Thanks to Gregory Street, one of our Library Student Supervisors, the Alexander Architectural Archive has begun collecting records of the UT chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS).
As he was busy packing up for his six-month residency at the firm Overland Partners, Gregory — the outgoing President of NOMAS — took time to make a special donation to the Archive. NOMAS was incredibly active this year, building their membership, conducting a service project for Mendez Middle School and holding a “napkin sketch” competition. Such sketches often represent the seeds of designs that are later manifested in great buildings. This competition was NOMAS’ way of bringing together all programs and communities in the School while raising awareness of their organization. The result is a unique representation of student, faculty and staff work.
During one of our morning breaks, I asked Gregory what NOMAS planned to do with the sketches. We also discussed the importance of student organizations, and how it is difficult for members to ensure continuity and sustained knowledge for their leadership. That’s where the archive comes in. Especially during this era of centennial celebrations, we have seen a rise in scholars asking for information about the early days of programs and student life. Student organization records reflect what students deem most valuable at a particular time in their education and their professions. They reflect the work of future leaders.
Gregory recognizes the value of his organization’s work, and his effort in donating the NOMAS napkin sketch competition documentation is very fitting, serving as the seed of the NOMAS chapter archive and future collaborations with the University of Texas Libraries. We look forward to supporting our student organizations and see a great future for NOMAS.
Beth Dodd is Head Librarian at the Architecture & Planning Library.
Cross-posted at Battle Hall Highlights.