as noted by Adolf K. Placzek, in his forward to the 1976 edition, is “a historical record of the 18th and 19th centuries, stopping just short of the new era” (Hitchcock, vi).

The Architecture Library’s collection of the Hitchcock list was begun with the acquisition of over 250 titles from the list, made possible by a gift from Gwen and John Burgee and Mary O’Shaughnessy and continues to grow with new additions being added whenever possible. The collection is fully searchable in the online catalog. A full list of Hitchcock titles can also be browsed in the Architecture Library’s Reference Collection.

Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. American Architectural Books: A List of Books, Portfolios, and Pamphlets on Architecture and Related Subjects Published in America Before 1895. New and Expanded edition, with a new introduction by Adolf K. Placzek. New York: Da Capo Press, 1976.

Architectural Treatises

1511  - First Illustrated Architecture Book "Fra Giocondo Vitruvius" 

M. Vitrvvivs per Iocvndvm solito castigatior factvs cvm figvris et tabvla vt iam legi et intelligi possit… Colophon: Impressum Venetiis ac magis q̃unquam aliquo alio tempore emendatum: sumptu miraq; diligentia Ioannis de Tridino alias Tacuino. anno Domini. M.D. XI. die . XXII. maii.

1521 - "Como Vitruvius" First Italian translation

De architectura libri dece tr. de latino in vulgare, affigurati: cōmentati: & con mirando ordine insigniti... Published :Como, Impressa p G. da Pōte, a le spese e instantia del magnifico d.A. Gallo e del nobile d.A. da Birouano.

1522M. Vitruvii De architectura libri decem : nuper maxima diligentia castigati atq, excusi, additis, Julii Frontini de aqueductibus libris propter materiae affinitatem. Published : Florentia : Impr. P. Iunta, 1522

1556 - "Barbaro Vitruvius / Italian" - I dieci libri dell’architettvra di M. Vitrvvio... (The Ten Books of Architecture...). In Vinegia : Per Francesco Marcolini, con privileggi, 1556.

1567 - "Barbaro Vitruvius / Latin" - I dieci libri dell’architettura / di M. Vitruuio. In Venetia : Apresso Francesco de’ Franceschi senese, & Giouanni Chrieger alemano compagni, 1567.

1586 Vitruvius Pollio, De architectura libri decem ad Caes. Augustum... Lugduni : Apud I. Tornaesium, Typogr. Reg., 1586.

1649 Vitruvius Pollio, M. Vitrvvii Pollionis De architectvra libri decem. Amstelodami : apud Ludovicum Elzevirium, 1649. 

1660 - Vitruvius Pollio. I dieci libri d’architettvra... Venetia : Appresso il Nicolini, 1660.

1684 - Vitruvius Pollio. Les dix livres d’architecture de Vitruve... Paris, J.B. Coignard, 1684.

1729 - Vitruvius Pollio. The theory and practice of architecture : or, Vitruvius and Vignola abridg’d... London : Printed for J. Darby ..., A. Bettesworth ..., F. Clay..., Richard, James, and Bethel Wellington, 1729.

1758 - Vitruvius Pollio. L’architettura di M. Vitruvio Pollione... Napoli : Stamperia Simoniana, 1758.

1787 - Vitruvius Pollio. Los diez libros de archîtectura de M. Vitruvio Polión... En Madrid : En la Imprenta Real, año de 1787.

1812 - Vitruvius Pollio. The civil architecture of Vitruvius... London, Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1812.

1826 - Vitruvius Pollio. The Architecture of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, in ten books. London, Priestley and Weale, 1826.

1836 - Vitruvius Pollio. L’architettura / di Vitruvio... Roma : Dai tipi appostamente preparati nel suo domicilio, 1836-1837.

1854 - Vitruvius Pollio. Marci Vitruvii Pollionis De architectura libri decem, ex recensione Jo. Gottlob SchneiderVenetiis : J. Antonelli, 1854.

