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Precedent Research

Information about sites and designers / design teams can be found in a variety of sources, plus you'll want to find a variety of sources to integrate different information and perspectives into analysis. 

The age of your site also impacts what kind of information might be available, so you'll also want to think critically about your site, when it was created, and what sources are relevant to that time period.


You can find books about:

  • time periods 
  • styles
  • regions / locations
  • some designers / design teams
  • some specific sites

If you don't find a book about your specific site or designer / design team, you may find a chapter or section of a book about your specific site or designer / design team. So broaden your search to a specific period, style, or region to find books that may include information on your site.


Reference Sources

Landscape, architecture, and design focused encyclopedias may include entries on your site, designer, or time period / style / region.



Scholarly articles include research and analysis on various aspects of a site or designer written by scholars.

Magazine or trade journal articles are written for an audience of professionals working in architecture, landscape, and design fields.

The databases below are good places to find landscape design articles. Articles tend to be about more specific topics than books, so you might find articles about a specific site, but consider also searching the names of designers / design teams, time periods, styles, and regions. 

Find Images and Plans

Image Databases

Images and Plans in Magazines and Journals

Screenshot of the document feature search filter in Avery with several features selected

Images and Plans in Books

Books may contain images and plans of your site. Remember, if you may find a book on your specific site or your specific designer / design team, but you many want to look for books on the:

  • time period 
  • style
  • region / location

of your site. Try several searches, and try browsing through several books.


You can also browse Landscape architecture Designs and plans books in the Library Catalog.

Landscape Architecture Journals

BrowZine allows you to browse and read journals from the CU Boulder Libraries, by subject. Monitor your favorite journals by creating your own bookshelf, where you'll get updates for new articles and issues.

Click the image below to browse through journals from the CU Boulder Libraries in the "Landscape Architecture" subject.

landscape architecture journals

Environment and Natural History

Climate and Weather

Soil and Geology