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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.

While the University campus is closed, University Library services are available through virtual delivery, so you can still access many library resources.

Downloading the Lean Library extension will allow you to automatically log into online resources to which the Library has subscription access.

See the new ebooks in the Virtual ABP Library, and for more, find out how to search for ebooks in the ebooks Library Guide.

Use databases to access online journal articles. Many journals are available online - see the journals list for your discipline.


Click below 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


Acumen Practice Notes: Covers such things as financial management, risk management, insurances and indemnity, legislation and contracts.


ARCH: Australian Architecture Database: Australian magazines and journals covering architecture, construction, interior design and heritage. Covers 1980-2015, no longer updated.


Australian Architectural Index: Created by Miles Lewis, this index covers tender notices, published descriptions of buildings, illustrations, biographical details of architects and other material, with strong focus on Victoria. Mostly covers 1840 to 1910, but includes some later material.


Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals: a comprehensive listing of journal articles on architecture since 1934, covering the history and practice of architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, historic preservation and interior design and decoration.


Bloomsbury Architecture Library: sBloomsbury Architecture Library offers a collection of resources to support the study of architecture, urbanism, and interior design. This collection includes an interactive visual timeline of global architectural history, in-depth buildings pages and a wide range of architecture ebooks, including Sir Banister Fletcher’s ‘Global History of Architecture’ (21st edition).


CuminCAD: cumulative index of publications about computer aided architectural design.


JSTOR: Cross disciplinary library of academic journals, books, and primary sources from a wide range academic publishers and university presses.


Miles Lewis' Melbourne Mansions Search the Melbourne Mansions database for mansions by name, architect, suburb and more. Enter your criteria in the relevant fields, then press the 'perform find' button at the left.


Pidgeon Digital: Audiovisual collection of illustrated talks by architects and related designers.


RIBA Library: Library of the The Royal Institute of British Architects.


ICONDA: covers worldwide technical literature relating to all aspects of planning and construction.


Scopus: abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.


Emerald Journals: cover a broad range of subjects, most notably in the areas of business management, economics and education.


Emerald Books: includes titles from around the world covering topical issues from the global financial crisis to social media and from sustainability to virtual learning.


Company and Industry Information


ANREV Industry Data: a suite of analytical tools which can be used to undertake peer group performance and fees analysis, compile information on individual vehicles active in the Asia Pacific market, and to view details on fund manager companies, tax and regulatory issues.


ANREV Publications: fully searchable database of all publications released by ANREV.


Company 360: in-depth business analysis information on over 50,000 Australian private companies.


DatAnalysis Premium: a comprehensive historical picture of companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.


Fitch Connect: Provides country risk, industry and company intelligence covering global markets and 24 industry sectors.


IBISWorld: comprehensive collection of Industry Market Research, Industry Risk Ratings and Company Research.


Property Databases


AREF/IPD UK Pooled Property Fund Index: measures quarterly total returns on a Net Asset Value basis.


Cityscope: commercial property database that provides detailed information on all properties and strata units within defined CBD regions. The Library has access to data on the following areas: Melbourne CBD, Southbank, Docklands, St. Kilda Road, Eastern Melbourne, Burke Road, Chapel Street and Richmond (Bridge Road).


IPD Australia Property Investment Digest and Index: The Library has access to data 2011-2014


IPD Direct Property Indexes / MSCI : datafiles that report the market returns of the 25 most mature real estate markets in the world.


Property Council of Australia : Reports: A collection of reports and data from the Property Council of Australia.


Shopping Centres Online: detailed information on over 1,500 Australian shopping centres.


Real Estate Database: comprehensive collection of historical real estate data.


News and Trade Journals


Business Collection: Australian database covering management, e-business, economics, commercial law, marketing and human resources.


Business Source Complete: scholarly business database.


Factiva: access to the latest business and industry news.


ProQuest Central: large multi-disciplinary aggregate database.


Other Databases


APA-FT - Australian Public Affairs - Full Text: full text coverage of selected scholarly articles on current affairs, economics, humanities, law, literature, politics and social sciences.


