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Where can I find old architectural plans and drawings?


Unfortunately, architectural plans have not commonly been kept as archives. This is particularly the case for commercial and residential buildings. However, there are a number of resources which you can try.

Government buildings

For government buildings try the relevant state archives. State archives may also hold a limited amount of plans for commercial and residential properties. Examples of collections include:

Commercial or residential buildings

For commercial or residential buildings you may find archives in relevant state libraries or museums, local councils or local historical societies.

Architecture collections

Notable architectural collections held at universities include:

Other resources

Some prominent public institutions may hold copies of architectural plans in their own archives. For example, the Australian Academy of Science website provides details of documents held for the institute's Shine Dome.

For National Trust properties contact the relevant state Trust regarding their archives.

You can search the Library’s online catalogue for items on specific architects or buildings. A manual of architectural history sources in Australia is a particularly useful guide to finding architectural archives.

If you are unable to visit the Library, Trove can help you find and get items at libraries near you.

See also the FAQ How do I trace the history of my house?