1485 - Alberti, Leon Battista. De Re Aedificatoria. Florentiae, Nicolaus Laurentii

1550 - Alberti, Leon Battista. L'Architettvra. Firenze,: Appresso  L. Torrentino

1726 - Alberti, Leon Battista, Cosimo Bartoli, Giacomo Leoni, and Raphael Trichet  du Fresne. The Architecture of Leon Battista Alberti in Ten Books. of  Painting in Three Books and of Statuary in One Book. London:  Printed by Thomas Edlin.

1570 - Palladio, Andrea. I qvattro libri dell’architettvra... Venetia: D. de’ Franceschi, 1570.

1581 - Palladio, Andrea. I quattro libri dell’architettura di Andrea Palladio... In Venetia : Appresso Bartolomeo Carampello, 1581.

1700 - Palladio, Andrea. The first book of architecture / by Andrea Palladio translated out of Italian ; with an appendix touching doors and windows, by Pr. Le Muet ... Translated out of French by Godfrey Richards ... also, rules and demonstrations, with several designs for the framing of any manner of roofs ... by that ingeneous architect, Mr. William Pope of London. London : Printed for T. Braddyll, H., and Eben. Tracy ..., 1700.

1715 - Palladio, Andrea. The architecture of A. Palladio in four books... publish’d by Giacomo Leoni. London, Printed by J. Watts, for the author, 1715-[1720].

1738 - Palladio, Andrea. The four books of architecture / by Andrea Palladio ... ; literally translated from the original Italian by Isaac Ware ... London : Printed for R. Ware ..., [between 1738 and 1755].

1584 - Serlio, Sebastiano, Francesco de' Francheschi, and José Durand. Libro  Primo D'Architettura. In Venetia : appresso Francesco de' Franceschi,  1584.

1584 - Serlio, Sebastiano. Tutte l’opere d’architettura / di Sebastiano Serlio Bolognese; doue si trattano in disegno, quelle cose, che sono più necessarie all’architetto; et hora di nvovo aggivnto (oltre il libro delle porte) gran numero di case priuate nella città, & in villa, et vn indice copiosissimo raccolto per via considerationi da m. Gio. Domenico Scamozzi. In Venetia, : Presso Francesco de’ Franceschi Senese., 1584.

1611 - Serlio, Sebastiano. The first [-fift] booke of architecture / made by Sebastian Serly ... ; translated out of Italian into Dutch, and out of Dutch into English. London : Printed for Robert Peake ..., anno Domini 1611.

1619 - Serlio, Sebastiano. Tvtte l’opere d’architettvra, et prospetiva, di Sebastiano Serlio, Bolognese. Venetia, G. de’ Franceschi, 1619. 

1615 - Scamozzi, Vincenzo. L'Idea Della Architettvra Vniversale. Venetiis : expensis avctoris.

1708 - Scamozzi, Vincenzo, John Brown, William Leybourn, and Henry Wotton. The Mirror of Architecture: Or, the Ground-Rules of the Art of Building. London : Printed for John Sprint.

1602 - Vignola, Giacomo Barozzi da. Regola Delli Cinque Ordini D'Architettura. In Roma : A presso Francesco de Pauli.

1760 - Vignola, Giacomo Barozzi da. Nouveau Livre Des Cinq Ordres D'Architecture. Paris : Daumont.

1845 - Vignola, Alexandre Moisy, and Thiollet. De' Propietarj; Ovvero, I Cinque Ordini D'Architettura... Parigi,: J. Langlumé e Peltier.

Barbaro, Daniel. La Pratica Della Perspettiva ... Opera Molto Utile a Pittori, a Scultori, & Ad Architetti .. Venetia : Camillo & Rutilio Borgominieri, 1569.

Cataneo, Pietro and Paolo Manuzio. I Quattro Primi Libri Di Architettura. In Vinegia : In casa de'figliuoli di Aldo, 1554.

Milizia, Francesco. Principj di architettura civile / di Francesco Milizia ; opera illustrata dal professore architetto Giovanni Antolini. Milano : Per Serafino Majocchi ..., 1847.

