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ABP Study and Research Guide

This guide will help you with your studies in the Bachelor of Design, MSD and beyond.


Click on the tabs to find: open laptop

  • Key databases for discipline area
  • Multi-disciplinary databases
  • How to set up your Google Scholar profile to access content the Library subscribes to
  • Australian and international standards databases

Company and Industry Information

Property Databases

News and Trade Journals

Other databases

Google Scholar

Google Scholar lets you search for scholarly literature across many disciplines. You can find peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, and government documents. 

How to get full-text through Google Scholar

  • You can connect Google Scholar with you University of Melbourne account. When you search Google Scholar, sources that the University subscribes to will have a Find It @ Unimelb link next to them.

Australian Standards

International Standards

For information about accessing statistics and data, see the Statistics and Data guide

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Click on the tabs to find: drawing of three journals

  • Journals the Library currently subscribes to (online or in hardcopy) for each discipline area

Hardcopy journals are kept in the periodicals compactus in the basement of the ABP Library. They cannot be borrowed but the Library has free scanning facilities. 

A selection of journals are displayed on the ground floor of the Library (current 12 months only). See the Journals on Display tab for a full listing.

Current subscriptions:

A selection of journals are displayed on the ground floor of the Library (current 12 months only). These include:

  • Abitare
  • Arc: Lighting in Architecture (formerly Mondo Arc)
  • L'Arca International
  • Architect: The AIA Journal
  • Architect Victoria
  • Architect's Journal
  • Architectural Review
  • Architectural Review (formerly Architectural Review Asia Pacific)
  • Architecture Australia
  • Architecture + Design
  • Artichoke
  • A+U
  • Blueprint
  • Casabella
  • Detail
  • Disegno
  • Domus 
  • Era 21
  • FM: Facility Management
  • GA Document
  • Garten + Landschaft
  • Hauser
  • Houses: Australian Residential Architecture and Design
  • Japan Architect
  • Landscape Architecture Australia
  • Landscape Architecture Magazine
  • Planning News
  • RIBA Journal
  • Sanctuary
  • Singapore Architect
  • Taunton’s Fine Woodworking
  • Urbis
  • ­­­­­­­­­­World of Interiors
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Building plans, maps and GIS

Click on the tabs to find:

  • Plans of buildings at the University of Melbourne
  • Plans of buildings in Melbourne
  • Aerial photography and satellite data for Melbourne and Victoria
  • Historic maps of Melbourne
  • Australian, international and global GIS datasets

MSD Building Archive

The MSD Building Archive contains post-construction architectural drawings for the Melbourne School of Design building.


University of Melbourne Buildings Architectural Drawings: Parkville Campus

Architectural drawings for University of Melbourne buildings on the Parkville campus including floor plans, construction drawings, sections and elevations. 

The collection can be searched by building number, description and/or year of the drawing. The drawings can be downloaded and consist of AutoCAD .dwg, .cal, .gp4, tiff and PDF formats. 


University of Melbourne Archives

Archives holds the University of Melbourne Staff Architect's Branch collection from 1954-1971. This includes plans of University buildings, as well as files on the construction and/or alteration of various University buildings; working files on University buildings, and administrative files. 

Material from Archives can be viewed in the Cultural Collections Reading Room (Baillieu Library). You will need to submit a online request before visiting the Reading Room. If you have an enquiry about the collection at Archives, email


State Library of Victoria

The State Library holds a collection of 27 measured drawings of buildings at the University of Melbourne that were produced by students at the Department of Architecture from 1964-1966.  To view the drawings contact the State Library on 03 8664 7009.

University of Melbourne Archives

Archives holds records of both architectural firms and of individual architects. These collections contain a range of records including plans and drawings relating to Melbourne buildings. 

Information on what is held in particular architectural collections are available (under Architecture). Due to their size and/or fragility, researchers are asked to use collections of architectural drawing at the Archives' repository in Brunswick West. For more information or to organise a visit, please email


State Library of Victoria

The State Library has a large collection of architectural drawings, correspondence files and specifications, see their guide to the SLV architectural collection. You can search the SLV catalogue for a specific building or architect (include the phrase "architectural drawing"). Some material is available online, while some is held storage and can be viewed by contacting staff to arrange an appointment in the Heritage Collections Reading Room. Either fill out an online enquiry form or call 03 8664 7009.

