A common obstacle during the appraisal of design records is the specialized vernacular creators use to describe them. As a result, archival professionals may feel unprepared for discussions with potential donors while acquiring these distinct and sometimes problematic materials. Using authoritative architectural and archival sources, the authors expanded on existing literature to develop appraisal grid templates that generally align with different collecting institutions' missions and overarching development and retention policies and created a consolidated and comprehensive glossary of design phases, categories, and definitions to use as a reference. The authors hope that this resource will assist those who are unfamiliar with the design process to interpret disparate design record types, to inform the appraisal process, and ultimately, to make accessioning decisions.
Appraisal, during which records are selected for their determined historical, legal, administrative, and research value, is an important process in the life cycle of any collection.1 While true of the appraisal of any archival or research collection, design and construction records have long posed additional challenges for archival professionals. Over the past twenty-five years, archival literature has helped them make difficult appraisal choices. This article seeks to expand on that literature and add another tool to archival professionals' toolbox.
In 1996, American Archivist designated the spring volume as a special issue on architecture. In it, Terry Cook rightly noted that appraisal of architectural records is paramount, as the documents may be the only evidence left of a building. “In studying the history and traditions of architecture, it may not be possible to look around and see the architect's physical monument: very often it no longer exists, or has been restored, refaced, reconstructed several times, reused for radically different purposes; or it may be located far away in another city or country. Therefore, the monument of the architect's work may not be the actual building, but the archival documents that give evidence of the building's plan, design, construction, use, and subsequent alteration and possible demolition.”2 Archival professionals struggle to understand all potential research value, and poor appraisal decisions could mean losing valuable historic documents. Therefore, as Richard Cox points out, it should not solely be up to them to appraise the collection; instead, it should be a collaborative and planned process. “The synergy comes from bringing together archival experts, records creators, subject specialists, and others in order to do one very important thing: think about objectives before examining any records. Appraisal of particular architectural fonds will be more meaningful. And the appraisal process will have the greater chance of being successful by a move from reactive analysis of specific records to planned appraisal.”3
A variety of collecting institutions, with different missions and priorities, share these challenges inherent in selecting design records for acquisition. A clearly articulated collecting scope and an understanding of this landscape of potentially available records, and particularly design records, enables an institution to more efficiently and effectively complete the appraisal and acquisition processes.
Building upon the work published in the 1996 issue of American Archivist, Waverly Lowell and Tawny Ryan Nelb published their seminal work Architectural Records: Managing Design and Construction Records in 2006, a much-needed step forward in standardizing and sharing knowledge within the archival design community. The aim of this article is to expand upon the Appraisal Grid developed by Lowell at the Environmental Design Archives, at the University of California, Berkeley (see Table 1), and published by Lowell and Nelb. Collectively, the authors of this article have decades worth of experience working in design records repositories and are intimately familiar with design phases, record types and generation methods, architecture terminology, and records retention best practices. Our Appraisal Tool templates offer guidance to several types of institutions on how to assess potential collection materials and raise considerations to account for the increasing amount of born-digital records. The templates distill the broad range of collecting institutions that currently hold and continue to actively collect design records into three general collecting scope categories: Special Collections, Facilities Management and University Archives, and Design/Engineering Firm Corporate Archives.
