Believe it or not: Many excellent resources are not yet available online! Print still provides great, proven, time-tested resources.
TIP: Use this ADVANCED SEARCH combination to retrieve maximum results in the library catalog--and in most article databases!
ANY FIELD: "Architect's first and last name"
SUBJECT: Last name, first name
AUTHOR: Last name, first name
There are many facets and variables to consider when researching an architect's life and work.
Name: Not always a straightforward fact. Use the architect's authoritative name, for best results
Examples: Asplund, Erik Gunnar; Schindler, R. M.; Moneo, José Rafael
Dates: Birth, death, milestones, active years
Locales: Cities or areas of major activity/significant works
Training: Where, when, and by whom?
Influences: These can range from "the Zeitgeist" to a favorite color--whatever's important
Associations: Teachers, mentors, students, partners, clients
Firm name(s): Business associations (and names of firms) can vary widely over the course of a career.
Major works: Indicate the architect's most iconic work, or select to illustrate career development phases.
Specializations: Particular building types? styles? preferred materials, forms, or structural systems? design tropes?
Writings: Many architects wrote prolifically about their own work and ideas. As with any autobiography, however, read skeptically. Verify from other sources!
Obituaries can be excellent sources for biographical information, although they are not as dependably accurate as encyclopedia or dictionary entries. Always check your facts.
TIP: Search obituaries using an architect's full name, in quotes, (ex: "alvar aalto") to discover the obits of his/her mentors, associates, students, devotees, and patrons.