Cities/Buildings Database

The Cities/Buildings Database is a collection of digitized images of buildings and cities drawn from across time and throughout the world, available to students, researchers and educators on the web.

Please see the copyright restrictions notice to enter the archive.

Begun in 1995, the Database was conceived
as a multi-disciplinary resource for students,
faculty, and others in the academic community.
It has grown steadily since then, with
contributions from a wide range of scholars,
and now contains over 5000 images ranging
from New York to Central Asia, from African
villages, to the Parc de la Villette, and
conceptual sketches and models of Frank Gehry's
Experience Music Project. These have all been
scanned from original slides or drawn from
documents in the public domain. They are
freely available to anyone with access to the
Web for use in the classroom, student study,
or for individual research purposes.

In 1999, with the help of the Digital Libraries Initiative Program and the Center for Information System Optimization, we adopted a new search engine. Researchers can now search for buildings by country, city, style, title, architect, date of construction, as well as other fields.

You are free to link to these pages, but we request that when you do you provide us with your URL; this will help us to track usage, and also justify our efforts to expand the resource.

All files on this site are copyright controlled as indicated. Copying, printing, or distributing any of them without the permission of the copyright holder is expressly prohibited. You must agree to accept these restrictions to Enter the database.

Content Java2 Search Client

Content databases can also be searched using a Java client. This client is more fully featured than the HMTL client, but also requires more processing power and a download from Sun Microsystem's website. You will be automatically sent there from the link below if you need the download. Before using this client, please check the system requirements.

Search the Cities and Buildings Database using the Java2 Content Client
Search the Cities and Buildings Database using the Java2 Content Client without dictionary (for slower machines)

The Old Site

For those who prefer the original Nations Page, or use a browser that does not support the Java script used by the new site, the old site is still available. However, please note that the old site is no longer maintained and does not contain images added after the spring of 1999. To go to the old site, click here.

*NOTE: In using the old system, to avoid having to scroll down through all the images contained within a given country, use the "Edit/find" function in the internet browser. Entering a name or keyword (e.g. Taj Mahal) should take you to whatever images are available of the building. Please note that while every effort to use the most common name for a building (e.g., St. Basil's, rather than "Church of the Protection on the Moat"), you may have to make several attempts to find what you are looking for. The new system (new site) should facilitate this process.

Concept design:

Mike Furr

Technical Management:

Boaz Ashkenazy
Russ Craig
Philip E. Harding
Thom Heileson

Meredith L. Clausen
Professor Architectural History
University of Washington




Do you have images to contribute? Please visit our contributors page.

Feel free to provide comments and feedback to comments.