SAH News

SAH Launches SAH Archipedia – 1 Month Full Access

by User Not Found | Oct 16, 2012
SAH announces the launch of SAH Archipedia, a media-rich online publication developed in collaboration with the University of Virginia Press.
Visit SAH Archipedia now at

For the month of October SAH Archipedia will feature a special promotion – public access to the full content of the site without a subscription.

SAH Archipedia is a richly illustrated, peer-reviewed database, that offers a comprehensive view of some of the most notable architecture in the United States. This new resource examines thousands of buildings in the context of their communities and landscapes, explores all the forces that shaped them—from the aesthetic to the historical, economic, and geographical—and presents them in a fully searchable online resource. 

Drawn from the award-winning Buildings of the United States (BUS) series, SAH Archipedia includes histories and thematic essays from twelve BUS volumes, including Massachusetts (Metropolitan Boston), Rhode Island, Pennsylvania (Eastern and Western), the District of Columbia, Virginia (Tidewater and Piedmont), West Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and Alaska. This cross-section of the country demonstrates the richness and diversity of architecture and building practice across many centuries, from mud brick to steel, from ancient cliff dwellings to contemporary office towers. 

“SAH Archipedia is an innovative new online publication that we hope will be used by everyone who is interested in exploring the history of American architecture,” said Pauline Saliga, Executive Director of the Society of Architectural Historians. “The University of Virginia Press has once again shown why it is considered the leading university press in pursuit of innovation in the digital humanities.”

Published by Rotunda—the digital imprint of the University of Virginia Press— SAH Archipedia contains more than 8,500 building entries, 6,000 photographs and drawings, 4,300 individual arhitects and firms, 1,300 unique building types, and hundreds of periods, styles, and dynamically generated maps. The site also includes the interpretive introductions from the first twelve volumes published in print. This legacy material from the BUS volumes will be supplemented with original digital content created and edited in an online authoring environment, yielding entries that will ultimately encompass all 50 states.

“SAH Archipedia incorporates the spatial turn in digital humanities for the first time in a Rotunda publication,” said Mark Saunders, Interim Director of the University of Virginia Press. “As a collaboration between a university press and a scholarly society, it represents a new chapter in scholarly communications. From a publishing perspective, the project will be released in a hybrid model, blending licensed and free material, with a commitment to open metadata.”

SAH Archipedia will be released in two complementary versions: a scholars edition for license to libraries, and a free website,  SAH Archipedia Classic Buildings, which features over 100 open-access entries on the most important buildings for each state. 

“The launch of  SAH Archipedia is another step in the development of online scholarly resources that incorporates peer review, contextual information such as maps and satellite images, and tagging that provides further historical context,” said Ann Whiteside, Librarian and Assistant Dean for Information Resources, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard Graduate School of Design. “ SAH Archipedia has the potential to transform how architectural history is studied because of the way in which it marries imagery, scholarly rigor, and database searchability within a single resource.”

SAH Archipedia was developed with major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  It has been designated a “We the People Project” by NEH for its role in encouraging and enhancing the teaching, study and understanding of American history, culture and democratic principles. Additional funding was provided by the American Institute of Architects, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Study in the Fine Arts, and Two Cat Digital.  
SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation for its operating support.
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