Special Projects: Southern Architect and Building News

Southern ArchitectHere at the Architecture and Planning Library, we have long been obsessed with fascinated by our impressive collection of Southern Architect and Building News journals.  Printed from approximately the late 1880s to the early 1930s, Southern Architect was published to highlight the architecture and architectural news of the Southern United States, with similar content to American Architect only with a .  Our Special Collections contains the largest known collection of Southern Architect ranging in date from 1892 to 1931.

The journal itself contains articles and advertisements relating to all things architecture in the South.  The articles include pieces on homes and buildings around the South, complete with drawings and/or photographs.  Taken together, Southern Architect documents trends in architecture, society, technology, and advertising that make it an important part of architectural history.

It has been a longtime goal of our Librarian, Dr. Katie Pierce Meyer, to digitize Southern Architect.  We’re so pleased that we have finally received a grant to do so!  We are currently working with the Head of Digitization Services for UT Libraries, Anna Lamphear, and her team to digitize and make available on the UT work-in-progress Data Asset Management System.  Digitization Services is producing high quality, searchable scans of the journal and then uploading them to the DAMS.

The digitization is going much faster than we anticipated, so we are now in the process of adding further metadata on the digitized issues.  Part of that process is developing a workflow and a standard for our metadata.  Our Digital Initiatives GRA, Zach, Dr. Katie, and I are currently working on identifying the most important metadata attributes and creating a standard for us to follow as we all work on entering metadata.

This project is still in its early stages, so that’s all I can say for now about it.  But, we’re really excited about finally getting Southern Architect digitized and making it accessible, and we hope you’re excited too!  Stay tuned for more news on this awesome project!