Pozzo, Andrea, John James, and John Sturt. Rules and Examples of Perspective Proper for Painters and Architects, etc. : In English and Latin .. London : Printed for J. Senex and R. Gosling ...W. Innys ...J. Osborn and T. Longman ..., 1725.

Rossi, Domenico de'. Romanae Magnitudinis Monumenta Quae Urbem Illam Orbis Dominam Velut Redivivam Exhibent Posteritati Veterum Recentiorumque Quotquot Hac De Re Scripserunt Authoritate Probata Quibus Suffragantur Numismata, Et Musea Principum Praesertim Fragmenta Marmorea Farnesiana Quae Urbis Antiquae Ichnographiam Continent Restituta Et Aucta. Romæ : Dominici de Rubeis, 1699.

Views of Rome - Roman Vedute

*Please note, these are texts held by the Architecture Library. Additional Roman Vedute are held in Rare Books and Special Collections

1548 - Biondo Flavio. Roma Ristaurata, Et Italia Illustrata. In Venetia : Michele Tramezzino.

1584 - Jacques Androuet du Cerceau. Livre des Edifices antiques Romains, contentant les ordonances et desseings des plus signalez et principaux bastiments qui se trouvoient à Rome du temps qu’elle estoit en sa plus grande fleur: partie desquels bastiments de void encor à present, le reste aiant esté ou du tout ou en partie ruiné.

*Please note, these are texts held by the Architecture Library. Additional Roman Vedute are held in Rare Books and Special Collections

1663 - Giovanni Battista Falda. Disegno Delle Fabriche, Prospettitive, E Piazza Fatte Novamente in Roma.

1665 - Giovanni Battista Falda and Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi. Il Nvovo Teatro Delle Fabriche, Et Edificii, in Prospettiva Di Roma Moderna... Roma: Date in luce da Gio. Iacomo Rossi.

1667 - Giovanni Battista Falda. Recentis Romae Ichnographia Et Hypsographia Sive Planta Et Facies Ad Magnificentiam Quae Sub Alexandro VII P. M. Urba Ipsea Directa Exculta Et Decorata Est. Rome: cura et typis Jo. Jacobi de Rubeis.

1682 - Antoine Babuty Desgodets. Les Édifices Antiques De Rome, Dessinés Et Mesurés Très Exactement,. Paris,: Chez Iean Baptiste Coignard.

1691 - Giovanni Battista Falda and Giovanni Francesco Venturini. Le Fontane Di Roma Nelle Piazze, E Luoghi Publici Della Citta, Con Li Loro Prospetti, Come Sono Al Presente. Roma.

*Please note, these are texts held by the Architecture Library. Additional Roman Vedute are held in Rare Books and Special Collections

1700 - Giovanni Battista Falda, Pietro Ferrerio, and Giovanni Giacomo de Rossi. Palazzi Di Roma De Piv Celebri Architetti,. Roma] Gio Jacomo Rossi.

1702 - Rossi, Domenico de', Alessandro Specchi, Carlo Quadri, Gabriele Valvassori, Mónica Vasconi, and Francesco Faraone Aquila. Stvdio D'Architettvra Civile Sopra Gli Ornamenti Di Porte E Finestre Tratti Da Alcune Fabbriche Insigni Di Roma Con Le Misure, Piante, Modini, E Profili : Opera De' Piv Celebri Architetti De Nostri Tempi. In Roma ... : De Rossi.

1709 - Etienne Du Pérac and Giuseppe Guilio Rossi. Le Cospicue E Meravigliose Fabriche Degli Antichi Romani, Hoggi Ridotte in Rovine, Disegnate, E Publicate ... L'Anno 1575 Da S.D. ... Di Nuovo Late Alla Luce Con Accrescimento Di Erudite Osservazioni Da G.G. Rossi. Roma : Rossi.

