How to Research the History of Your House: Online Resources
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How to Research the History of Your House: Online Resources

This guide offers useful techniques for anyone who wishes to research the history of their house, street or other aspects of local architecture. The guide outlines the major types of collections available and highlights sources that will help you uncover the fascinating history of architecture.

This guide offers useful techniques for anyone who wishes to research the history of their house, street or other aspects of local architecture. The guide outlines the major types of collections available and highlights sources that will help you uncover the fascinating history of architecture.

The following online resources provide useful information about buildings and architects.

Architecture Glossary - Illustrated Dictionary for Architecture Words

This illustrated architectural dictionary can be used to find definitions of specialist architectural terms.

http://architecture.about.com/library/bl-glossary.htm

Church Plans Online

Church Plans Online is a digital archive of 13, 000 plans from the archive of the Incorporated Church Building Society, which was founded in 1818 to provide funds for the building of Anglican churches throughout England and Wales.

http://www.churchplansonline.org/

Durham University Library

Durham University Library has produced online guides to historical research, including guides to tracing Durham churches and Durham parsonage houses.

http://www.dur.ac.uk/library/asc/theme/

Images of England

The Images of England website is run by English Heritage. This is an inventory of England’s listed buildings – i.e. buildings protected due to their architectural or historical interest. The Images of England website features descriptions of listed buildings, as well as photographs. You will have to register for full access to the database, but registration is free. Once you’re in, you can search for buildings by name, location, architect’s surname and historical period.

http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk

Images of Sunderland

The Images of Sunderland website features historic images of Sunderland, including early photographs of Backhouse houses, views of Sunderland in 1890 and views of the harbour and port.

http://www.victoriacountyhistory.ac.uk/counties/durham/images-sunderland

Northern Architectural History Society

This society was established in the 1970s and encourages the study of buildings, their contents and settings by organising lectures and visits. Lectures are held in the Fine Art Lecture Theatre of Newcastle University.

http://www.northernarchitecturalhistory.org.uk/index.html

RIBA Online Catalogue

If you’re researching any aspect of British architecture, one of the best resources is the Royal Institute of British Architects’ website. The site features an extremely well-designed specialist catalogue, which can be used to find published books and articles. The catalogue can be used to search the collection of the British Architectural Library and the RIBA Study Rooms at the V&A. Together, these repositories make up the most important architectural archive in the country.

http://www.architecture.com/LibraryDrawingsAndPhotographs/RIBALibrary/Catalogue.aspx

SINE Project

Structural Images of the North East is a collection of images relating to the structural heritage of North East England. The collection covers Durham, Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Teesside, and includes photographs, etchings, paintings, drawings and sketches. The images date from around 1715 to 2004. Users can browse through the collection or search for specific structures and images.

http://sine.ncl.ac.uk/

Sunderland Heritage Quarter on Facebook

Sunderland Heritage Quarter has a Facebook page (of which I am the administrator), featuring further information and images. The page is updated regularly, so please keep checking back to see what is available. Please feel free to join the group and share your knowledge, photographs and memories of Sunderland for the benefit of everyone with an interest in the city, its history and architecture.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/home.php?sk=group_193192617364390&ap=1

Vernacular Architecture Group

The Vernacular Architecture Group was founded in 1952 to study traditional buildings. The group publishes the academic journal Vernacular Architecture and a twice-yearly newsletter with notices of events and new publications. A four day conference is held every spring and a two day conference is held in winter.

http://www.vag.org.uk/

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Comments (8)

Ooh, an interesting article :) I have several buildings that need to be historically discovered. Thanks for this :)

Another excellent write, Michael.

Ranked #11 in Architecture

Great help! I did try the on-line resource of our own Manila Metropolitan Theater which i consider a dying heritage and i did find some facts to ponder and write about.

Ranked #1 in Architecture

Thanks, Marie. I hope it was helpful.

Ranked #1 in Architecture

Thanks, Phoenix.

Ranked #1 in Architecture

Good work, Ron. I look forward to reading your article.

Nice share and very well written too. Thanks for posting another article that gives thorough information on how to research the history of a house. Searching online for anything is so convenient. Voted Up!

Ranked #1 in Architecture

Thanks, Donata.

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