The AIA Historical Directory of American Architects

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The AIA Historical  Directory of American Architects

         The AIA Historical Directory of American Architects is a central clearinghouse for researchers to locate primary-source information about past U.S. architects. It is intended to be a pointer to resources rather than a research project. It consists of a searchable list of architects and firm names. The page for each name may contain basic biographical facts, bibliographical references, and information about archival holdings in the AIA Archives or in repositories around the country. The Directory will continue to expand as more repositories contribute their holdings lists, as more AIA Archives materials are digitized, and as additional published sources are indexed.

        The AIA Historical Directory does not include lists of works. Nor is it a guide to architects in current practice. AIA members who joined after 1978 are not yet included in the Directory.



 The AIA Historical Directory of American Architects contains 57,582 names as of January 2010.

·        50,420 AIA members (all the members who joined between 1857-1978, plus a few later members who are now deceased)

·        1,175 non-member architects

·        5,987 architectural firms


Of these, 21,612 (38%) have no further information at present than the name (with variants), the AIA membership years, the state(s), gender, and death date if known. The other 62% have one or more additional sources of information:

·        1,527 have scanned archival materials from the AIA Archives

·        2,612 have a link to one or more related names

·        32,437 have entries in one or more of the three editions of American Architects Directory. All three editions are available in their entirety on this site. A total of 62,324 entries were indexed to the 32,437 names.

·        2,483 have citations to an entry in one of the seven biographical directories indexed

·        322 have links to and descriptions of archival holdings at other archival repositories


As of April 2015, over 1,300 more names have had archival materials from the AIA Archives scanned and added to their pages in the AIA Historical Directory.


Non-member architects and architectural firms are added to the Directory when they appear in sources indexed in the AIA Historical Directory, in other AIA Archives holdings (such as the Architects Roster Questionnaire for firms), or in the holdings of other architectural archives.



        The membership data is taken from the ledgers and card files used to record membership payments until 1978. After 1978, membership records were kept by computer. Post-1978 membership data will be added in a later expansion of the AIA Historical Directory.

        Indexed biographical directories included so far are the three editions of American Architects Directory (available in full text on this site); Henry F. Withey and Elsie Rathburn Withey, Biographical Dictionary of American Architects (Deceased) (1956); the entries for U.S. architects in the Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects (Macmillan, 1982); Dreck Wilson, ed., African American Architects: A Biographical Dictionary 1865-1945 (Routledge, 2004); Sarah Allaback, The First American Women Architects (University of Illinois Press, 2008); Richard Guy Wilson, The AIA Gold Medal (McGraw-Hill, 1984); AIA Committee on Historic Resources, Pioneers in Preservation: Biographical Sketches of Architects Prominent in the Field Before World War II (1990) (available in full text on; and R. Randall Vosbeck, A Legacy of Leadership: Presidents of the AIA, 1857-2007 (The American Institute of Architects, 2008) (available on the AIA web site at

        Obituaries and memorials from the AIA Quarterly Bulletin (1900-1912) are indexed and available on this site.



        The AIA Historical Directory was created by Nancy Hadley, Assoc. AIA, CA, Archivist and Records Manager, the American Institute of Architects, from 2005-2009.

        Thanks to support from the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, researcher Linda Ingram determined the gender of over a thousand ambiguous names of past AIA members. Because of this effort, we now have for the first time a complete list of all women members of the AIA from the 19th century through 1978.

        Tony Wrenn, Hon. AIA, the AIA’s first archivist, has assisted with the project by indexing a variety of published sources. His enthusiasm for the project and his willingness to provide feedback as the project developed are greatly appreciated.

        The archivists of the Society of American Archivists Architectural Records Roundtable have consistently supported and encouraged the project since its inception.





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