3 tips for working with architectural collections at Fryer Library

Fryer Library has over 22 000 architectural plan and drawings, with a strong focus on Queensland. Open to the public Monday to Saturday, the Fryer Library’s collection is an amazing resource for architectural researchers and students. These are our top tips to get the most out of the archives.

1. Identifying plans or other manuscript material

Before you begin

First think who: manuscripts are almost always arranged according to who created or collected them (‘provenance’). Whatever your topic, find out the names of key individuals, businesses or organisations that may have been involved, even if only tangentially.

Once you have identified collections, determining when (date range) or where can be useful for narrowing the scope of what to follow up on.

Starting points

To find plans created by particular architects or firms, browse this list of architectural collections.

To find plans by keyword (for example, street name, building name, or client name), include the text site:www.library.uq.edu.au/fryer-library/ms in a Google search query.

To find plans by suburb, use the tailored Google map provided on our website.

2. Contact Fryer Library with item details

It will save you a lot of time during your visit if you contact us 3 – 5 days beforehand with details of what manuscript material you’re interested in. While you’re searching, make a note of the call number or collection number (these usually begin with UQFL), and any relevant Box numbers or Job numbers.

Send this information to us an email (fryer@library.uq.edu.au), or give us a ring (+61 7 3365 6236), and let us know when you plan to arrive.

3. Bring a camera – and a notebook

Copyright of manuscript material, including architectural plans, is very restrictive. Permission to copy for research and study purposes usually can be secured, but it is not guaranteed. Plan to take notes rather than copies or photos.

However, if you contact us in advance and Library staff are able to clear copyright for you, it may be possible for you to take photos of material with your own camera. You will still need to fill out a copying form, so talk to the staff member at the desk before using your camera in the reading room.

Last updated:
9 June 2016