EconLit: abstracts of and citations to economic literature dating back to 1886.


Emerald Journals: covers the areas of business management, economics and education.


Scopus: abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.


Urban Studies Abstracts: covers urban affairs, community development, urban history, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline of urban studies.


AHB-ATSIS - Australian Heritage Bibliography – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Subset: contains records that specifically relate to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. includes aboriginal rock art sites, ceremonial grounds and sacred sites; important historical and archaeological sites; historic buildings and structures; historic towns and precincts; coasts; forests; national parks; endangered species; wetlands; rivers; geological features; wilderness areas; and world heritage sites.


Acumen Practice Notes: covers such things as financial management, risk management, insurances and indemnity, legislation and contracts.


GreenFILE: covers all aspects of human impact to the environment.


LandScan Global Population Database: shows geographical distribution of population at one-kilometre resolution over an average 24 hour period.


APAFT- Australian Public Affairs Full Text: scholarly articles on current affairs, economics, humanities, law, literature, politics and social sciences


JSTOR: thousands of academic journals, books, and primary sources from a wide range academic publishers and university presses


Proquest Central: aggregated database of periodical content.


Scopus: abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings.


Web of Science: multidisciplinary content covers over 20,000 of the highest impact journals worldwide.


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.


Note: users of SAI Global have to self-register to be able to download any standards. Upon registration, users will receive an email with a validation code to enter, then another to confirm successful registration.


From 1st May 2021 all AS, ISO and IEC documents will have Digital Rights Management (DRM). All users must have the FileOpen plugin installed to view standards from these publishers while this issue is being resolved.

FileOpen is freely available from here. Or, if you have a UoM managed computer it can be downloaded from the Software Centre. See SAI Global's guide for more details on how to access DRM protected standards.


Australian Standards

Australian Standards (SAI Global): up-to-date access to the full collection of Australian Standards.


Australian Building Codes Board Codes & Standards: a nationally accepted and uniform set of technical requirements for all areas of building, from design to construction.


International Standards


IHS Engineering Workbench (ASTM Standards): online access to the Annual Book of ASTM Standards which is made up of over 80 volumes and more than 12,000 standards.


IEEE Xplore Standards: approved and published IEEE standards in key technology fields.


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


Click below to find journals the Library currently subscribes to (online or in hardcopy) for each discipline area  drawing of three journals

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 Journals on Display for a full listing.


A + T: Arquitectura y tecnologia Print only


A + U: Architecture and Urbanism (Kenchiku to toshi) Print only


AA Files: Annals of the Architectural Association School of Architecture


Abitare Print only




The Architect's Journal Print only


Architect: the magazine of the American Institute of Architects Print only


Architectural Design


Architectural Digest


Architectural engineering and design management


Architectural Record


Architectural Review Print only


Architectural Review (Asia Pacific) Print only


Architecture + Design


Architecture and Culture


Architecture Australia


Architecture New Zealand Print only


Architect Victoria Print only


ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research


Arq: Architectural Research Quarterly


Artichoke Print only


Atrium Print only


Blueprint: London's magazine of design, architecture and style Print only


Buildings & Landscapes: Journal of the Vernacular Architectural Form


Casabella Print only


CLOG Print only




DB: Deutsche Bauzeitung Print only


Design Issues








Domus Print only


ERA 21: Ekologie, Realizace, Architecktura Print only




GA Document Print only


Green: Sustainable Architecture and Landscape Design


Harvard Design Magazine Print only


Houses: the residential architecture magazine Print only


Häuser: das Magazin für Architektur & Design Print only


Japan Architect Print only


L'arca international: the international magazine of architecture, design and visual communication Print only


Mondo Arc Print only


RIBA Journal Print only


Sanctuary: sustainable living with style Print only


Singapore Architect Print only




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

Building plans, Maps and GIS

Click below 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. 

Guides to finding historical maps

Map Resources of Victoria (University of Melbourne)

Maps for local and family history (State Library of Victoria)

  • Links to map collections held by the State Library of Victoria and elsewhere, including tips on searching the SLV catalogue. Includes information on MMBW plans, Mahlstedt fire insurance plans, street directories, directories, auction plans and more.

