Thursday, November 20, 2008

University Libraries Collaborates with the Drawings and Documents Archive

by Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections, and Brian A. Knowles, Part-time Temporary Assistant Archivist

Following the retirement of architecture professor Andrew R. Seager, founding director of the Drawings and Documents Archive at the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP), the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections is collaborating with CAP to provide continued access to the collections and services of the Archive for students, faculty, and researchers.

The mission of the Drawings and Documents Archive is to collect, preserve, and make available the records concerning Indiana’s historic sites and structures and the careers of Hoosier architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers, and builders. The Archive houses more than 100,000 drawings and renderings by practitioners throughout Indiana, dating from the late 19th century to the present. More than 40 firms are represented in the collection. Among the most used resources in the collection are biographical files and data files on individual properties and historic districts.

The Archive also collects drawings by CAP students, including the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record. Other collections include:
• Drawings and specifications for Ball State buildings and grounds
• College of Architecture and Planning publications about environmental design and design education
• Postcards of historic sites and structures
• Trade catalogs, maps, atlases, and aerial photographs
• Professional tools and equipment

All of the materials offer a unique resource for students, faculty, and researchers who are interested in Indiana’s architectural heritage The Archives and Special Collections’ personnel are currently working on several projects to improve access to the collections, including reorganization of the poster, postcard, and map collections. Brian A. Knowles, Part-time Temporary Assistant Archivist, and Graduate Assistants Derek M. Rohde and Breanne M. Robbins have completed processing of a significant collection of nearly 2,000 architectural documents and drawings of offices, businesses, and residences throughout Indiana from the 1930s to the 1970s donated by Indianapolis architect Joseph O. Cezar.

The Drawings and Documents Archive is located in the Architecture Building, Room 120. For more information, visit the website, www.bsu.edu/cap/facilities/archives, or contact Brian A. Knowles, Part-time Temporary Assistant Archivist, or Maren L. Read, Archivist for Manuscript Collections, DDArchive@bsu.edu, 765-285-8441.

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