Blake Alexander (Feb. 4, 1924 – Dec. 11, 2011)

Blake Alexander

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Drury Blakeley Alexander, whose namesake Alexander Architectural Archive in the Architecture & Planning Library is the premier collection of architectural resources in Texas.

Blake was a champion for the education, documentation, and preservation of Texas’ architectural heritage. He was also a pioneer in recognizing the importance of archiving architectural records. The Alexander Architectural Archive grew out of his personal collection and stewardship. The resources he collected continue to play an important role in the restoration of many of Texas’ most important buildings and continue to support the education and scholarship of American architectural history.

To learn more about Blake’s life and legacy, please see:

Relevancy in the Campaign Cycle

Gingrich's 1971 dissertation on the Congo.

A note by way of a practical example to all those hungry young campaign staffers working on research (opposition or otherwise) for their respective candidates: libraries are a great resource.

Just ask alumna Laura Seay (PhD, ’09), whose investigation into now-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s 1971 dissertation (“Belgian Education Policy in the Congo”) from his European history study at Tulane is getting some renewed appraisal.

Seay located the document among the microfiche collections at PCL.

The lesson could well be that while the Congressional record and the Internet may be fine resources, a little legwork in the stacks can result in treasure.

Alcalde has the whole story here.

Ottaviani’s “Feynman” on the Tube

Ottaviani on Feynman

If you happened to have the misfortune not to be in attendance at the special installment of Science Study Break featuring Jim Ottaviani earlier this fall, well, you’re now in luck.

Comic writer Ottaviani’s extended commentary on his subject – nuclear physicist and virtuoso renaissance man Richard Feynman – that kept the crowd alternately laughing and thinking throughout the evening is now up and available for viewing on the university’s Know website, so check it out.

UPDATE: Ottaviani’s “Feynman” talk is now up on the university’s YouTube channel. Start sharing!

The Pains of Being Pure at Art

Hopeful thinking in the face of finals?

Crushing despair and anxiety has once again produced the perfect conditions for spontaneous creativity at PCL as the Fall semester comes to a close.

Frank Meaker has been at work again this year cataloging the random acts of artistic expression on the whiteboards throughout our flagship branch at the university as students nest for extended hours amongst the stacks in preparation for end-of-semester finals and projects.

Note the increase this year in motivational statements and encouragement from authors/artists to their fellow students. Sometimes shared suffering brings out the best in people, though we prefer to think that this is just in line with the character of the Longhorn community.

For posterity and enjoyment, see the complete set at the Libraries Flickr page.

UPDATE – BONUS: Seems the whiteboards aren’t the only creative outlet for students during finals; they’ve found a medium in YouTube, as well.