What We Collect
The Alexander Architectural Archive 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 Archive supports research and education on the history of the built environment by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible research collections. The Archive also supports initiatives in learning and scholarship for students studying preservation of the cultural record and archival enterprise.
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 Archive 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 Archive is an archival repository and is a part of the Architecture and Planning Library.
General Collection Guidelines
- Languages: Not applicable.
- Chronological Guidelines: No limitations.
- Geographical Guidelines: Emphasis will be on architectural records relating to buildings and architectural practices in the United States.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Archive collects records reflecting our architectural heritage. In addition, we ask for monetary support to help with the costly processing and preservation of these records for future scholarship. Please consider a gift of support with your donation.
Specifically, what we collectPersonal 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.
- Biographical Information
- Student Work
- Photographs- especially a portrait of the creator
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
- Associations and Committees
- Awards: these will be removed from their frames unless the frame is considered an artifact
- Research Notes
- Reference Files
Records related to the teaching of architecture, such as syllabi, lecture notes, exams, assignments, department administration, and research and reference materials
- Course Materials
- Research Notes
- Reference Files
- Students’ Work
Records created by the architectural firm in any capacity other than design and construction. This includes administrative, accounting, and marketing records.
- Financial Records
- Public Relations
- Presentation Materials
- Clippings and/or Scrapbooks
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.
- Project Lists- full project lists along with explanations to the filing system are very valuable documents.
- 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.