1728 - Robert Castell. The Villas of the Ancients Illustrated. London : Printed for the author.

1761 - Jean Barbault. Les Plus Beaux Monuments De Rome Ancienne, Ou, Recueïl Des Plus Beaux Morceaux De L'Antiquité Romaine Qui Existent Encore. A Rome : Chez Bouchard & Gravier Libraries françois rüe du Cours Près de Saint Marcel ... de l’Imprimerie de Komarek, MDCCLXI.

1763 - Jean Barbault. Les Plus Beaux Edifices De Rome Moderne, Ou, Recueil Des Plus Belles Vues Des Principales Églises, Places, Palais, Fontaines, &c. Qui Son Dans Rome : Avec La Description Historique De Chaque Edifice. A Rome : Chez Bouchard & Gravier Libraire françois ... de l'Imprimerie de Komarek.

1763 - Gabriel Pierre Martin Dumont. Détails Des Plus Interessantes Parties D'Architecture De La Basilique De St. Pierre De Rome. Paris : l'auteur.

1779 - Giovanni Maria Cassini, Venanzio Monaldini, and Abbaye du Val-Dieu (Aubel, Belgium). . Nuova Raccolta Delle Megliori Vedute Antiche, E Moderne Di Roma. Rome: Presso Venanzio Monaldini, mercante di libri in Roma.

*Please note, these are texts held by the Architecture Library. Additional Roman Vedute are held in Rare Books and Special Collections

1829 - Fossati, Gaspare and Andreas von Dall'Armi. Views of Rome. Roma : Presso Settimio Rosi.

1853 - Letarouilly, Paul Marie. Édifices De Rome Moderne. Ou, Recueil Des Palais, Maisons, Églises, Convents, Et Autres Monuments Publics Et Particuliers Les Plus Remarquables De La Ville De Rome, Dessinés, Mesurés Et Publiés. Liege: D. Avanzo.

1882 - Letarouilly, Paul Marie. Le Vatican Et La Basilique De Saint-Pierre De Rome, Par Paul Letarouilly. Paris, Vve A. Morel et cie.

1889 - Fontana, Giacomo. Raccolta delle migliori chiese di Roma e suburbane, seguita da una raccolta di musaici della primitiva epoca, esposte con tavole disegnate, incise e corredate de cenni storici e descrittivi dall’ architetto prospettico Giacomo Fontana. Torino, Unione tipografico-editrice.

*Please note, these are texts held by the Architecture Library. Additional Roman Vedute are held in Rare Books and Special Collections

1910 - Seure, Georges, H. D. Espouy, Victor Chapot, di Francia Accademia, and de France Institut. Monuments Antiques. Paris: C. Massin.

Rome Outside of Rome

Robert Wood. The Ruins of the Palmyra, otherwise Tedmor, in the desart. London, 1753.

Robert Wood. The Ruins of Balbec, otherwise Heliopolis in Coelosyria. London, 1757.

Robert Adam. The Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia. London, 1764. 

Greek Architecture

Fréart, Roland, Leon Battista Alberti, and John Evelyn. The Whole Body of Antient and Modern Architecture... London : Printed for J.P., sold by C. Wilkinson etc.], 1680.

Lagardette, Claude Mathieu de. Les Ruines De Paestum Ou Posidonia, Ancienne Ville De La Grande Grèce, a Ving-Deux Lieues De Naples, Dans Le Golfe De Salerne (The Ruins of Paestum). A Paris : Chez l'auteur et Chez H. Barbou, 1799. 

Le Roy, David. Les Ruines Des Plus Beaux Monuments De La Grece... (The Ruins of the Most Beautiful Monuments of Greece...). Paris,: H.L. Guerin & L.F. Delatour; etc., 1758. 

Overton, Thomas Collins. The Temple Builder's most Useful Companion : Being Fifty Entire New Original Designs for Pleasure and Recreation : Consisting of Plans, Elevations and Sections, in the Greek, Roman and Gothic Taste: Calculated for the Ornamenting of Parks, Forests, Woods, Gardens, .. London : Printed for Henry Webley ..., 1766.

