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FLEET LIBRARY | Research Guides

Rhode Island School of Design

Landscape Architecture

An introductory guide to resources for Landscape Architecture.

Finding Case Studies + Precedents

When searching for a precedent or a case study, you will encounter three main types of books: monographs, topical collections, and critical review. Let's go through each type.

A monograph is a book focused on a single designer or project. Often, firms will produce monographs to highlight their own body of work, theory of design, or a particular project. Monographs are useful for learning about a designer’s thoughts and methods and learning more about the process behind projects. However, because monographs are often produced by the designers themselves, they usually will not include substantial critiques of the project or design process.


A thematic or topical collection is a book that presents a number of projects on a particular topic or theme. These books can be useful to help you find precedents and case studies that are relevant to your interests. These books might not provide a lot of information about each project, so you may need to use them as a jumping-off point for further research.


A critical review provides a critical assessment of a designer’s work or design movement by a scholar.  It can be used to gain a deeper understanding of the designer’s process, the context in which they practiced, and the impact of their work.


The Avery Index

One of the best places to start when searching for case studies is the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals. This robust index offers a comprehensive listing of journal articles published worldwide on architecture and design, archeology, city planning, interior design, landscape architecture, and historic preservation. Coverage is from the 1930s (with selective coverage dating back to the 1740s) to the present. The Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is updated weekly. The Avery Index has many unique features: to learn how to effectively use these features we have created an Introduction the Avery Index Guide. By searching the Avery Index you will be able to find print versions of articles in the library and request unavailable articles through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Accessing Digital Resources Off Campus

Library access anytime!

Follow these 3 steps:

1. Go to the library website

2. Select My Account in the top right hand corner

3. Follow the directions to log in.

  • If you are trying to download an eBook from EBSCO you will also have to create or login to your EBSCO account when prompted.
  • Alternative solution: download and install the RISD VPN software.

Common Issues:

Make sure you have entered your name and information correctly?

Is your library registration is up to date?

  • If you’ve checked books out this year, it probably is.

I receive an error when I try to login, what should I do?

  • If you receive an error when you try to log in, reach out via for help.


Online Resources