Austin Women in Architecture Records, 1983-1986
An Inventory to the Collection
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.
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.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Austin Women is Architecture Records (AR.Z.011). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/1983/068
Donation Date: 1989 November
Finding aid was created by Tim Wilder.
Finding aid was encoded by Evan Usler in December 2009.
Detailed Description of the Collection