Austin History Center

Austin Women in Architecture Records, 1983-1986

An Inventory to the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Austin Women in Architecture
Title: Austin Women in Architecture Records, 1983-1986
Inclusive Dates: 1983-1986
Abstract: The collection contains administrative records that document the activities of the Austin Women in Architecture organization from its creation in 1983 to 1986.
Identification: AR.Z.011
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 box)
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

In 1975, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conducted a national task force on women in architecture which resulted in a publication of a task force report and an affirmative action plan. In 1980, the national AIA contacted the local AIA chapter and requested a task group for women to be instituted. Local female architects like Sheron Smith Savage, Laura Montllor, Laurie Limbracher, Karen McGraw and Natalie De Blois were the forerunners of the organization.

By 1981, the group grew to include minorities as well as women and was known as Women and Minorities in Architecture. This group became very vocal and was successful at nominating its own slate of minority officers at the local AIA Annual Business Meeting in the Fall of 1981. Women and Minorities in Architecture was also responsible for initiating the selection process that requires at least three minority/and or women business firms to be contacted for City of Austin bid contracts; a requirement still in effect today.

In April 1983, the group took the necessary steps to become an autonomous official organization. It was decided to seek collaboration with the local AIA chapter, Texas Society of Architects, and the University of Texas at Austin on specific projects by pooling financial assistance.

On September 19, 1983, a meeting was held at which the by-laws were adopted and the board was incorporated. The organization formally adopted the name Austin Women in Architecture AWA). The following week a membership meeting was held at which dues were collected and officers were elected.

Since its inception, AWA has hosted several Architectural Registration Exam seminars, including the mock site exam. The AWA also hosted its first exhibit of women's work in arts and architecture in 1985 entitled "Scopes and Scales of Design." Denise Scott Brown, renowned architect of Venturi, Rauch, and Scott Brown, has been the guest speaker at two AWA programs in separate years.

Scope and Contents

The arrangement of the Austin Women in Architecture Papers basically is much the same as upon receipt at the Austin History Center. Filing errors were corrected along with the discarding of duplicates, blank envelopes and items with little or no historical value. The collection consists mostly of reports, notes and schedules initiated by each separate committee. Since it appears that the AWA was so strongly guided by its committees, each series contains only those items connected with a particular committee.

The first series, General Materials, contains items that are pertinent to AQA as a whole. Correspondence, bylaws and committee rosters comprise the majority of materials. Of extreme interest is the AWA historical sketch filed in box/folder 1/3.

The Executive Committee materials are found in the second series and consist mostly of agendas, minutes, and miscellaneous meeting notes.

The third series consists of the Communications Committee materials. The salary questionnaire in box/folder 1/11 is highly informative into the feelings and attitudes of AWA members.

The fourth series contains the Program Committee materials. This committee was responsible for the various seminars and mock exams which the AWA sponsored.

The reports of the Membership Committee are found in the fifth series. Membership listings appear to be of the most importance within the series.

The financial documents for AWA as a whole are filed in the sixth series. Monthly and annual income/expense reports are contained within this series.

The seventh series consists of printed materials collected AWA as a whole. With the exception of one news release, these items were not generated by the AWA.


Collection is arranged into seven series:
I. General Materials, 1983-86
II. Executive Committee, 1983-86
III. Communications Committee, 1984-86
IV. Program Committee, 1983-85
V. Membership Committee, 1983-86
VI. Financial Documents, 1983-86
VII. Printed Materials, 1984-85


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Savage, Sheron Smith.
Montllor, Laura.
Limbracher, Laurie.
McGraw, Karen.
De Blois, Natalie.
Brown, Denise Scott.
Austin Women in Architecture
American Institute of Architects
Women and Minorities in Architecture
Austin Women in Architecture
Texas Society of Architects
University of Texas at Austin
Austin (Tex.)
Document Types:
Printed Material

Separated Material


  • AWA Newsletters: 1984-1986 (not complete)

General Collection

  • AWA Directory 1984-85
  • AWA Directory, April 1984

Austin Files (AF)

  • 23 printed ephemera items including flyers, invitations, etc.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Austin Women is Architecture Records (AR.Z.011). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1983/068

Donation Date: 1989 November

Processing Information

Finding aid was created by Tim Wilder.

Finding aid was encoded by Evan Usler in December 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. General Materials, 1983-1986

Box Folder
1 1 Bylaws and amendments, 1983-85, undated
2 Officer and committee rosters, 1983-86
3 AWA historical sketch, 1986
3-5 Correspondence, 1983-85

II. Executive Committee, 1983-86

Box Folder
1 6 Agendas, 1983-86
7 Minutes and notes, 1983-86
7 Calendars/timelines, 1985-86, undated

III. Communications Committee, 1984-86

Box Folder
1 9 Reports and schedules, 1984-85
10 Brochures, 1984, undated
11 Salary questionnaire, 1984

IV. Program Committee, 1983-85

Box Folder
1 12 Reports, Notes and questionnaire, 1983-85
13 Exhibit Reports and notes, 1985, undated

V. Membership Committee, 1983-86

Box Folder
1 14 Reports and rosters, 1983-86

VI. Financial Documents, 1983-1986

Box Folder
1 15 Income/expense reports, 1983-86

VII. Printed Materials, 1984-85

Box Folder
1 16 Clippings, 1984-85
17 News release, 1984