Victoria's early history, 1803-1851 (State Library of Victoria)

  • Section on Maps and early surveys has links to several maps relating to the early settler history of Victoria.


Collections of historic maps and plans of Melbourne

Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works plans (1895-1970s)

Both detail plans (40 feet to 1 inch)  and larger scale (160 feet to 1 inch) plans were created.
Focus was on location of water supply, sewage and drainage, but plans also include roads, tramlines and buildings. 


Mahlstedt fire insurance plans (1888-1960s)

Focus was on height of buildings, construction materials, and exits and stairwells. Plans often include interior plans of ground floor of buildings, and list of the businesses/tenants.

  • Central Melbourne plans: the first set of plans (from 1888) cover the central Melbourne grid (bound by Flinders, Lonsdale, Spencer and Spring Streets). Later plans were split into two volumes.
    • Section 1 covers anything south of Londsdale St
    • Section 2 covers anything north of Londsdale St, up to Victoria Street

    State Library of Victoria holds the 1888 plans, as well as plans from 1923-5, 1948 (southern volume only) and 1962 (northern volume only).

  • South Melbourne (Southbank) plans: State Library of Victoria holds copies of these from the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s and 1960s. 


Sands & McDougall maps of Melbourne and suburbs (1868-1899) 


Monograph Maps (1839-1986) University of Melbourne collection


Melway street directories of Greater Melbourne (1966-1999) University of Melbourne collection




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.

Historical and Heritage Resources

Use these resources to find primary sources and heritage information:

  • newspaper articles
  • pictures
  • manuscripts 
  • maps
  • government gazettes


Association of Critical Heritage Studies: The Association of Critical Heritage Studies is dedicated to promoting and developing heritage studies as a social, cultural, economic, and political phenomenon and as an area of professional or governmental intervention from a perspective of sustainability and social and cultural equity.


Australian Heritage Council: The Australian Heritage Council is the principal adviser to the Australian Government on heritage matters. The Council assesses nominations for the National Heritage List, and the Commonwealth Heritage List.


Grace's Guide: the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in the UK.


ICOMOS Documentation Centre: specializes in cultural heritage, historic monuments and sites, their conservation and restoration. The ICOMOS Documentation Centre is the primary repository for the original documentation of the cultural and mixed (natural and cultural) properties that have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1978.


Melway Street Directories


Planning Schemes Online: access to all approved planning schemes in Victoria including ordinance (text) and maps that describe the land use and overlays


Public Records Office of Victoria


Sands and McDougall directories at the State Library of Victoria: A key resource for researching the history of Melbourne and Victorian properties, residents, businesses and streets. Indexed and divided into sections by location, name, trade and more.


State Library of Victoria: holds many resources describing the history of Melbourne. It has vast collections of historical newspapers, manuscripts, maps, plans, pictures and more.


Trove: catalogue of Australian and online resources: books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more.


UNESCO World Heritage Centre


University of Melbourne Archives


Victorian Government Gazette: Covers 1836-1997


ARCH: Australian Architecture Database


Australian Heritage Bibliography: covers the natural and cultural environment, including national parks, endangered species, wilderness areas, historical sites, structures and towns.


Victorian Heritage Database: home to the Victorian Heritage Register which lists the State's most significant heritage places, objects and historic shipwrecks protected under the Heritage Act 2017. It's also home to the Victorian Heritage Inventory which lists all known historical archaeological sites in Victoria.


Australian Heritage Database: contains information about more than 20,000 natural, historic and Indigenous places.


i-Heritage Database (City of Melbourne): the City of Melbourne's online database of heritage places. It provides details on individual buildings and contains properties included in conservation studies.


JSTOR: Cross disciplinary library of academic journals, books, and primary sources from a wide range academic publishers and university presses.



Sophie Garrett from the University of Melbourne Archives talks through finding architectural resources in the University Archives.

Indigenous Research Guides

Theses and Cultural Collections

Click below 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 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.

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.