Skip to Main Content
[NJIT Library Logo]

Vernacular Architecture: Home


This guide is meant as a resource to help students and researchers interested in vernacular buildings.

Because the term "vernacular" is a catchall, there is a broad diversity of structures that fall under it. Similarly, there is a wide variety of potential sources that address structures deemed vernacular. Blow are some pointers about where you can find some of these resources.


Starting Out

A good place to begin your research is the Grove Encyclopedia entry on vernacular architecture. This article is useful for:

- Discussion of the difficulty in defining "vernacular"

- Research methods

- Bibliographies of the regional sections, which are a great place to find some initial resources.


Where to look

While most writing about architecture can be found in databases and journals specific to the field, writing about vernacular architecture can be more dispersed.

Articles about vernacular architecture may be found in journals that cover fields such as anthropology, history, cultural studies, religion, regional studies, and other areas of the humanities and social sciences. Once you know what specific building or kind of building you are researching, consider what non-architecture fields of study might have relevant articles or books. Try keyword searching in journals related to your area.


Search terms

Consider alternate terms that cover your subject area, for instance "housing" "domestic architecture" "dwelling" "domiciles" "apartments" "residence" are just some of a variety of terms that might be used to indicate structures used as living spaces. 

It is also important to consider variant spellings and translations of names or terms. For instance: searching for "longhouse" "long-house" or "long house" may all produce different results. 

New Jersey Institute of Technology
University Heights, Newark, New Jersey 07102-1982
(973) 596-3206
Contact Us | Ask A Librarian |  Map & Directions | A to Z Site Index

Copyrighted 2020 | Robert W. Van Houten Library