International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA)

The International Archive of Women in Architecture (IAWA) was established in 1985 as a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech. The purpose of the Archive is to document the history of women's contributions to the built environment by collecting, preserving, and providing access to the records of women's architectural organizations and the professional papers of women architects, landscape architects, designers, architectural historians and critics, and urban planners.

The IAWA began with a collecting focus on the papers of pioneering women in architecture, individuals who practiced at a time when there were few women in the field. However, the IAWA welcomes materials documenting all generations of women in architecture in order to fill serious gaps in the availability of primary source materials for architectural, women's, and social history research. Women interested in enhancing the historic record of architecture and related design professions should visit our donations page or contact the interim IAWA Archivist about donating materials to the IAWA.

The IAWA also collects books, biographical information, and published materials as part of its mission to act as a clearinghouse of information about the global history of women in architecture. The IAWA represents about 2000 cubic feet, divided into around 450 collections. This includes roughly 150 significant manuscript collections (primary source materials that have not been previously published) which document the legacies of individual women architects, practices, organizations, and major exhibitions. Additional resources include approximately 300 smaller research and reference collections, which comprise biographical materials, previously published sources, and a small amount of published primary sources for many other women and women's associations. The IAWA features women from nearly 40 countries, with materials written in at least 17 languages.

Quick Start

  • Guide to the IAWA Collections
    Learn more about the IAWA collections, find materials, and plan a research trip.
  • The IAWA Digital Library
    Browse digitized materials from our collections.
  • IAWA Biographical Database
    Browse the IAWA Biographical Database to learn more about women in architecture around the world.
    Please note that the link to IAWAdb is currently broken. We are working on migrating this data to a new platform. Check back soon!
  • Three Decades of the IAWA
    Visit the IAWA timeline to learn more about the history of the IAWA collections.
  • Blog Posts About the IAWA
    Read about selected collections in the IAWA on the Virginia Tech Special Collections blog.
  • Bliznakov Research Prize
    Learn more about Dr. Milka Bliznakov, founder of the IAWA, and the annual research prize awarded in her honor.