Launched in 2002, Archnet is the world's largest open access architectural library focusing on the Muslim Worlds. A shared initiative of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Archnet aims at providing easy access to scholarly articles, data and original research that can be used for teaching, research, and professional work in a wide range of fields such as architecture, urbanism, or environmental and landscape design in the Muslim Worlds.
Archnet is a continually growing resource, thanks to numerous donations of historic archives and documentation. In 2016 alone, approximately 7,000 images were added to the collection. In sum, as outlined on the portal: "Archnet provides a bridge for interested persons to learn how to enhance the quality of the built environment, to compensate for lack of resources for students and faculty in academic institutions, and to highlight the culture and traditions of Islam."
Archnet is a fully searchable database offering different search options:
- the Research page allows visitors to do a text search (basic or advanced) applying geographical and time filters
- the Timeline allows to visualize "a linear outline of the history of art, architecture and urbanism in Muslim societies"
- materials grouped in collections such as Women in Architecture, Tangier Then and Now, or Hassan Fathy can be accessed directly via the Collections page
- additional resources and pedagogical tools are also made available through the Resources and Pedagogy pages.
The website is in English.