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Texas Architecture: A Visual History
About this Project

The Texas Architecture Web site provides an overview of the development of the built environment in Texas, as well as access to 3,971 digitized images documenting Texas architecture from the Marian Davis and D. Blake Alexander slide collections.

The inspiration for this project is the Web-based Philadelphia Architects and Buildings Project (PAB), which serves to dramatically expand free public access to information on the built environment by providing a user-friendly, image-rich resource. We feel Texas Architecture provides a foundation on which to build a Texas Architects and Buildings Project that will bring together a multitude of architectural resources in a virtual environment.

The University of Texas Libraries' Alexander Architectural Archive (AAA), Digital Library Production Services (DLPS - a department of the Digital Library Services Division), and the School of Architecture's Visual Resources Collection (VRC) received a UTOPIA grant to fund this project. The convergence of the AAA's desire to provide digital access to archival material, the DLPS's effort to digitize the material, and the VRC's effort to focus on building a sustainable digital collection of copyright-free images resulted in architectural content for the University's UTOPIA site.

This project would not have been possible without the generous financial support provided by UTOPIA and the University of Texas Libraries staff, who acted as our liaisons and colleagues throughout the duration of the project. We also are grateful for the administrative and financial support provided by the School of Architecture that contributed to the success of the project. Thanks go to our subject specialists, D. Blake Alexander and Gregory W. Smith of the Texas Historical Commission, who gave their time and expertise to our project and helped us to effectively frame a large body of information within the Web environment. And much appreciation and gratitude goes to our Graduate Assistant Terri Asendorf, who devoted herself fully, and with good humor, to seeing this project to fruition.

Finally, we provide the following list of tasks, completed by our Graduate Assistant devoted to the project, including average rates of work. Our hope is that others will find the information useful when formulating plans and budgets for future projects.

Administrative tasks include orientation, training, meetings and project maintenance (such as time spent updating the decision log; maintenance of the Excel accession and data spreadsheet; general e-mails to supervisors and DLPS; any discussions with DLPS staff). It also includes time spent writing reports for previous months and preparing and delivering data from the Excel spreadsheet for mapping to the VRC Slide Catalog.

Average rate: 15% of the total number of project hours.

Accessioning includes labeling each slide with a unique accession number and recording the accession number in an Excel spreadsheet with a brief description from the slide dividers.

Average rate: 100-120 slides per hour (more time was needed to add labels to 323 plastic or metal mounts).

Selection includes the process of assessing each slide under review by viewing each one through a lupe and then entering the necessary and available data into an Excel spreadsheet. Data includes: Building Type, requiring time to search the AAT database for correct terms; Notes, involving a basic description of the structure that possibly includes materials and any other verifiable information (such as architect and date); Style, involving an assessment of the style of architecture.

Average rate: 1.9 minutes per slide. (Because data for the 757 slides from the Davis Collection was already entered, the review process was only required for the 3,885 Alexander Collection slides—of which 3,214 were selected.)

Circulation includes time spent circulating slides for scanning. This process includes maintenance of a circulation spreadsheet and preparing slides for transport to DLPS.

Average rate: .4 minute per slide

Transportation includes time spent transporting slides by foot to and from DLPS.

Average rate: 30 minutes per trip

Metadata includes describing each image in the Slide Catalog. When necessary, time is spent researching images for additional metadata.

Average rate: 3.5 minutes per slide

Exhibition Development
Exhibit development includes time spent on preliminary research and organization of ideas for the Texas Architecture Web site exhibit presented in storyboard form and researching articles, books and other Web sites for reference or inclusion. Curating the exhibit includes composing narrative content, selecting images and interacting with UTOPIA Web design staff.

Average rate: 200 hours

Submitted by project managers:
Beth J. Dodd, Curator, Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries

Elizabeth A. Schaub, Director, Visual Resources Collection, School of Architecture

Timeline of Texas ArchitectureSpanish Colonial / MexicanRepublic/AntebellumVictorianEarly 20th CenturyModern
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