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 hereby provide a library of long out-of-print works that meet the criteria. Feel free to click on the links and download these books.
According to Google, on laptops and computers, you can read books using your computer’s web browser. For smartphones and tablets you need to install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.
The books are organized by author’s last name (with a link to an author’s biography if available). The title link takes you to the digital version of the book.
Vaults, Charles Babcock (Cornell 1884) 22 pages
A profusely illustrated review of vaulting from the simplest barrel vaults to the most complex Gothic fan vaulting, developed for Babcock’s classes at Cornell University. I personally have found this book to be of great value.
Baum, Julius (1882-1959)
Romanesque Architecture in France, Julius Baum (New York 1912) 239 pages
This publication is distinguished by the extraordinary collection of hundreds of superb photographs of Romanesque churches that follow the text.
de Chalvet Rochemonteix, Adolphe and de Lasteyrie, Robert
Les églises romanes de la Haute-Auvergne, de Chalvet Rochemonteix, Adolphe and de Lasteyrie, Robert (Alphonse Picard et Fils, Paris 1902) 338 pages
Exhaustive illustrated review of the churches of the region. One of the most interesting organizational elements is the section called “General characteristics of Romanesque churches” where the churches are analyzed by features; ambulatories, side aisles, etc. The main thrust of the book, however, is a detailed church-by-church analysis of the regional churches. Book is, of course, in French.
The Cathedrals of France, Barr Ferree (NY 1895) 27 pages
This is a privately re-issued version of an article published by Cosmopolitan Magazine in January, 1895. Ferree was a noted architectural historian whose extensive private collection is the basis of the Barr Ferree Library of Princeton.
French Cathedrals, Barr Ferree (Typescript) 156 pages
This appears to be a typescript of an unpublished personal study of the cathedrals. It contains hand edits and notes for publication.
The Chronology of the Cathedral Churches of France, Barr Ferree, New York 1894, 90 pages
The fourth part of a series of papers on French cathedrals that Ferree contributed to the Architectural Record of New York..
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.
Roman and Medieval Art, William Henry Goodyear (London 1899) 300 pages
Goodyear’s popular survey of Roman and Medieval art, profusely illustrated with photographs.
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.
The Sculpture of the West, Arthur Kingsley Porter (Boston 1921) 32 pages
A monograph based on a lecture delivered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, on December 3, 1921. His premise was that there were no regional schools of sculpture, but rather an international school based on the pilgrimage to Santiago Compostela.
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.
Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France (Volume 1) , (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1906) 296 pages
Cathedrals and Cloisters of the South of France (Volume 2) , (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1906) 296 pages
Cathedrals and Cloisters of Midland France (Volume 1) , (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1907) 412 pages
Cathedrals and Cloisters of Midland France (Volume 2) , (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1907) 390 pages
Cathedrals and Cloisters of the Isle de France (Volume 1), (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1907) 382 pages
Cathedrals and Cloisters of the Isle de France (Volume 2), (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1907) 457 pages
Cathedrals and cloisters of northern France: Volume 1, (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1914) 308 pages
Cathedrals and cloisters of northern France: Volume 2, (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York 1914) 390 pages
Dr. Elise Whitlock Rose spent many summers in France getting material for her four sets of books (each in two volumes) on cathedrals and cloisters, featuring illustrations from original photographs by Vida Hunt Francis (1870-1957). The result is this charming and detailed account of her travels, interviews and research into French religious architecture.
Comprehensive review of the damages done by the German bombardment of the town of Reims, including the Cathédrale Notre Dame and the Basilique Saint Remi.
Mediaeval Church Vaulting, Clarence Ward (Princeton 1915) 198 pages
This is a Princeton Monograph in Art and Archaeology on the types of church vaulting in the Middle Ages with examples and photographs of each kind. The majority of the photographs were taken by the author, who was a professor of architecture at Rutgers and Princeton. Ward’s photographic archive can be found and licensed at ArtStor.
Cathedrals of France, Epiphanius Wilson (NY 1900) 212 pages
A popular history illustrated with good photographs. Wilson wrote over a dozen books on Hebrew, Arabian, Hindu, Chinese, Turkish, Japanese, and Egyptian literature.
Winkles, B. and Garland, R.
French Cathedrals, W. Winkles and R. Garland (London 1837) 366 pages
Another popular history intended for cultural enthusiasts. Loaded with architectural and historical details. Winkles wrote the text while Garland, an architect, did the “drawings taken on the spot”.