A Digital Research Library (Dennis Aubrey)


Our work at Via Lucis requires a great deal of research and our personal library is enormous. However, one of the great assists is the Google Books project where entire books are scanned and made available digitally. If the book is out of copyright, or the publisher has given permission, it is possible to download the entire text. We have decided to collect some of the relevant titles and put them in a library on our Via Lucis site.

The Library page can be accessed by selecting “Library” in the top menu. Once there you can see the books that we are making available. They are organized by author’s last name with a link to an author’s biography if it is available. These biographies are mostly from the Dictionary of Art Historians or Wikipedia. The title link itself takes you to the digital version of the book where you can download it.

Here is a sample of the entries that we have started with:

Fletcher, Banister, Sr. (1833-1899 ) & Fletcher, Banister, Jr. (1866-1953)

A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method, Banister Fletcher (London, 1901) 852 pages

“A thundering classic,” written by Banister Fletcher pere et fils, filled with information and drawings. This volume has the original (astonishing) Fletcher drawings.

Goodyear, William Henry (1846-1923)

Exhibition of Enlarged Photographs of French Cathedrals and Churches in the War Zone, William H. Goodyear (Brooklyn 1918) 59 pages

This is the well-spring of the understanding of medieval entasis. Professor Goodyear’s lectures were instrumental in showing that these curvatures and deformations were intentional and part of the structural design, not an accident. The construction of the Bryn Athyn Cathedral was significantly modified because of Goodyear’s work.

Illustrated Catalogue of Photographs & Surveys of Architectural Refinements in Medieval Buildings, William Henry Goodyear (Edinburgh 1905) 260 pages

The source book for Goodyear’s work on medieval entasis and structural deformations, profusely illustrated with his photographs.

Porter, Arthur Kingsley (1883 – 1933)

Medieval Architecture; its Origins and Development Volume 1, Arthur Kingsley Porter (New Haven, 1912) 644 pages

Volume 1 of Porter’s general study on the development of the architecture of the middle ages. This volume covers Early Christian, Byzantine, Carolingian, Lombard, and Norman structures. Has a great index.

The construction of Lombard and Gothic vaults, Arthur Kingsley Porter (New Haven, 1911) 56 pages

An early survey of the development of ribbed vaults in the Middle Ages, illustrated by Porter’s photographs.

Rivoira, Giovanni Teresio (1849-1919)

Lombardic Architecture: Its Origin, Development and Derivatives Volume 1, Giovanni Teresio Rivoira, Translated by G. McN. Rushforth (London 1910)

A monumental but intimidating scholarly study of the development of Lombard architecture and its influence on the development of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Volume 1 traces the development of the Lombard architecture and Volume 2 examines its influence north of the Alps.

We will be adding to this research library over time and hope that you find it useful and interesting. We would also welcome suggestions from readers for texts that contribute to the understanding of medieval ecclesiastical architecture.

9 responses to “A Digital Research Library (Dennis Aubrey)

  1. Dear Dennis,
    in the days since you first mentioned that Banister Fletcher is online (I’d no idea what edition – I have been preparing the 21st) I have been trying all over the web to find it. Now, horay, today you over hyperlinks… but alas….
    to every one of your links I get a no no…
    The requested URL “https://play.google.com/books/reader?hsimp=yhse-001” cannot be found or is not available. Please check the spelling or try again later.

    I’m sure you are not mistaken so what possibly could this be (other than some perfidious terror state government trying to block old BF as more dangerous than the NSA or GCHQ)?

    Can you advise?

    Many thanks,


    PS also the quote “the original (astonishing) Fletcher drawings” deserves some gloss… the well known drawings (not by Fletcher either pere or fils) are not in the first few editions, for example.

    Anyone interested in the Fletcher history, I’d point to my essay “Sir Banister Fletcher: pillar to post-colonial readings” in The Journal of Architecture, Vol 11, No 2, p.187 – of which I’d happily provide a pdf version.

    • John, I’ll try to figure out what has happened but I double-tested all the links before posting and just now used it again. Incidentally, the edition is the Fourth, Revised and Enlarged. And I’d love a PDF of your article!

      • Aha – this should get you my essay – which meanders very widely – but I hope might intrigue you. (Do not ask me why they published it without ANY illustration! It was entirely to do with looking and what we see when we look, etc… madness!)

        Best wishes,


  2. I’ve used the google facility a bit – particularly for books on local history/geography which were written 100 years or more ago. Containing information on buildings/landscape detail that no longer exists as such, their silhouettes often show as lumps and bumps in the ground or parts of wall covered in undergrowth.

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