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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Landscape Architecture

An introductory guide to resources for Landscape Architecture.


Welcome to the Landscape Architecture Research Guide. This guide covers a wide range of available resources such as useful books, links, and digital resources to complete assignments and conduct research.

This guide will help you begin your research. Keep in mind that research is an iterative process; it will build on itself and is often better accomplished in multiple small steps. Landscape Architecture is an interdisciplinary area of study so some resources might seem more relevant than others. This guide cannot list all possible resources, but it is a good place to start. If you have more questions or need additional help, just ask! There are librarians available to help you find answers.


Key Texts

The Art of Browsing

Here are some helpful tips:

Books in the RISD Fleet Library are organized by topic using Library of Congress classification system. Landscape Architecture is a broad topic and intersects with different areas. The main areas to browse are in SB Plant Culture, NA Architecture, and HT Communities, Classes. Races. You can browse the collection digitally by clicking on the following links: SB [Plant Culture], NA [Architecture], and HT [Communities, Classes. Races]. If you are interested in browsing the shelves, you can use this map and these call number ranges as a guide:

HT 51-1595 Communities, Classes. Races

HT 51-65 Human settlements. Communities
HT 101-395 Urban groups. The city. Urban sociology

HT 161-165 Garden cities.
HT 165.5-169.9 City planning
HT 170-178 Urban renewal. Urban redevelopment
HT 201-221 City population
Including children in cities, immigration
HT 231 Effect of city life
HT 251-265 Mental and moral life
HT 281 Recreation. Amusements
HT 321-325 The city as an economic factor. City promotion
HT 330-334 Metropolitan areas
HT 351-352 Suburban cities and towns
HT 361-384 Urbanization. City and country
HT 388 Regional economics. Space in economics
HT 390-395 Regional planning

HT 401-485 Rural groups. Rural sociology
HT 601-1445 Classes
HT 1501-1595 Races

NA 1-9428 Architecture

NA 1-60 General

NA 100-130 Architecture and the state
NA190-1555.5 History
NA 1995 Architecture as a profession
NA 2000-2320 Study and teaching Research
NA 2335-2360 Competitions
NA 2400-2460 Museums. Exhibitions
NA 2500-2599 General works
NA 2599.5-2599.9 Architectural criticism
NA 2695-2793 Architectural drawing and design
NA 2835-4050 Details and decoration
NA 4100-8480 Special classes of buildings
NA 4100-4145 Classed by material
NA 4150-4160 Classed by form
NA 4170-8480 Classed by use
NA 4170-(7020) Public buildings
NA 4590-5621 Religious architecture
NA 7100-7884 Domestic architecture. Houses. Dwellings
NA 7910-8125 Clubhouses, guild houses, etc.
NA 8200-8260 Farm architecture
NA 8300-8480 Outbuildings, gates, fences, etc.
NA 9000-9428. Aesthetics of cities. City planning and beautifying

QK Botany and botanical guides

SB 1-1110 Plant Culture

SB 71-87 History
SB 109.7-111 Methods for special areas Including cold regions, dry farming, tropical agriculture
SB 112 Irrigation farming
SB 113.2-118.46 Seeds. Seed technology
SB 126 Artificial light gardening
SB 126.5-126.57 Hydroponics. Soilless agriculture
SB 317.5-319.864 Horticulture. Horticultural crops

SB 403-450.87 Flowers and flower culture. Ornamental plants

SB 414.6-417 Greenhouses and greenhouse culture
SB 418-418.4 Container gardening
SB 419-419.3 Indoor gardening and houseplants
SB 419.5 Roof gardening. Balcony gardening
SB 421-439.8 Classes of plants Including annuals, climbers, ferns, lawns, perennials, shrubs

SB 450.9-467.8 Gardens and gardening
SB 469-(476.4) Landscape gardening. Landscape architecture
SB 481-486 Parks and public reservations Including theory, management, history
SB 599-990.5 Pests and diseases

TT 854 Plant dyes and dyeing

Suggested SUBJECT searches:

Plant communities

Landscape Architecture

Landscape construction

Landscape design

Landscaping industry

Women in landscape architecture

Searching Tips

As you search for information on your topic you will develop your own vocabulary and terms related your topic. Keeping track of searches that worked well or creating lists of synonyms for your keywords can be very helpful.