Riou, Stephen. The Grecian Orders of Architectvre : Delineated and Explained from the Antiquities of Athens, also, the Parallels of the Orders of Palladio, Scamozzi and Vignola to which are Added Remarks Concerning Pvblick and Private Edifices with Designs. London : Printed by J. Dixwell, for the author, 1768.

Society of Dilettanti, London, Richard Chandler, Nicholas Revett, William Pars, and William Wilkins. Antiquities of Ionia,. London,: 1769.

Stuart, James and Nicholas Revett. The Antiquities of Athens, Measured and Delineated by James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, Painters and Architects. London: J. Haberkorn, 1762.

French Architecture

Blondel, Jacques-François. Réimpression de l’Architecture Française de Jacques-François Blondel, exécutée sous les Auspices du Ministère de l’Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts sous le Controle de MM. Gaudet et Mascal. Paris: Emile Lévy, 1904. 8 parts bound in 4 volumes.

Bullant, Jean. Reigle Generalle D’Architecture des cinq manieres de colonnes … veu, recorrigé & augmenté par l’aucteur de cinq autres ordres de colonnes suiuant les reigles & doctrine de Vitruve. Paris: Hierosme de Marnef & Guillaume Cauellat, 1568.

Conseil Municipal de Paris. Atlas des Anciens Plans de Paris; Reproduction en Fac-Simile des Originaux les Plus Rares et les Plus Intéressant pour l’Histoire de la Topographie Parisienne. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1880.

Dézallier d’Argenville, Antoine-Nicolas. Voyage Pittoresque des Environs de Paris: ou, Description des Maison Royales, Chateaux & Autres Lieux de Plaisance, Sintué à Quinze Lieux aux Environs de Cette Ville. Paris: De Bure, 1779.

Félibien des Avaux, André. Des Principes de l’Architecture, de la Sculpture, de la Peinture, et des autres Arts qui en Dependent. Avec un Dictionnaire des Termes Propres à chacun de ces Arts. Paris: Coignard, 1690. Second Revised Edition.

Guilbert, Pierre. Description Historique des Chateau Bourg et Forest de Fontainebleau, Contenant une Explications Historiques des Peintures, Tableaux, Reliefs, Statues, Ornemens qui s’y Voyent; & la Vie des Architectes, Peintres & Sculptures que y on Travaillé. 2 volumes. Paris: Cailleau, 1731.

Le Roux de Lincy. Eglise Saint Eustache à Paris Mesurée, Dessinée, Gravée et Publiée par Victor Calliat Architecte, avec un Essai Historique sue l’Eglise et la Paroisse. Paris: [the Author], 1850.

Mariette, Jean. L’Architecture Française: Réimpression de l’Edition Originale de 1727. Paris: Van Oest, 1927-1929.

Narjoux, Félix. Paris: Monuments Elevés par la Ville 1850-1880. Ouvrage Publié sous le Patronage de la Ville de Paris. I. Edifices Administratifs. Edifices Judiciaires. II. Edifices Consacrés à l’Instruction Publiques. Edifices d’Utitlié Générales. III. Edifices de la Consacrés aux Beaux-Arts. Edifices Religieux. IV. Edifices Décoratifs. Edifices Sanitaires. Edifices de la Force Publique. Paris: Morel, 1883.

Paris. Ecole Nationale de Beaux-Arts. Concours Rougevin & Godebouef. Paris: Helio, ca. 1902.

Piganiol de la Force, Jean Aimar. Nouvelle Description des Chateaux et Parcs de Versailles et de Marly: Contenant Une Explication Historique de Toutes les Peintures, Tableaux, Statues, Vase & Ornaments Qui s’y Voient: leurs Dimensions; & les Nomes des Peintres, des Sculpteurs & des Graveurs Qui les Ont Faits. Paris: Delaulne, 1730. Sixth, enlarged edition.