Design Records Considerations
The design of our built environment brings together a diverse range of professional disciplines and interest groups. These participants in the design process, from the architect and the client, to the specialized engineers on the consultant team, the code officials responsible for issuing the building permit, and the construction company that executes the plan, have distinct languages to describe their contributions to a project. This results in a rich and complex documentary record that presents an inherent challenge to conversations among archival professionals, between archival professionals and records creators, and sometimes within the records creators' communities themselves: differing terminology used to describe the variety of design records. While many records produced during the design process fall into familiar document categories such as financial records, personnel files, or meeting minutes, some archival professionals might be misled by industry-specific terminology not represented in common archival resources. For example, the term “schedule” as defined in the Society of American Archivists' (SAA) Dictionary of Archives Terminology4 is “The process of identifying and describing records held by an organization, determining their retention period, and describing disposition actions throughout their life cycle.” Whereas, in the design field, a schedule can be, among other things, “a supplemental list, usually in a chart form, of a project system, subsystem, or portion thereof.”5 To directly address this issue, we have included a glossary of terms to clarify for both archival professionals and design records managers the technical and nuanced aspects of design records that might be of interest to each type of collecting institution.6
The terms defined in the Appraisal Tool templates come from sources selected from different areas of the design and archival professions, most significantly the Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice (2013 edition), an extremely important resource for any built environment designer. References to the construction phases and established terms within the design profession, such as community engagement and financial records, are provided by several of the American Institute of Architects' online resources. Although most sources come from the design profession, several are archival in nature, such as the Getty's Art and Architecture Thesaurus and, of course, Lowell and Nelb's Architectural Records: Managing Design and Construction Records. For terms in the glossary not sufficiently accounted for in the aforementioned resources, we generated definitions according to our professional experience and judgment. Comprehending terminology used within the design profession, from the architect to the construction company, can help archival professionals understand the materials prior to acquisition.
The customizable Appraisal Tool templates, which are divided by institution type, reflect both the general phases of architectural design and descriptions of record types relevant to a general collecting scope. These templates are intended to be used as a starting point for archival professionals to either compare or create new appraisal documentation. Rather than separate files by format, the introductory discussion for each template offers guidance about relevant concerns and considerations for born-digital design records specific to that institutional context.
Appraisal Tool Components
Each Appraisal Tool template lists record types relevant to each institution, organized into categories based on when the record is produced during the design process, followed by a recommendation about retention. This approach integrates the contextual information inherent in the relationships among records created together and makes the Appraisal Tools more intuitive for donors by matching their understanding of where records belong.
Phases of Architectural Design Projects
Regardless of design discipline, design projects typically move through a series of standard phases associated with particular types of records (see Table 2). These phases exist to manage the immense amount of multifaceted decision-making that occurs over the course of a project, but the phases vary by national context and can be customized according to the needs of the project or a firm's approach. While records specific to each phase may be collected comprehensively at the end of the project, sometimes the records may be collected on a rolling basis as they are produced. Understanding the phases of design and the timing of certain types of records generation will help archival professionals identify records or prompt them to ask the records creators more pointed follow-up questions when ambiguity arises.
The standard phases of design are shown in Table 2.
The “Design,” “Construction,” and “Post-Construction” categories offer a broad grouping for the records created within each phase. These categories are also present in the glossary to help provide context as semantics around phases may vary by institution type or level of direct involvement with records creators during a project.
Institution Policy Retention Decisions
Every repository will most likely have a records retention policy that addresses legal requirements for keeping specific records. Archives professionals should first follow an institution's records schedule. “. . . Records retention schedules typically factor in historical value to some degree, but the primary goal of records managers is to eliminate noncurrent records as quickly as possible. Keeping records beyond their legally required retention results in increased costs and risks for the records creators. If records are systematically and consistently destroyed according to established schedules, the records creator enjoys lower storage and maintenance costs, and avoids the need to produce those records in a court of law.” 8 Thus, sometimes users' needs may not align with these schedules. When historically significant records or specific types of design records are not addressed, the suggestions that follow offer further guidance. We also recommend speaking with the records management department about updating schedules for these types of records. If the institution lacks a records management department or a records manager, the Appraisal Tool tables offer six retention decision recommendations to account for the variability of institutional repositories. They are as follows:
Permanently Retain: comprehensively keep in perpetuity
Keep Approved Copy: keep only the final version
Active Document: keep original and update a resource over time
Temporary: see institution's retention policy, which should adhere to legal standards such as those outlined by the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Sample: keep a few for examples
Dispose/No Retention: records outside of collecting or retention scope
Overview of Appraisal
Appraisal is unique to each institution, and archival professionals should understand the implications of accepting a design collection before accessioning. Records retention requirements, legal guidelines, as well as storage, budgetary, or technology limitations determine collection policies. Prior to accessioning, archival professionals should use an Appraisal Tool template as a guide when talking to a donor or preparing for transfer of internal records to address the full range of potential collection materials available. Readers are invited to use the templates provided in this resource, making updates as necessary to accommodate their institutions' collecting policy or to adjust for each anticipated acquisition. Keep in mind institutional policies, storage availability, and staff knowledge while assessing a donor's records. Using the Appraisal Tool template with the donor at the beginning of the donation process will help to develop a shared understanding of researchers' interests, to address any concerns related to the size and scale of available design records, and to clarify the long-term needs of the collection. Accepting the entirety of a design collection is not always a fundamental requirement. Some collections have high research value, and accessioning the entire collection is necessary; however, most can be appraised prior to accessioning, and archival professionals should set expectations on what they hope to receive.
