The ‘Building Technology Heritage Library’ at the Internet Archive

The cover of a trade catalog about the practice of graining, which was common in the 19th century.

To make sure that past designs and practices aren’t forgotten, the people at the Internet Archive have founded a collection called the Building Technology Heritage Library:

The Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL) is primarily a collection of American and Canadian, pre-1964 architectural trade catalogs, house plan books and technical building guides. Trade catalogs are an important primary source to document past design and construction practices. These materials can aid in the preservation and conservation of older structures as well as other research goals.

The BTHL contains materials from various private and institutional collections. These materials are rarely available in most architectural and professional libraries. The first major architectural trade catalog collection is that of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, which encompasses more that 4,000 catalogs from the early 19th century through 1963. In addition to the architectural trade catalogs, the initial contributions include a large number of house plan catalogs, which will be of great interest to owners of older homes. The future growth of the Building Technology Heritage Library will also include contemporary materials on building conservation.

2 thoughts on “The ‘Building Technology Heritage Library’ at the Internet Archive”

  1. Ralf, thank you for this. This is exactly the kind of material that would be lost and forgotten, but which which gives us an understanding of the texture and look of life in earlier times. The Building Technology Heritage Library is a most excellent find.

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