From Johns Hopkins University
This distinguished collection of rare architectural books amassed by Laurence Hall Fowler (1876-1971) comprises a significant library of monographs, pamphlets, plates and drawings tracing the roots of contemporary architecture. Works of the Master Architects: The Fowler Collection of Early Architectural Books includes rare primary source materials of master architects from the major countries of Europe, documenting the early influences of engineering and design in architecture.
Beginning with Alberti's De Re Aedificatoria (1485)--the first printed book on architecture--this collection presents 482 works by many notable architects.
The collection covers works in architecture to the end of the 18th century when revivals began to replace the Renaissance style of architecture, with illustrated texts. Volumes of plates and block prints reviewing the more contemporary designs of buildings, temples, tombs and gardens surfaced toward the ends of the 16th century, and are also present in the collection, with text providing identification and explanation of the visual material.
This edition of Fowler's collection is based on the catalog The Fowler Architectural Collection of the Johns Hopkins University compiled in 1961 by Fowler in collaboration with Elizabeth Baer. The catalog has been reprinted by Primary Source Microfilm to serve as an index to the collection, providing access to the materials through citations and identification of author, compiler, editor, illustrator, printer, publisher and bookseller, with their corresponding dates, as well as descriptive notes on the works. Most of these works were collated against similar holdings in other rare book collections, thereby verifying texts and authenticating editions of monographs and plates.