APT Building Technology Heritage Library: A Modern Portal to the Material Past

The Association for Preservation Technology (APT), in collaboration with the Internet Archive (www.archive.org) and the Canadian Centre for Architecture (www.cca.qc.ca) , has launched the Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL). The BTHL is a Web-based, digitized collection of archival architectural and construction trade catalogues, house-plan books, and related publications. The collection consists of pre-1964 trade catalogues for major building materials and assemblies as well as house-plan books and catalogues of cabinetry and furnishings.

Sample topics include: acoustic treatments, aluminum shapes and storefronts, architectural metalwork, asbestos, asphalt shingles and siding, awnings, bedrooms and bedroom furniture, benches, boilers, brick, various building materials, cabinets, canvas products, ceilings, clocks, concrete products, cornices, furniture, decorative materials and finishes, doors, farm buildings, fences, floors and flooring materials, furnaces, garages, glass, glazing, hardware, house plans, industrial items, insulation, interior decoration, kitchens, ladders, light fixtures, linoleum, lumber, masonry, millwork, nails, paint, paneling, pergolas, plants, plaster, playgrounds, plumbing, prefabricated homes, rolling ladders, roofing, sheet metal, shrubs, siding, storefronts, stucco, swimming pools, tents, tools, trees, varnish, walls and wall treatments, and wood materials.

The materials are available to the public at no charge.

The Canadian Centre for Architecture is the first major institution to share its collection. The CCA collection consists of over 4,000 catalogues, and one-fourth of those date from the 19th century, among the rarest of the surviving trade literature.

Some 5000 catalogues were added in 2011 to 2012, and more will be digitized as the materials and funding becomes available. To date, the BTHL has been supported by grants from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Historic Preservation Education Foundation, the National Center for Preservation Training and Technology, and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. In-kind contributions have been provided by the Internet Archive, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, and APT members.

For more information, please visit www.archive.org/details/buildingtechnologyheritagelibrary