By John Michael Vlach
Event Date: April 10, 2003
The first in the Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks series, Barns presents a broad, fresh,
and newly informed visual analysis of one of America's fundamental building types. In a nation founded
upon agrarian principles, with a cultural and physical landscape as vast as it is diverse, the barn has long
been recognized as an American icon. Drawn from the vast holdings of the Library of Congress, more than
800 illustrations provide a tour of barns across the United States, from New England to the Great Lakes
to the South, Midwest, and Far West.
John Michael Vlach’s introduction provides a masterly overview of the development of a building
type that has served to define the very nature and growth of the United States and its people.
Inspired by the depth and quality of the resources of the Library of Congress, it traces the ancestry
of barn structures including English, Dutch, German, French, and Spanish influences and the continuities
of type, design, and construction across the United States over time.
The body of the book offers a treasury of images-photographs, many by noted photographers-as
well as plans and elevations, with captions that furnish relevant information about each building and region.
The accompanying CD-ROM contains high-quality, downloadable versions of all the illustrations
and offers a direct link to the Library’s online, searchable catalogs and image files.
A comprehensive and unique visual resource, Barns will be invaluable to students; teachers;
researchers; historians of art, architecture, design, and technology; architects; engineers; designers of all kinds;
and all those who love barns.
W.W. Norton, in association with the Library of Congress
Hardcover, 8 ˝ by 11 inches, 400 pages, over 800 black-and-white illustrations
Prints and Photograph Division