Visual images play an instrumental role in the design process, and the division's holdings include a rich array of drawings and plans that reflect this process. Buildings are the focus of the largest proportion of the design collections, but they also document the development of landscapes, objects and vehicles.
Architectural and engineering drawings may offer insights into the environments women inhabited—the spaces designed specifically for their use, as well as the spaces that were not designed to accommodate women. Women designers are represented in the collection, and the role of women as clients and consumers remains to be explored.
The following "Design Collections" are highlighted in these sections of the guide: