Category Archives: alexander architectural archives

Mission Possible

What does an archivist do when the archives are closed?

Mission Espíritu Santo de Zuniga restoration drawing, 1933

Along with institutions across the globe, the Alexander Architectural Archives and Architecture and Planning Library closed our doors in March for the safety of students, staff, and visitors. Usually we spend our days surrounded by the Alexander’s collection of papers and books at Battle Hall, physically tied to the materials we work with. While we miss the stacks (and each other!), the transition to remote-work presented the perfect opportunity to focus our attention on digital projects at the archives. 

Digital work gave us something to keep our hands full, but, more importantly, it gave us a way to continue to make archival resources available to researchers, also facing the challenges of remote work. Contributing to the University of Texas Libraries’ Collections Portal offered the best of both worlds. This recently launched Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) provides a platform for UT repositories to store and describe their digital materials, and share them with the public.

Screenshot of the collections portal

Luckily, this isn’t our first rodeo when it comes to digital projects at the Alexander. For as long as digital technologies have existed, the archival profession has been brainstorming ways to both preserve these technologies and take advantage of them to make archival materials more accessible. In 1999, the Alexander launched an online digital exhibit titled, Spanish Colonial Architecture as Represented in the Alexander Architectural Archive, described as “a collection of digitized drawings and photographs of eighteenth-century Spanish missions and [the] San Antonio’s Governor’s Palace. These records, dating mainly from the 1920s through the 1950s, reflect how the structures looked before various efforts of restoration and reconstruction. Selected from collections within the Alexander Architectural Archive, they include works by Harvey P. Smith, Stewart King, Ayres and Ayres, Robert Leon White, and measured drawings by UT Austin School of Architecture students in the Texas Architecture Archive”.

Twenty years later, this collection of digital scans is gaining new life on the Collections Portal. In my role as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Alexander, I’ve been immersed in a world of arches and colonnades, uploading assets from the Missions exhibit into the DAMS and adding descriptive metadata.

Mission San Francisco de la Espada, drawing of patio

Following UT’s shutdown, the staff at the Alexander shifted our focus to remote projects, including working in the DAMS to ingest an array of items, from floorplans to historic photographs. With over 2,000 combined items from the Alexander Archives and Library, our collection is only growing. As researchers continue to limit travel and conduct their work remotely, access to online resources has become more important than ever. Even as UT begins to implement new safety strategies on campus and we consider plans for reopening the archive, digital portals will remain a vital access point and a way for both institutions and researchers to see archival materials in a new light. When it comes to the digital, we as archivists are in it for the long haul, rain or shine, just like our commitment to preserving traditional paper artifacts. 

We look forward to welcoming you back to Battle Hall in the future, and in the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy browsing our materials virtually via the Collections Portal.

Sources:

Photo preservation with the Society for Commercial Archeology

Source: Society for Commercial Archeology records, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Introduction

This post is part of a series on personal collection management. The series provides tips and tricks to Society for Commercial Archeology (SCA) members for preserving and organizing their personal collections of photographs and print materials, and digitizing these items.

Personal collections management borrows best practices from collecting institutions like archives, libraries, and museums, scaled down for an individual’s needs. Following a few simple personal archiving guidelines can help preserve your memories into the future, keeping them accessible to the next generation.

In the Spring of 2019, I produced a Records Management plan for the SCA’s administrative records, which are housed at the Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries. These articles on personal collection management supplement the institutional Records Management tool, so that the personal materials of SCA members can be cared for at home, even outside of a formal archive.

Source: Society for Commercial Archeology records, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Let’s Get Started!

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only if it’s preserved. For many of us, our photographs, film, and slides contain our most cherished memories and familial ties. But, all too often these photographs sit neglected in damp basements, stuffy attics, and crumbling shoeboxes. The tips below will help your photos live their best life.

Handling

  • Do not touch the image side of the print directly, to avoid leaving fingerprints and oils from the skin
  • For best practice, wear thin cotton or nitrile gloves

Storing

Storage is the foundation of photo preservation. The right storage can be the difference between a photo that lasts a lifetime, and one damaged beyond repair.

  • Store your photos in acid free boxes or envelopes
  • For extra protection, photos can be layered between sheets of acid free paper, or slipped into clear archival envelopes
  • Store negatives in acid free envelopes
  • Avoid storing photos in spaces with wide fluctuations in temperature or humidity, such as attics, basements, or garages. As one blogger puts it: “A good rule of thumb is storing photos where you are also comfortable: not too hot, cold, wet or dry.”
  • Store photos in a well-ventilated area
  • Avoid storing photos or photo boxes in direct sunlight
  • Avoid using paper clips or rubber bands to bundle photographs
  • When storing photos in boxes, avoid “dead space” which will cause your photos to tip and lean. This can bend your prints, and mix them up out of order. Fill the dead space with folded pieces of stiff acid-free paper.
  • Similarly, avoid packing prints or slides too tightly into a box. Give them a little breathing room so that the materials are not stressed or damaged by constantly pushing against one another.

Labeling and Organizing

Labeling your photos may feel tedious in the moment, but it can save you from pain and confusion down the line. Have you ever looked back on an old photograph that you took or one taken of you, and had no recollection of the moment? Or what about inheriting a box of old family photographs, without any idea of who the photos depict or when they were taken? Our memories aren’t perfect, but thankfully, labeling can step in for us.

  • Types of information you may wish to include in the label:
    • Full names of people in the photo
    • Date
    • Location
    • Occasion
    • Photographer
  • Use gentle pressure to label the backs of photographs at the lower border. Avoid pens which require a forceful hand, as the pressure can damage your photo.
  • If labeling each individual photo is too time-consuming, label boxes or envelopes which contain photos that are part of a set. (Best practice is to label the envelopes before placing the material in them).
  • There is no single “correct” way to organize your photos. Chronologically, by person, by occasion? Choose a method that makes sense to you, and will make it easy to find the photo you’re looking for in the future.

Displaying and Sharing Photos

Storing photos for the future is great, but what if you want to enjoy your photos in the moment?

  • If you want to frame a photo for display, consider making a copy, rather than displaying the original. This way you can enjoy your photo everyday, while the original is protected from light damage.
  • Storing photos in an album is generally not recommended. Album materials like glue, cardboard, and plastic, can damage your photos. Instead, scan the photos and produce an album with the digital scans (through services like Shutterfly, Mixbook, or Amazon photos), or make photocopies for an album. The originals can then be left in protected storage.
  • Look for acid-free frames, mats, and albums.
Source: Society for Commercial Archeology records, Alexander Architectural Archives, University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Further Resources

Looking for more? This section links to lots of helpful outside resources.

General Advice for Photographic Care

Caring for Photographic Slides

While most of the advice on caring for photo prints also applies to slides, the following resources are specific to slides.

Purchasing Archival Supplies

Where to find acid-free boxes, photo sleeves and more.

Troubleshooting

Wondering how to take care of a collection of photos that’s already experienced damage? Below are resources for addressing common types of damage or degradation.

Mold
Removing tape, removing photos from an album

Hiring a Professional

Have a project too big to tackle alone? Try The American Institute for Conservation’s Find a Conservator feature.

Up Next!

Stay tuned for upcoming articles on digitization and tips on caring for paper materials like postcards, fliers, and clippings.

Alofsin Archive: Design Education

Alofsin Archive Design Education materials rehoused in their new manuscript boxes
Alofsin Archive Design Education materials rehoused in their new manuscript boxes

Hi, I’m Kathleen Carter. As I detailed in my last blog post, I’ve been processing the Anthony Alofsin Archive, the papers of the University of Texas at Austin professor and author of several works on architecture. Currently, I’m in the rehousing stage of the project. I’ve been removing materials from their original boxes and folders and putting them into brand new archival folders and manuscript boxes.  As with anything, these materials will age and may become unusable if not stored properly. By placing the papers into acid-free folders, putting all photographs into protective sleeves, and removing any damaging materials (for example, rusting paperclips), we can ensure that the Alofsin Archive will remain in good condition for as long as possible. To start with, I’ve been working on the materials that Dr. Alofsin collected on the history of design education.

 

Alofsin's book on the Harvard Graduate School of Design published in 2002
Alofsin’s book on the GSD

The bulk of these materials are about the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). Dr. Alofsin was commissioned by the GSD’s Dean Gerald McCue in 1985 to write a thorough history of design education at Harvard for its 50th anniversary in 1986 (also Harvard’s 350th anniversary).  With editor Julia Bloomfield and research assistant Andrea Greenwood, Alofsin accumulated over six hundred pages of documentation on the history of school. These were used to plan the exhibition “The Founding Decades of the Schools of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City Planning at Harvard, 1895-1935” held at the GSD in 1986. Alofsin also laid down the framework for a multi-volume series about the school. While those books were never published, Harvard later passed the rights of the materials to Alofsin. He used the research to write The Struggle for Modernism: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and City Planning at Harvard, published in 2002.

 

GSD student Raymond F. Leonard's 1931 thesis, an example of student work accumulated in the archive
GSD student Raymond F. Leonard’s 1931 thesis, an example of student work Alofsin collected

Drafts of both the original volumes and The Struggle for Modernism are in the Alofsin Archive. The research for the 1986 project and other materials on the history of design education accumulated by Alofsin have also found their home in the Alexander Architectural Archives. These records include interviews with GSD alumni and faculty, work by students dating back to the 1930s, charts of the evolution of the GSD’s courses,  hundreds of photographic materials, and even papers from the personal archive of the first GSD Dean Joseph Hudnut.

 

These materials will all be described in a complete finding aid of the Alofsin Archive and available to researchers to see for themselves!

A photograph from the archive of early GSD students working in the historic Robinson Hall
A photograph from the collection showing early GSD students at work in the historic Robinson Hall

Semester Recap: The Unbridled Beauty of Watercolor Renderings

To kick off a series of blog posts recapping the Spring 2014 semester, we figured we’d start with one of the most visually captivating: watercolor renderings from our very own Alexander Architectural Archive.

Earlier in the semester, Judy Birdsong’s Visual Communications studio paid a visit to the Archive to check out some of our working drawings in order to see how they have changed over the years. This is a completely fascinating progression, and one of my personal favorite things to view when I visit the Archive for my own research needs. However, a few weeks later, students were assigned a project requiring watercolor — and the watercolor renderings the Archive has are an absolutely incredible resource!

I was lucky enough to be given a similar exposure to the Archive’s watercolors by Curatorial Assistant Nancy Sparrow, and I’m here to pass on the unbridled beauty. If any of you happen to have been looking to improve your architectural watercolor skills, the Archive is an unparalleled resource!

Throughout final reviews, a similar version of the same comment often comes to the surface: accurately conveying an architectural idea heavily depends on the way you draw or render your final presentation graphically. With so much focus on computer generated renderings in practice today, watercolors are almost slowly being vaulted into the ranks of a lost art. These stunning examples from the Archive showcase immaculate talent that displays a clear understanding of color, shadow, contrast, and fine detail by the artist.

We hope the following high-resolution images inspire you in some way, whether out of pure admiration, or to pursue a new (or revived!) technique in the renderings you produce yourself. Click on the below photographs to view in beautiful detail!

I was floored by this beautiful rendering of the Flawn Academic Center, located just across the mall from Battle Hall. Nancy and I could not stop admiring the glass…

…as well as the rectangular screen detailing that makes the FAC’s facade so distinguishable on campus. Truly, I could stare at every facet of this piece for hours!

This rendering of the Blanton Art Museum by Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects features a more soft and controlled style versus the more lively and articulated piece of the FAC. I love the gradient of color in the trees and the wax-like reflection of the roadway.

This detail view reveals the attention paid to the tiling under the eaves, the careful shading of the windows, and – my personal favorite – the almost exact reflection of the fenestration in the sheen of the roadway. This is such a unique technique that adds to the character of this piece, and I’m feeling a creative spark inside me just typing this!

We also love this rendering of the drama building, also on UT’s campus. This piece features some of the more lively, broad strokes of the FAC rendering. I, personally, love articulating trees and other plants with markers and watercolor, and this artist used flattering, vibrant green hues to offset the tan and sand hues of the featured building. I also purposely left this image uncropped – the paint strokes at the bottom reveal a glimpse into the creative process!

I cannot stress enough how valuable an experience it is to pay a visit to the Archive to see renderings, drawings, photographs, and even tools used by the greats we house in our collections. Not only are these collections inspiring, but they are reminders that there are endless ways to represent an architectural idea. I believe this last point is the most powerful, especially for students embarking on a career in architecture and design. The profession is inherently creative and open to interpretation – and you have the power to convey ideas in your own style!

Many, many thanks to Nancy Sparrow for bringing these pieces to my attention. We hope you take advantage of the Archive’s treasures for all of the semesters ahead!

New Collections, Maps, and Turtles!

Howdy all, and welcome back for another Mayaland Adventure! I hope everybody enjoyed the Independence Day weekend. The Architecture and Planning Library and Alexander Architectural Archive were closed over the weekend to celebrate, so it’s good to be back.

Recently, along with the volunteering on George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews Maya Architecture Collection, I worked with Donna Coates on accessioning a new collection. The process requires understanding the difference between relevant information and data for the archive, and that which is not pertinent to keep.

Some of the material is not kept because we can get copies online or within other resources, which includes items such as government documents or photocopies of publications. These items, though at times are rather interesting, cannot be kept due to limited space. With limited space comes a higher diligence for selecting essentials, and leaving items that are easily accessible elsewhere.

During the process of obtain new collections, we must also work to not get rid of aspects which another archive or department might use. Just because something does not apply to our archive does not necessarily mean someone else cannot use it. This is why we work with other facilities on campus or in town that might have use for the extra material. It is this cooperation that creates a friendly environment in the archival community.

Back in the George F. and Gerrie D. Andrews Maya Collection, we got together Friday to discuss the progress thus far, and how each member of the team thought the processing should continue. Ian brought up a good point that for the final sorting the collection should be placed into country categories, followed by alphabetical site sorting. This would allow researchers to acquire access to a specific region, instead of sifting through the entire collection. This is important for the archive as well because it prevents the material from being overly handled.

We also discussed how we would house the Andrew’s photos and writings. The decision we must make is whether to kept everything together, or boxed separately. This item is still up in the air at the moment. It seems, at least from my view that it would be useful to have the groups separate, because individuals would be likely to be looking specifically for photos or documentation, not necessarily both. It also feels more organized.

Prelimnary Map of Central Portion of Maya Ruins of Yaxha, El Peten, Guatemala
Prelimnary Map of Central Portion of Maya Ruins of Yaxha, El Peten, Guatemala

The problem arises, however, with items that are contained in the documentation that fit better within the photos portion. Here would be required to make sure to have detailed notation of each item to create a complete inventory. We also must find a place for all the drawings and sketches present within the collection. This includes maps, stelae and masks, and graffiti. These are just a couple of the questions the team faces as we continue work on the collection.

Before heading out, check out this cool photo I found while sorting. It is the ‘casa de las tortugas’ or House of the Turtles! You can see a rough scale of the building based on the individual standing in front. Enjoy las tortugas, and until next time this is Austin from Mayaland, signing off.

Casa de Las Tortugas
Casa de Las Tortugas

Documenting vernacular architecture in Texas

Earlier this summer, I wrote about processing the Wayne Bell papers. Because of my resulting familiarity with his work, I went on to work with the records of the Winedale Historical Center, the historic preservation program in the School of Architecture that Bell directed for many years.
When we interviewed Bell, we asked about the unique challenges of preserving historical sites, especially when a property or features of it have deteriorated beyond repair. His answer? You can preserve by creating a historical record. Throughout the Winedale Historical Center records are field notes, site plans, drawings, photographs, oral histories, and other materials kept safe in the Alexander Architectural Archive, documenting important information about buildings from across central and south Texas.

Zimmerscheidt-Leyendecker House field book
Field book entry, Zimmerscheidt-Leyendecker House

You hope that, with good preservation work, the building will remain. Sometimes, however, disaster strikes. In 1981, just five years after UT historic preservation students worked on the Zimmerscheidt-Leyendecker House in Colorado County, an arsonist destroyed the property. The students’ records are now that much more valuable to maintaining the cultural memory of this home.
By Amanda Keys, processing assistant in the Alexander Architectural Archive and School of Information student focusing on archival enterprise and special collections

William A. Storrer collection donated to the University of Texas at Austin

Storr
William Allin Storrer at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY. William A. Storrer Collection.

Noted Frank Lloyd Wright scholar, Dr. William Allin Storrer, has donated his manuscript, research and reference archive to the University of Texas at Austin Libraries. The collection consists of photographic prints, negatives, slides, drawings, papers, books and periodicals that led to his groundbreaking publications: The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Complete CatalogThe Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright: a Guide to Extant Structures; and The Frank Lloyd Wright Companion. Storrer chose the University of Texas at Austin because of its School of Architecture’s “focus on organic and environmentally viable architecture and because of the presence of Wright scholars Anthony Alofsin and Richard Cleary among its faculty.”

The Storrer Collection joins nearly one hundred other archival collections consisting of more than a quarter of a million drawings and thousands of photographs and related materials in the Alexander Architectural Archive and more than 88,000 volumes in the Architecture and Planning Library.

Marin County Hall of Justice
Frank Lloyd Wright. Marin County Hall of Justice, San Rafael, CA (S.417). William A. Storrer Collection.

Storrer produced the first comprehensive catalog, along with a definitive numbering system, of Wright’s nearly 500 built works. The 3rd edition of the Catalog identifies in photo or drawing every extant constructed project. It also incorporates the maps and directions from his earlier Guide (1991). Storrer’s Companion (1993) provides an additional textual component, plans, and photographs, as well as new documentation on nearly 100 properties that have been destroyed. The range of this documentation makes his publications essential tools for all Wright scholars.

“The Storrer Collection represents the most comprehensive documentation of Frank Lloyd Wright’s built work that has ever been assembled outside Wright’s own archive,” states Alofsin. “It will provide generations of scholars with an incomparable foundation upon which to base future Wright research and study. Having the Storrer collection in the Alexander Architectural Archive confirms the University of Texas at Austin as the primary location for advanced scholarly research on Wright, America’s best known architect and a major cultural figure of the twentieth century.”

interior of residence
Frank Lloyd Wright. Interior of the John Storrer residence, Hollywood, CA (S.215). William A. Storrer Collection.

“Dr. Storrer’s generous contribution marks a significant opportunity for the School of Architecture,” emphasizes Dean Fritz Steiner. “With Storrer’s appointment as Adjunct Professor of Architecture, the University of Texas at Austin now offers graduate students seeking to pursue advanced scholarship on Frank Lloyd Wright unparalleled expertise and a range and depth of archival materials found at no other institution of higher education.”

Once processed and cataloged, the Storrer collection will be available by appointment within the Alexander Architectural Archive.

Texas Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records established

The Texas Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records (TxCOPAR), sponsored by the Alexander Architectural Archive at the University of Texas at Austin, has been established to assist in the location of historical records and the preservation of the architectural heritage of Texas. The web site for the Committee can be found at http://drupal.lib.utexas.edu/apl/aaa/copar.html.

TxCOPAR will serve as a resource for sharing expertise on the management and preservation of architectural records, as well as information about the location of those records. To date, over 30 repositories have been identified in Texas. At this early stage, the web site is primarily dedicated to gathering membership information through its online form. The Texas Committee urges those who own or care for architectural documents or those who are interested in locating and preserving architectural records in Texas, to join TxCOPAR.

The Committee follows the model of other regional COPARs that are part of the national COPAR (Cooperative Preservation of Architectural Records) effort. This national effort was established in 1973 and is maintained by the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress as a center for information on architectural records in the United States. COPAR directs researchers to repositories in all states.

TxCOPAR is suitably based at the Alexander Architectural Archive, the largest repository of architectural records in Texas, with more than 250,000 drawings and over 860 linear feet of papers, photographic material, models, and ephemera, representing thousands of projects in Texas and beyond. The Alexander Architectural Archive is located within the Architecture and Planning Library, a unit of the General Libraries. Many important resources are located nearby, including the Texas State Archives, the Texas Historical Commission, the U.T. School of Architecture, and the U.T. Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) with its strong Archives and Preservation and Conservation Studies programs. TxCOPAR, however, is a statewide effort dependent on its members. It is a statewide service committed to the preservation of architectural records in Texas and the sharing of information about the location of these records.

Extensive Maya architectural research archive donated to the General Libraries

The largest, most exhaustive and fully documented visual record of architecture of the Lowland Maya area in the world has been donated to the General Libraries Alexander Architectural Archive at the University of Texas at Austin. The George F. and Geraldine D. Andrews Papers, donated by Mrs. Geraldine D. Andrews, represent the life work of Prof. George F. Andrews (1918-2000) of the University of Oregon, and his wife, Gerrie.

“The Andrews Papers– along with the recently acquired library of Prof. Linda Schele donated by her husband David – makes UT Austin one of the major locations in the world for the study of Maya architecture and culture,” said Harold Billings, director of General Libraries.

