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Why the AJ Buildings Library is now open to every AJ subscriber

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We are giving you access to the AJ Buildings Library 1,000-project archive as part of your AJ subscription, says Christine Murray

I am pleased to announce that, beginning today, access to the AJ Buildings Library (AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk) is included in the price of your subscription to the AJ.

If you have already activated your subscription on the AJ website, simply visit AJBuildingsLibrary.co.uk and enter your details for unlimited access to this digital, searchable archive of images, drawings and data from 1,000 completed projects in the UK and abroad – with more added every week.

Since being appointed editor over a year ago, I have been working with the editorial team to ensure the AJ is relevant to architects at every stage of their careers. We’ve stepped up our daily breaking news service; included more building studies per issue; added columns on planning, practice, sustainability and legal issues and increased the technical information in both the AJ and AJ Specification, all the while endeavouring to publish a variety of projects from different styles of architecture, across different scales, with a broad geographic spread.

It soon became clear that access to the AJBL archive would make the most compelling addition to a subscription, for students and architects alike. The AJBL represents a significant investment for the AJ. We built this library from scratch, scanning in projects from the past 100 years, including key buildings published by the AJ over the past two decades.

We developed the AJBL as a tool for researching building precedents, but it is useful through all RIBA work stages, from feasibility studies to detailed designs. Search for ‘theatre’ or ‘primary school’, and you can compare spatial planning, cost, and floor area across a typology. You can also search for an engineer or contractor to see examples of their work, or search by materials such as ‘zinc’, environmental criteria such as ‘Passivhaus’, or by cities such as ‘Glasgow’ or ‘Sheffield’. The bespoke zoom and viewing functions allow you to navigate drawings with ease, or open them as a PDF.

The AJBL is the natural extension of the AJ, developed in the tradition of this historic title. After all, the promise of a ‘buildings library’ has long been intrinsic to the value of an AJ subscription. Every issue, catalogued over a career, has characterised the profession for 116 years.

But shelf space is limited in the modern world, in a way that a digital archive is not. Paper is precious. When we publish a building in the AJ, we select the most relevant drawings to illustrate the story told. In the AJBL, we include every drawing. From now on, when you see the AJBL logo on a building study in the magazine, you’ll find it in the library, where a thousand buildings are now available for your study, whether you subscribed 20 years ago, or today.

Accessing the AJ Buildings Library
Activate your subscription on the AJ website at TheAJ.co.uk/activate, then log into the AJBL using the same login and password. For help, contact customer services on 020 7728 4651 or email customerservices@theaj.co.uk

Unlimited access to the AJ online
You get one login to the AJBL and TheAJ.co.uk for every subscription. To sign up for unlimited access to the AJ website and AJBL for your practice, contact the AJ team on 020 7728 4582.

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