The University of Texas

Types of Work Performed by School of Information Students


Preservation Administration

Carie McGinnis hard at work.

School of Information students have been hired by the Alexander Architectural Archives as Student Technicians to assist in preservation administration. Routine duties include: conducting facilities maintenance and pest management; managing preservation related volunteer programs (recruiting, training, supervision, administrative duties); serving as a disaster team member (documentation, revisions to plan, assistance in recovery); maintaining the preservation manual as well as the unit's preservation plan; and serving as an iSchool liaison. Special projects include researching, documenting and determining solutions to the Archives' preservation needs primarily as determined by the preservation plan, as well as course related efforts. The Preservation Assistant must be sensitive to handling unique materials and have a sound attention to detail, and demonstrate knowledge gained through course work or experience of basic preservation administration principals and programming and/or preservation/conservation processes and treatments.

Examples of project reports include:



School of Information students conduct conservation treatments of collection materials that have been identified by the Curator and their instructor primarily as part of Paper Lab coursework. Typical treatments include: humidifying and flattening, dry cleaning, repairing minor tears, tape removal, and mold abatement. These treatments play a vital role in the longevity of the Archives and provide an opportunity for students training for certificates in Conservation to hone their knowledge and skills. Collection materials are stabilized and thereby made more accessible to both current and future researchers, students, and faculty.

San Antonio River Walk Drawings Project


Reports, Assessments & Surveys

Title page of survey report.

School of Information students have performed a variety of assessments and surveys of the Alexander Architectural Archives. Assessments usually include an on-site evaluation that reviews the building and facilities, environmental conditions, pest management, collection conditions, handling policies, exhibition procedures, disaster preparedness, and basic preservation measures. Surveys completed at the collection level review the overall condition of the materials and recommend preservation and conservation measures. These assessments and surveys are instrumental in keeping the Archive informed of the most current preservation and conservation practices and guarantee that collections will remain in the very best condition. Both assessments and surveys have been repurposed for administrative use and grant writing.

Battle Hall Centennial Website





Environmental Monitoring and Pest Management

Hygrothermograph instrument at the Alexander Architectural Archive. Pest trap.

In addition to evaluating the current environmental monitoring and pest management practices in place at the Archives through assessments and surveys, School of Information students also conduct semester long monitoring projects. This includes proposed management, data collection, and analysis. This experience enables students to examine how their ideas work in practice, make necessary changes, and ultimately result in a fully refined and realistic plan for the Archives' staff to use routinely.


Examples of project reports include:

Disaster Planning

Example of flooding.

Disaster planning and preparedness is vital component of an Archives preservation plan. The Alexander Architectural Archives work with students on an on-going basis to keep their disaster plan up-to- date. School of Information students begin by reviewing the Archives' disaster plan using institutional assessments and surveys and often revise and update the plan with their findings and recommendations as part of later coursework.




Volunteer Opportunities

Preservation supplies.  Rolled paper. Rehousing rolled material. Example of rolled material.


  • Roy Thomas Rehousing Project
  • Although the Archives have always been the beneficiary of the work of volunteers, it wasn’t until the spring of 2005 that a more formal volunteer program was established. At that time the Archives' Preservation Assistant, Shannon Phillips, suggested that her Roy Thomas rehousing project might be a good candidate for an on going volunteer project. The collection was large, approximately 10,000 drawings, and this was the type of hands-on experience that students were interested in. Phillips set up all aspects of the program including recruitment, orientation and training, as well as assessment and evaluation. This program is designed to be administered by the Archives' Preservation Assistant, providing valuable experience on supervising and project management.


Perry-Castañeda Library
101 East 21st St.
Austin, TX. 78713

Phone: (512) 495-4250

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