A Digital Archive of Architecture Images

SAHARA is a digital image archive developed by the Society of Architectural Historians in collaboration with Artstor. Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, SAHARA contains over 140,000 images of architecture and landscapes contributed by SAH members—architects, scholars, photographers, graduate students, preservationists, and others who share an interest in the built environment.

SAH members can:
  • upload their digital photographs and QTVR panoramas to a shared online archive
  • organize images in work folders
  • download images to a computer or directly to PowerPoint
  • collaborate with other members to create image categories for teaching and research
The SAHARA collection has been developed for all who teach, study, interpret, photograph, design, and preserve the built environment worldwide.



Who has access to SAHARA?
  • SAHARA is available to all individual SAH members. SAHARA has been developed as an online academic resource for people in the field of architectural history and its related disciplines. Join or renew your SAH membership today. Select images in SAHARA are also available to subscribers to Artstor.
How do I access SAHARA?
  • SAHARA still requires a separate log in and password from the one you use for the SAH website. Click on the ACCESS SAHARA button at the top of this page and log in using the email address and password that you established for SAHARA. If you have forgotten your log in credentials, email or call the SAH office at 312.573.1365 and ask to speak to Anne Bird.
If images will be available for teaching, will they also be available for use in scholarly publications?
  • Inquiries should be made directly to the person who holds copyright. If you need assistance locating the copyright holder, contact
What should I do if I want to use a SAHARA image for commercial or non-educational purposes?
  • Inquiries should be made directly to the person who holds copyright. If you need assistance locating the copyright holder, contact
Why does SAHARA keep timing out?
  • You can adjust your session time-out preferences under “My Profile”. For best performance, please use one of the following browsers: Firefox 5.0 or higher; Safari 5.0 or higher; Chrome; or Microsoft IE 8.0 or higher.
Where can I find the College Art Association's Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts?

Can I upload images directly from my smartphone?


Search and Download
  • Use the advanced search to specify date ranges, locations, and other criteria.
  • Use the ARTstor ‘Search Tips’ to modify keyword and advanced searches.
  • Use the personal work folders to group images for your upcoming courses or research.
  • Download images in your work folders directly to PowerPoint.
  • NEW in Shared Shelf: use the spreadsheet contribution interface to sort records by name, location, date, or other criteria and create customized browsing screens to display only relevant information
  • NEW in Shared Shelf: when contributing multiple images of a single building, edit all images with common descriptive information at once, eliminating repetitive cataloguing
Click here to access Artstor training documents and video tutorials.


SAH membership and SAHARA access questions: Anne Bird, Director of Membership (

Technical Troubleshooting:

SAHARA Co-Editors: 
Jackie Spafford ( and Jeffrey Klee (

SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Copyright - (c) 2019