Keyword Searches

Whether you are searching on the library Catalog or in Fleet Search, searches will default to Keyword searches.

A Keyword search looks for words anywhere in the title, summary, or metadata of an item. Keyword searches are a good substitute for a subject search when you do not know the standard subject heading. Keyword may also be used as a substitute for a title or author search when you have incomplete title or author information.

  • Use this type of search technique when you are getting a feel for your topic and you are finding general information on a topic or subject.
  • For example, a keyword search for "Adrian Piper" will give you results for items about and written by her. If you want to find items written by Adrian Piper use an author search and enter "Piper, Adrian."


Artist/Author Searches

This search looks for the name of the artist, author, editor, or translator of an item. It can be helpful to think of the artist as the author of his/her/their own work.

  • Use this search when you know the name of the artist, author, editor or translator of a item.
  • Tip: search last name, first name, for example "Piper, Adrian." If you don't find the artist or author you are looking for, try a keyword search instead.
  • Tip: Galleries or museums can be listed as authors. Try searching museums and galleries to see exhibition catalogs and other publications by institutions. For example Museum of Fine Arts Boston or Museum of Modern Art.
  • For example, if you want to find items written by Adrian Piper use an author search and enter "Piper, Adrian." If you enter a name as a subject, the items you see in the search results will be about them, not necessarily written by them. A keyword search will return anything containing the name.


Subject Searches

A subject search is more specific than a keyword search. Subject headings are a predetermined list of possible terms, which reflect the content of the item. Most academic libraries use Library of Congress Subject Headings. Subject headings are not always intuitive.

  • Use this type of search when you want to find information which reflects the about-ness of a topic.
  • For example, if you enter "Piper, Adrian" as a subject, the items you see in the search results will be about her, not necessarily written by her. If you want to find items written by Adrian Piper, use an Author search. A Keyword search will give you results for any items that contain the name.

Title Searches

This search looks for the exact words you entered as the title of an item. If you don't know the exact title, try using a Keyword Search instead.

  • Use this when you know the exact title of a book, exhibition catalog, or journal.

Graduate Theses

Thesis books are deposited at Fleet Library at the end of each graduate student's time at RISD. Most recent theses can be browsed freely in the library's mezzanine-level Grad Thesis area; older and more delicate work is housed in Archives and can be viewed by appointment. Theses designated as Storage can be requested during open hours on the first floor of the library. See the Index to Graduate Theses to explore theses in detail. Some of RISD's recent Graduate Theses are available to view and download online on RISD's Digital Commons.

Additional Resources

Citation Management

For more information and additional options, see Citation Guides and Information Management Tools

Requesting an Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a library service that allows the Fleet Library to "check out" materials from other libraries. If we don't have something you need, request it and we'll notify you when it's available.

Through ILL you can request:

  • Books
  • Book Chapters (PDF)
  • Articles (PDF)
  • DVDs/Videos
  • CDs, Musical Scores

Sign into the Interlibrary Loan portal here with your RISD account.


You can also request items from within Fleet Search (look for the "Request through Interlibrary Loan" option).
This is handy because it will pre-fill the item request form for you.

Renewing Books Online

Step 1: Visit the library homepage and click "My Account" in the top right account

Step 2: Follow the instructions on the screen to log in.

Step 3: Click "# Items currently checked out" and click "Renew All" or select the items you'd like to renew. 

If you are prevented from renewing, you may have hit your limit (see "Borrowing" on the website for info). For help, reach out to us: or (401) 709-5901

Brown University Libraries

RISD faculty, staff, and students have borrowing privileges at Brown Libraries. You must have a current RISD ID for access. Be sure your account is active with RISD's Fleet Library.

Brown Visiting Policy

To receive an access card for Brown libraries, RISD community members must check in at the Circulation Desk. Find their policies on this page

Database Access

RISD community members can only access Brown's Databases on-site. You can search and download from Brown's databases using their visitor/public computers. The public computers are located on the 1st and 2nd floor of the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library and in the basement of the Sciences Library. If you have questions, ask at the Circulation Desk for help.


RISD community members can borrow up to 5 books for 4 weeks.