Paul Oliver Vernacular Architecture Library

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 3080 POVAL
  • Dates of Creation
      20th century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      6 000 books; 9 000 journals theses ephemera; 30 000 slides; 15 000 photographs and negatives; ~2 000 postcards and stamps; ~400 drawings and maps

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of books, of which some 1,500 are at Oxford Brookes University (CAVES). Also included is a collection of slides of vernacular architecture taken in all continents over a period of 45 years, booklets, folders, leaflets, regional guides and other small publications, as well as a large collection of photographs and ephemera. Journals are not numerous in the vernacular field, but the collection includes complete runs of 'Vernacular Architecture' (UK), 'Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review' (US), and shorter runs of 'Architecture Vernaculaire' (France), 'Maisons Paysannes', 'Architectural Association Journal', 'RIBA Journal', and others.

Administrative / Biographical History

Dr Paul Oliver MBE is an associate lecturer for the Department of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University. He has written numerous publications in vernacular architecture, and is the editor of the four-volume Encyclopaedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (CUP). Dr Oliver has been connected with Oxford Brookes for many years, and was Associate Head of the School of Architecture between 1978 and 1988.

Conditions Governing Access

Reference collection in the Library. Library opening hours can be viewed here .

If you have any queries, please email:

Other Finding Aids

Please use the Library Catalogue, available at , to search for items in this collection.


Currently some material is housed in his old office in the University. These items will gradually be moved into the library once they are catalogued. More material will be brought into the office from Paul Oliver's home as cataloguing proceeds. Cataloguing commenced February 2009.