The University of Texas

What We Collect

The Alexander Architectural Archives at the University of Texas at Austin is an architectural research center of national importance. As a unit of the University of Texas Libraries, the Alexander supports research and education on the history of the built environment by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible research collections. The Alexander also supports initiatives in learning and scholarship for students studying preservation of the cultural record and archival enterprise.

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Our Collection Development Policy 


To support instruction in the School of Architecture through the doctoral level in architectural design, history, preservation, and community and regional planning, the masters level in landscape architecture and the bachelor level in Interior Design. The Alexander is expected to support research in history, art history, American Studies, anthropology, and engineering, as well as that undertaken by design professionals, governmental agencies, and others involved in the preservation and restoration of buildings. The Alexander Architectural Archives is a part of the Architecture and Planning Library.

General Collection Guidelines

  1. Languages: Not applicable.
  2. Chronological Guidelines: No limitations.
  3. Geographical Guidelines: Emphasis will be on architectural records relating to buildings and architectural practices in the United States.
  4. Treatment of Subject: Architectural and urban design records significant to the Southwest region; records which document the architectural development of The University of Texas; representative records which further the understanding of the development of American architecture.
  5. Types of Materials: Architectural records in all formats are collected with the intent of documenting the design process from conception to completion and to record any subsequent changes, commentary or criticism.
  6. Other General Considerations: Acquisitions are primarily by donation. All collections will be reviewed on their individual merits. Supplementing this repository is the Architecture and Planning Library, the Center for American History, the Benson Latin American Collection, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, and the Austin History Center of the Austin Public Library. The Austin History Center collects all architectural records for Travis County with the exception of those related to the University of Texas.

The Alexander Architectural Archives collects records reflecting our architecture and planning heritage. In addition, we ask for monetary support to help with costly processing and preservation necessary in stewardship for future scholarship. Please consider a gift of support with your donation.


Specifically, what we collect

Personal Papers

Records created outside of the creator’s professional sphere that may document such activities as hobbies, family, friendships, etc. Also included are items relating to student work, as it was created before and not during the architect’s career. Travel-related items (diaries, sketches, photographs, etc) are also included. These records are generally collected if they show some relationship to the creator’s development and influences in his/her career.

  1. Biographical Information
  2. Diaries
  3. Correspondence
  4. Student Work
  5. Travel
  6. Photographic material- especially a portrait of the creator


Professional Papers

Records created in the course of the architect’s professional activities. Examples include writings on topics like architectural theory, speeches, and records relating to activities for professional associations 

  1. Correspondence
  2. Writings
  3. Presentations
  4. Associations and Committees
  5. Awards: these will be removed from their frames unless the frame is considered an artifact
  6. Research Notes
  7. Reference Files


Faculty Papers

Records related to the teaching of architecture, such as syllabi, lecture notes, exams, assignments, department administration, and research and reference materials

  1. Administrative
  2. Course Materials
  3. Research Notes
  4. Reference Files
  5. Students’ Work


Office Records

Records created by the architectural firm in any capacity other than design and construction. This includes administrative, accounting, and marketing records.

  1. Administrative
  2. Correspondence
  3. Financial Records
  4. Public Relations
  5. Photographic material
  6. Presentation Materials
  7. Clippings and/or Scrapbooks


Project Records

These are records relating to design and construction. The Archive may not be able to take all project records. We ask that the creator select a representation of his/her professional career; providing a list of the most significant projects and why they are significant. Significance might include technological innovations, award-winning designs, use of new construction methods or products, significant clients, etc. Original records are preferred over copy prints, especially for drawings.

  1. Project Lists- full project lists along with explanations to the filing system are very valuable documents.
  2. Files
  3. Photographic material
  4. Drawings
  5. Models- we generally do not accept models because they are difficult to preserve and service. Models of exceptional historic or research value will be accepted, as are photographic documentation of models.


Art & Artifacts

Items such as office furniture, paintings, drafting tools, etc, which relate to the professional life of the creator but are technically not records. We generally do not accept art and artifacts because they are difficult to preserve and service. Art and artifacts of exceptional historic or research value will be accepted. We would be happy to help you find an appropriate repository for these items.



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

Phone: (512) 495-4250

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