UPDATE: Southern Architect and Building News Digitization Project

Hello, People of the Blogosphere! We figured it was time to provide an update on the efforts to digitize our copies of the journal Southern Architect and Building News. The bottom line: all our issues of Southern Architect are now available on the new University of Texas at Austin Collections website! There are still some kinks being worked out and changes being made to the site, but there are now hundreds of items available from institutions across campus for you to peruse.

One thing worth highlighting about the site is the sheer quality of the images. Particularly noteworthy is that the images lose none of their quality when users zoom in. Not only that, but now you can invert images to be negative, adjust saturation and brightness, rotate the image, and more.

Screenshot of the University of Texas at Austin Collections website, showing an unedited image
This is the same page in the journal as pictured above, only zoomed in on the images and with the colors inverted so that the images of the plans are clearer.

Additionally, you can overlay the metadata for the issue over the image itself, which is a very useful feature when you are in the midst of reading the journal or looking at the images. This means you can see all the information you might need without having to abandon the image you are on or losing any edits you might have made to the image.

Here you can see the overlay of metadata over the image.

There are also several different ways of viewing the images, including scroll view and book view. This allows you to choose the format that best fits your needs, whether you want to read the article as if the journal was in your hands (book view), or see numerous images at a time and essentially flip through the whole journal several pages at a time (scroll view).

Book view
Scroll view

There’s tons to explore on this website. There’s also still kinks to be worked out. But please go and look at these amazing online collections from us, the Alexander Architectural Archives, and our friends around UT Austin!

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