In the late 1950s, Prof. Andrews and his wife visited the Yucatan for the first time. For the next 40 years they were to devote their professional lives to the study and documentation of Maya architecture. This extended investigation produced the Andrews Papers, a modest name for a remarkable collection that includes an architectural data bank covering 850 buildings at 240 archaeological sites in the lowland Maya area.

The collection consists of three main components: (1) approximately 3,500 pages of descriptive data covering both exterior and interior architectural, decorative, and construction features; (2) more than 2,500 architectural drawings (sketches, maps, plans, sections, elevations, details, and restored views); and (3) several thousand photographs showing the buildings in their present form, which ranges from partly destroyed to substantially excavated and partly restored.

As Prof. Andrews noted shortly before his death,

“. . . perhaps the most important aspect [of what he referred to as the Architectural Data Bank] . . . is that the data from every building or site considered has been put into the same standardized form, making comparisons of individual buildings, building complexes, specific sites or entire regions relatively simple. For example, features such as base moldings, medial moldings, and cornice moldings can be compared at both inter-site and intra-site scales since the data for all sites is recorded in the same format and drawings have been made at the same scale. . . . anyone interested in Maya architecture from any point of view would find the data bank of considerable value as a basic research resource for comparative architectural studies, investigations of architectural details and construction techniques, or in making areawide studies of stylistic attributes, building forms, or site-level patterns of settlement.”

Prof. Andrews directed his first field project at the site of Comalcalco, Tabasco, Mexico, with the support of the Ford Foundation. He and his wife also served as members of the Sayil, Xculoc, and Xkipch archeological projects.

Prof. Andrews retired from full-time teaching in 1980 and devoted the next 20 years to full-time research and study of the Maya. He was the author of numerous monographs including Maya Cities: Placemaking and Urbanization (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1975) and a three-volume collection of his important essays and studies entitled Pyramids and Palaces, Monsters and Masks (Lancaster, CA: Labyrinthos, 1993-1999).

The Andrews Papers are currently being inventoried in the Alexander Architectural Archive. For more information please contact Beth Dodd, Curator, Alexander Architectural Archive, or Nancy Sparrow, Curatorial Assistant, at (512) 495-4621. For general information on the Alexander Architectural Archive consult: http://drupal.lib.utexas.edu/apl/aaa

General Libraries acquires Cret Library

The General Libraries has acquired the library of Paul P. Cret (1876-1945), the architect responsible for The University’s 1933 Master Plan, the design of the Main Building and UT Tower, and 18 other buildings on the UT campus.

The collection totals approximately 700 volumes published between 1560 and the 1930’s plus 43 albums, portfolios, and boxed sets of photographs. The books, many of which are rare, are mostly large, folio-size, and profusely illustrated. Many are in their original leather or cloth bindings. Most of the books are classic texts still in use today by architects and architectural historians.

Included in the collection are offprints, exhibition catalogs, prospectuses, annual reports, monographs, trade and industrial materials catalogs, journals, and periodicals regarding architecture and planning, housing, restoration, and bridges. The photographic materials consist of documentation of the work of Paul P. Cret and his successor firm. The books in the Cret Library will be housed in the Architecture and Planning Library. Photographic materials will be cared for in the Alexander Architectural Archive.

The Cret Library was acquired with funding from the Martin S. and Evelyn S. Kermacy Collection Endowment, the School of Architecture, the General Libraries, and the UT System Academic Library Collection Enhancement Program (ALCEP).

“This is a magnificent collection of great historic value to UT Austin and of current value to a range of architectural historians and practicing architects,” said Harold Billings, Director of General Libraries. “With the addition of this collection and the continuing expansion of the Alexander Architectural Archive we now have one of the major architectural resource centers in the nation on our UT Austin campus.”

In 1907 Paul P. Cret founded what became the most successful beaux-arts architectural firm in Philadelphia. In addition to his work on the UT Austin campus, he designed such prestigious edifices as The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., the Rodin Museum, and The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. While practicing architecture, Cret also headed the Department of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania for over 30 years. After Cret’s death in 1945, his four partners assumed the practice under the partnership of Harbeson Hough Livingston & Larson (renamed H2L2 in 1976). The Cret Library was acquired from H2L2. It is highly unusual that a collection of this type and size should survive in its entirety.