Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Drawings and Documents Archive Continues to Expand

The Drawings and Documents Archive, located in the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP), has experienced a great deal of change this year, particularly during the past semester.

Students, alumni, and outside researchers have expressed their appreciation for greater access to materials through longer hours of operation and quicker responses for research requests, and for an active outreach program through online resources and exhibitions. CAP Dean Guillermo Vasquez de Velasco said, “The Archive has been transformed into an interesting, exciting, and accessible place for students and faculty.”

Evidence of this transformation is in the user statistics for the Archive. This semester 455 users accessed 721 items in the collection. By comparison, for the same period a year ago, 197 users accessed 24 items in the collection. The University Libraries are also expanding access to the Archive collections by digitizing hundreds of rare architectural drawings and making them available in the Digital Media Repository (

The Pierre and Wright Architectural Records Collection was the first collection digitized. Edward Pierre and George Wright were two of the most influential architects in Indiana during the 20th century and were responsible for important structures such as the Indiana State Library and Old Trails Office Building, as well as the houses in Williams Creek Estates and numerous structures in Indianapolis. You can access our growing online collection of Pierre and Wright material at

Other collections currently being digitized are the Schuyler N. Nolan Landscape Architecture Records Collection, Wayne M. Weber Architectural Records Collection, and Samuel G. Bartel Architectural Records Collection. For more information, contact Carol A. Street, University Libraries’ Archivist for Architectural Records,, 765-285-8441.

Usually, we do not get to hear how our online collections affect offsite researchers. This photo, available online in the DMR, shows the Edward Pierre-designed Dodd House soon after the house was built in 1946.

One Indianapolis homeowner recently ended his five-year quest to determine the architect who built his house, thanks to our online collections. “This is just terrific! I am as pleased as punch!” he wrote us, sending along this picture, taken at a similar angle.

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