The State Library also has a collection of fire insurance plans which were prepared for insurance companies. The plans are very detailed and include information on construction materials. The SLV holds most versions of the volume covering Melbourne's CBD from the years 1888 - 1962, as well as a number that show the South Melbourne area. They also hold single editions covering Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong, as well as a handful of cities from other Australian states. The majority of the fire insurance plans are digitised and available online


Public Records Office Victoria

The Public Records Office holds drawings of Victorian public buildings from 1853-1998. These include drawings of state, high and technical schools, colleges, mental asylums, government offices, bridge and roads, law courts, police stations and prisons. There is an online guide to help you access the collection.


Architecture Building and Planning Library Thesis Collection

The Thesis Collection holds over 3000 items dating from the 1940s to the present, and includes theses on a large number of Victorian buildings and architects. Many of the earlier theses include illustrations, including copies or photographs of building plans. All theses are listed in the Library catalogue (add "thesis" to a keyword search to search for theses).

Theses are held in closed access storage at the Architecture, Building and Planning Library and are currently being digitised. Digitised copies will be available to view online for UoM staff and students in late 2018. 


AURIN (Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network) provides a series of integrated datasets and tools for analysis, developed and contributed to by Australia's leading researchers. A growing list of more than 3500 datasets from over 90 organisations are available, covering disciplines including demography, property and housing, transport, health, energy and water.

Australian Map Resources & Collections

This guide covers where to find map, spatial and cartographic resources of Australia, broken down by State or Territory. It also includes information on online map browsers and map societies.

Map Resources of Victoria, Australia

This guide covers Victoria spatial map resources, and concentrates on the highly authoritative resources from the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment, and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries. It includes where to find GIS data of Victoria, environmental mapping, weather and climate maps, historical maps of Melbourne, and maps of the University of Melbourne.

Aerial Photography Resources for Melbourne and Victoria

This guide covers where to find aerial photography resources for Melbourne and Victoria, including historical aerial photographs, aerial photography of rural Victoria, and satellite observation data of Earth.

GIS (Geospatial Information System) Data Sources and Resources

This guide will show you where to find Australian, international and global GIS datasets. It also covers GIS software.


Nearmap provides access to high resolution, regularly updated interactive aerial PhotoMaps of Australian cities and towns. Nearmap also includes tools which enable you to measure distance and area with precision, and offers demographic layers and other information overlays. As Nearmap also allows you to view all versions of its PhotoMaps, you can monitor change and map the progress of a construction project, observe site and environmental changes, measure the effect of weathering, and track seasonal growth or shadowing. Individual registration is required, see the link above for more information about how to register.

OpenStreetMap (OSM) Data Extracts

OpenStreetMap is a project that creates and distributes free geographic data for the world. Regional OpenStreetMap extracts are available which are published in .osm and .shp formats and updated nightly.

Search terms that can use in searching for building information/plans

  • Aerial Images
  • Axonometrics
  • Computer Generated Images
  • Designs
  • Diagrams
  • Drawings
  • Elevations
  • Illustrations
  • Maps
  • Models
  • Photographs
  • Plans
  • Site Plans
  • Sketches
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Historical and Heritage Resources

Use these resources to find primary sources and heritage information:

  • newspaper articles
  • pictures
  • manuscripts 
  • maps
  • government gazettes
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Theses and Cultural Collections

Click on the tabs to find how to access:

  • University of Melbourne theses
  • Theses from other institutions in Australian and internationally
  • Collections at the University relating to the built environment which include
    • rare books and materials
    • historical photographs of the University of Melbourne campus
    • rare and historical maps
    • archival material
University of Melbourne Theses

A large number of University of Melbourne theses are available online through the institutional repository, Minerva Access.

You can also search for theses in the Library Catalogue

  • Use the second drop-down menu to limit your search to University of Melbourne Theses
  • Some theses are only available in hardcopy. These cannot be borrowed and you must make a request and view them in the Reading Room at the Baillieu Library.
  • On the Reading Room page, choose Make a Request and log in to Aeon. You will then be able to request to view the thesis on a day and time which suits you. 


Finding theses from other institutions

Our Finding Theses guide has links for finding:

  • Australian theses from other institutions
  • International theses

The University has several collections that focus on architecture and maps, which can be used to inform research. These collections include:

  • Architecture Rare Book Collection
  • Architecture, Building and Planning Library Rare Materials Collection
  • University of Melbourne Archives
  • Property and Campus Services Photographic Collection
  • Rare and Historical Maps

See the Architecture, Building & Planning collection for more information.

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Architectural Construction: Product Research Guide

Architectural Construction: Product Research Guide: The product categories in this guide are organised according to the Natspec Classification System. You can use this guide to locate relevant resources for specifying the products for your design.