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University of Heidelberg

Books on architecture and garden design – digitized


As a part of its Special Subject Collection in Art History the University Library of Heidelberg holds an important collection of historical books (late 15th through the early 19th century) on architecture and garden design, which we endeavour to make available on theInternet at no charge.

The collection of books on architecture – among them rare and precious illustrated editions from Italy, France, Germany and other European countries- includes architectural tracts and Säulenbücher, meant as pattern books for the  contemporary architects. The tradition of this kind of literature goes back to the Roman architect and writer Vitruv and his work „De architectura libri decem“, which was rediscovered in the 15th century. Since its first printed edition in 1486 this work has gained great popularity allover Middle Europe and has had a decisive influence on the sacred and secular architecture. The collection includes important engraving series about architectural complexes and historical guides to church buildings.

The international collection of books on garden design includes impressive engraving series and pattern books about landscape architecture and horticulture from the Renaissance till the early 19th century. Related publications like herbaria, calendars, theses and monographs on agricultural law and the history of gardening are held, too.

The collection is recorded on our local online catalogue HEIDI, SWB (Union Catalog of the South West German Library Consortium) and – Virtual Catalogue For Art History.

Requests, suggestions and criticism to Dr. Maria Effinger

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