The newly digitised Building magazine is a trove of information about the construction industry.
The Building Publishing Company was established in Sydney by architect-engineer- craftsman and pioneer aviator George Augustine Taylor (1872-1928) and Florence Mary Taylor CBE OBE (1879-1969), Australia's first qualified woman architect, structural engineer and civil engineer, shortly after their marriage on 3 April 1907. The Taylors quickly developed a successful stable of industry publications, largely written by the enterprising couple, and spearheaded by Building magazine (1907-1972).
Targeting the Australian building community, the editors of Building promised their readers impartially. Declaring that ‘no puffing will be found in its reading matter’, the journal’s intention was clearly stated in its first issue in September 1907:
To record their doings, study their requirements, watch legislative and other movements that may affect their interests, lay before them the cream of the world’s research in their various lines, and study for them fluctuations in property and building materials.
Within 12 months of its launch, Building was being proclaimed as 'the high watermark of Australian Magazines'. Priced at a shilling, the magazine promoted urban planning ideas and promised to keep its readers informed about improvements in local and international construction methods. It would offer ‘influential commentary on the built environment in Australia’ for the next half century.
Florence Taylor wrote a regular column which highlighted women in architecture and, following the death of her husband in 1928, took over as editor and producer of Building until her retirement in 1961.
An official journal of the Master Builders' Federation of Australia, the nation’s oldest industry association, Building continued to publish up-to-date information of interest to tradespeople, suppliers, professional and home builders alike into the 1970s.
This title has been digitised and made fully searchable online as part of the State Library's Digital Excellence Program, a major initiative supported by the NSW Government.