Architecture Books You Can Borrow (For Free) From The Internet's Largest Library

Have you registered for your free library card? If you haven't, you're missing out on some serious perks! The Internet Archive has a lending feature that allows users to electronically "borrow" books for 14 days. With over 2,000 borrowable books on architecture, patrons from across the globe can read works by Reyner Banham, Walter Gropius, Ada Louise Huxtable and Jonathan Glancey. There are also helpful guides, dictionaries and history books.

Signing up is easy. Head over to and enter your email, a screen name, and password. Agree to the terms and conditions, and voilà, you have a library card.

The library card is all you need if you are happy to read the books online using the interface. If you prefer to download your books as PDFs and read them on devices like phones or tablets, all of you have to do is download Adobe Digital Editions (available for Mac and Windows). This software is also free. If you need help you can turn to their handy tutorial.

We've sifted through hundreds of titles to create a selection of great architecture- and design-related books that you can borrow from the library. (And pssst, there are lots of non-architecture books that will probably interest you, but that's for another post).

*N.B. Even though the Internet Archive is a virtual library that isn't constrained by the physical nature of books, the lending system still follows traditional library conventions. If someone else has borrowed the book that you're interested in reading, you can request to be put on the waitlist. "Why would they limit the number of people who can 'borrow' a file at a given time?" you ask? A librarian explains here.*

The new architecture and the Bauhaus by Walter Gropius

Modern architecture; the architecture of democracy by Vincent Scully

From Bauhaus to our house by Tom Wolfe

An introduction to modern architecture by J.M. Richards

The story of architecture by Jonathan Glancey

The oral history of modern architecture: interviews with the greatest architects of the twentieth century by John Peter

Theory and design in the first machine age by Reyner Banham

Three American architects: Richardson, Sullivan, and Wright, 1865-1915 by James F O'Gorman

Scope of total architecture by Walter Gropius

Pier Luigi Nervi by Ada Louise Huxtable

Louis Sullivan by Albert Bush-Brown and Donald D. Walker

Gaudi by Ignasi Solà-Morales Rubió; Francesc Català Roca

Landmarks of twentieth-century design: an illustrated handbook by Kathryn B. Hiesinger and George H. Marcus

Twentieth-century American architecture: the buildings and their makers by Carter Wiseman

Sixteen acres by Philip Nobel

A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture by James Stevens Curl

Site design and construction detailing by Theodore D. Walker

Stairs, steps, and ramps by Alan Blanc

See over 2,000 architecture books to check out HERE.

About this author
Cite: Becky Quintal. "Architecture Books You Can Borrow (For Free) From The Internet's Largest Library" 15 Oct 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884


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