SAH Archipedia is an authoritative online encyclopedia of the built world published by the Society of Architectural Historians and the University of Virginia Press, and contains histories, photographs, and maps for more than 8,500 structures and places. These are mostly buildings, but as you explore SAH Archipedia you will also find landscapes, infrastructure, monuments, artwork, and more. Currently, the content of SAH Archipedia is drawn from the award-winning book series, Buildings of the United States, and includes histories and thematic essays from twelve of the published BUS volumes: Massachusetts (Metropolitan Boston), Rhode Island, Pennsylvania (Eastern and Western), the District of Columbia, Virginia (Tidewater and Piedmont), West Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and Alaska. This cross-section of the country demonstrates the richness and diversity of architecture and building practice across many centuries, from mud brick to steel, from ancient cliff dwellings to contemporary office towers.
SAH Archipedia will grow in the coming years, as we digitize other published BUS books (including Delaware, Louisiana, and Hawaii), as current BUS volumes are completed (Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast; Vermont; Virginia: The Valley and Southwest; North Dakota; Wisconsin; Missouri; Mississippi; New Hampshire; Texas: East, North, and West; and Arkansas among them), and as peer-reviewed, born-digital content is created. While our immediate goal is to have all fifty states represented in SAH Archipedia, U.S. content is only the beginning. We envision SAH Archipedia becoming the comprehensive resource for information on buildings from across the globe.
Within SAH Archipedia you will discover an astonishing variety of buildings, from a log house in Pennsylvania to the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue, from an anonymous gas station by an unknown designer to a celebrated masterwork by Frank Lloyd Wright. Whether major or minor, famous or obscure, all of these buildings are significant because they tell the story of architecture in the United States from pre-European settlement to the 21st century—a history that unfolds in individual building entries and thematic essays written by leading architectural historians who survey and explain styles and typologies, materials and techniques, and social and political contexts, from local to state to national levels.
SAH Archipedia is truly a collaborative project, resulting from the hard work and expertise of writers, researchers, peer-reviewers, editors, programmers, and staffers. Initial development of SAH Archipedia was made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Institute of Architects, the Graham Foundation, and Two Cat Digital, as well as SAH and University of Virginia Press. Members of the Society of Architectural Historians have supported this project in myriad ways, beginning, most obviously, with the intellectual contributions of past and present BUS authors, whose scholarship has made SAH Archipedia a reality. The editors also extend their thanks to those who helped enrich the media content of SAH Archipedia by contributing historical and contemporary images of buildings in the collection. Finally, the editors acknowledge the teams of knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers who spent countless hours reviewing metadata and subject tags for every building in SAH Archipedia. In particular, the editors would like to express their gratitude to the following people who devoted their time and expertise to the review of geospatial metadata: Bill Brookover, Mahlon Chute, Bridget Davis, Amara J. Frontczak, Diane Holliday, Malrk Igleski, Mary Catherine Kinniburgh, Hannah Loftus, Alexandra Markiewicz, Melissa Mortimer, Kevin Robinson, Eric A. Rogers, Nicholas John Wharton, and Henry Zimoch. For reviewing subject tagging metadata, the editors would like to thank Gabriel Dal'Maso, Stephanie Dedovitch, Nicholas Dingman, Fathia Elmeghawi, Susana Holguin-Veras, Anu Khandal, Gretchen von Koenig, Jonathan Patkowski, Ha Pham, Angela Starita, and Didem Yavuz.
A Note on Archipedia Subject Tags
The current content of SAH Archipedia is derived from the published volumes of the Buildings of the United States series. In order to make this content fully discoverable for Archipedia users, the editors have established semantic tags for styles, building types, and materials. Given the scope of the project—over 11,0000 buildings entries—it was necessary to use an algorithm to generate these tags. Sometimes these machine generated tags are amazingly accurate; other times they are too literal: for example, a building on Federal Street might have been tagged Federal style. Human review of machine generated tags is ongoing and updates are made on a regular basis. Tags that have not yet been reviewed are flagged as such within Archipedia. Our goal is to make the tags in Archipedia as accurate and consistent as possible. Thanks for your patience.