Awards for Bloomsbury Architecture Library
Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2021
“Bloomsbury Architecture Library provides a comprehensive examination of architectural history divided by place, period, style, material, and architect,” ranging “from before 3000 BCE to 2019 (at the time of this review),” wrote Cason Snow for ccAdvisor. A majority of the collection comes from Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture, supplemented with additional ebooks and an image collection. All of this content is primarily accessible through the Explore tab, the keyword search bar, or the browse by content type function, which enables users to peruse ebooks, key buildings, timelines, maps, images, and glossaries.
Overall, the platform does a good job of presenting a comprehensive overview of architecture with fairly representative coverage from around the world and high quality, current materials introducing various aspects of architecture and design. Regular updates should also expand the scope of this tightly focused resource, which is “authoritatively researched and presented, providing quality information that can be buried in other more generalized art and architecture resources,” Snow elaborated, making it ideal for undergraduates and secondary-school students in particular. Additional advantages that Snow pinpointed include Bloomsbury's use of a controlled vocabulary and short description for search results, as well as the regional and chronological presentation of information, which can be useful in other disciplines. Helpfully, multiresource navigation is also fairly seamless if working across Bloomsbury products.
Three other products that are prominent in the academic field that also cover architecture include Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals and Art, Design & Architecture Collection from ProQuest, and Art & Architecture Source from EBSCO. However, “none of the competing resources have the specific focus of Bloomsbury Architecture Library and can lead to a high signal-to-noise ratio in search results,” Snow concluded.
Winner of the Colvin Prize, 2020
for Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture 21st edition
The Colvin Prize is awarded annually to the author or authors of an outstanding work of reference of use and value to architectural historians and the discipline of architectural history, across a range of formats.
The very first edition of the Banister Fletcher book was published in 1896, and this 21st Edition has been totally rewritten by 88 leading scholars from around the world. It offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the architecture of all regions over the past 5,500 years. It creates what is the most globally balanced and culturally inclusive account of architectural history to date.
The chair of the SAHGB's judging panel, President-Elect Professor Elizabeth McKellar, stated:
"This is a monumental achievement...The editors and publishers have ensured its status as the primary reference work for the subject for many years to come, and provided a showcase for architectural history as a vibrant, engaged and forward-looking discipline across the world."
You can find full details about the prize and the judges on the SAHGB website here. Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture 21st Edition is exclusively available in digital format on Bloomsbury Architecture Library.
Honourable Mention in the American Library Association's Dartmouth Medal Awards for Best Reference Book, 2019
"Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture (21st ed.), presents an entirely rewritten version of the classic guide to architecture of the world filled with useful essays and valuable images."
“None of the competing resources have the specific focus of Bloomsbury Architecture Library.”
“Authoritatively researched and presented, providing quality information that can be buried in other more generalized art and architecture resources.”
“The sharp focus of this site provides an excellent starting point for research on architecture.”
The Charleston Advisor, June 2021
"The Architectural Association Library conducted a small survey of its users whilst trialling...feedback highlighted that no other database currently offers the global and historical coverage the Bloomsbury Architecture Library is offering."
Art Libraries Journal, June 2020
"Every university library should subscribe to the online edition."
Praise for Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture:
"These two hefty, scholarly volumes will help immeasurably in allowing English-speaking students and scholars to step outside their traditional comfort zone and see architecture in its truly global complexity and richness."
"This is a book that deserves to be on the shelf not only of every architect and architecture student, but of anyone who wants to know more about the history of the world."
"Both print and online versions are intelligently and thoughtfully detailed: coloured page ends ease physical navigation, while online page numbers and page divisions are indicated unobtrusively, allowing proper referencing in a way that some digital versions of academic books unforgivably neglect."
Barnabas Calder, Times Higher Education, December 2019