AASL column, January 2019
Lucy Campbell and Barbara Opar, column editors
Column by Barbara Opar

Ever wish you could easily search the contents of book chapters and locate topics within them?  Yale University Press is currently in a pilot phase with a new product that does just that. The A&AePortal (www.aaeportal.com) is an innovative and dynamic platform that features important art and architectural history books in an accessible and highly discoverable way.  Developed with a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, this e-resource includes offerings by Yale University Press, MIT Press, Harvard’s Belknap Press, the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard University Art Museums and the Yale University Art Gallery, with Princeton University Press titles soon to be added. .

The e-Portal has about 120 titles at present, and additional books are added monthly.  Of the twenty subject areas, those which most directly relate to architecture are: General art history and theory, Architecture and urban history, Design and graphic design and Landscape Studies. Currently there are 13 titles under Architecture and urban history. Yet, this limited list includes the essential William McDonald two volume set, Architecture of the Roman Empire.

A broad search of Frank Lloyd Wright yields 79 results, ranging from brief mentions of his work to substantive information on the Imperial hotel, Temple Sholom, and the Barnsdall and Hollyhock houses. The book chapter on the Temple Sholom has been extracted from Alice Friedman’s American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture.

 A quick search of the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals yields mostly design information on the building, making Friedman’s book chapter even more important. In addition to text, the Art and Architecture e-Portal includes a feature that allows for several ways to search the over 20,000 images in the database, all of which are tagged with robust metadata, and many images that were originally in black and white in the print books have been replaced with color on the site

Designed to support instruction, the e-portal also provides a way of creating course packs for instructors.

As it grows, the Art and Architecture e-Portal has the potential to become a valuable tool for the study of architecture. About 60 institutions are currently trialing this resource, which will be launching in July 2019 for institutional subscriptions.    If you are interested in learning more about the A&AePortal for your institution, contact sara.sapire@yale.edu.