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The Architecture & Planning Library at The University of Texas at Austin has received a generous bequest from its most devoted patron.
The estate of D. Blakely “Blake” Alexander—a retired university architecture professor who passed away in December—has established an endowment to benefit the archive that bears his name.
The Alexander Architectural Archive began as a project of Alexander’s requiring students in his architectural history class to measure and draw historic Texas buildings eventually grew to become the largest such archive in Texas, containing over 250,000 drawings and over 900 linear feet of papers, photographic material, models and ephemera, and representing thousands of projects in Texas as well as New York, Chicago, California and Great Britain.
Today, the archive supports instruction in the School of Architecture through the doctoral level in architectural design, history, preservation and community and regional planning; and the bachelor level in Interior Design. It also supports research in history, art history, American Studies, anthropology and engineering, as well as scholarly and professional inquiry by design professionals, governmental agencies and other professionals involved in the preservation and restoration of buildings.
"Blake Alexander lived a productive life as a scholar’s scholar, and he left us with an enduring legacy," says University of Texas Libraries’ director Dr. Fred Heath. "The Alexander endowment will permanently enrich a great library’s contribution to teaching and learning on behalf of every student and faculty member it serves.”
The Blake Alexander Architectural Library Endowment—funded with almost a million dollars—will provide for acquisitions, collections support and technological improvements that directly impact the quality of students' experiences at the library and archives. Additionally, funds may be used to support professional development activities of the Architecture & Planning Library’s head librarian.