When deciding to accept a design collection, archival professionals agree to maintain access to the records over time. Costs associated with storing and maintaining access to design collections are the most significant barriers for archives. Physical records can include oversized items such as drawings, models, awards, and ephemera, which require large storage areas, processing space, and special supplies like oversized folders, flat files, tubes for rolled drawings, and custom-sized storage boxes. Digital records require storage space, knowledge of design software, and access to software licenses to enable viewing.
Born-digital design records pose many challenges related to technological dependencies that the archives must consider before acquisition to properly preserve and make the collections available. To fully understand these challenges, conversations with the designer about the following are often constructive: software and hardware obsolescence, software licensing, versioning and patches of software, their technological ecosystems, and cloud-based dependencies.9 Software applications change often and may lead to the loss of data or the misrepresentation of the designer's original intent. Designers will know and can share what software features are idiosyncratic. Archival professionals should ask if any features would be lost if nonproprietary or “light” versions of the software are used to view the files. Designers may concede that portable document format (PDF) images of the final design are sufficient to express their design intent and critical information about the design or project. If not, archival professionals can also ask donors to provide software licenses, which can then be written into donor agreements. In addition, budgeting for current and future yearly license fees is critical to avoid holding unreadable files. We recognize that many archives do not have individuals on staff with the necessary experience or the technical infrastructure to address such issues. These considerations for conversations with donors are listed as best-case scenarios to address before acquisition.
After a donation, archival professionals should thoroughly review the accession to confirm that all expected records have been received and to identify out-of-scope records and prepare them for immediate disposition if they have been accessioned. Born-digital design files have relational interdependencies, and archival professionals should check that the donated files are a complete package. Born-digital design files should be appraised to ensure files open correctly and complete designs with all relevant components can be viewed. Archival professionals should review files promptly as this makes it easier to ask for and receive missing reference files and to clarify and rectify any concerns with the donation.
Sometimes discrepancies and complications with design, construction, or contracts can result in legal action. Legal holds will require the archives to keep everything in the collection, even records not typically accepted, such as temporary records. Leaving the records with the design or project management teams until litigation has ended may be preferable. If this is not possible, archival professionals should wait to process the collection until the hold is over, creating a box- or folder-level inventory so it is easier to find files needed for litigation.
Design and construction collections vary as much as the repositories that hold them. These Appraisal Tool templates are meant to be used as examples and starting points. Recognizing that many institutions can be categorized across the three institution types discussed as follows, archival professionals should take into consideration the mission and needs of the repository, the collection, and the users to update or mix-and-match the templates accordingly.
Special Collections Appraisal Tool
In regard to collecting design records for special collections, the collection development policy should observe and reflect the mission of the archives and its parent institution (see Table 3). The scope of the collecting institution should consider the records that include long-term use by researchers and eliminating any redundancy. It is also important to “. . . retain records that indicate the structure, procedures, and operations of the firms responsible for the design project.”10
Another important step is to discuss intellectual property (IP) with the designer before acquisition. This can be addressed in the deed of gift. Transferring the IP to the archives is ideal; however, if it remains with the designer, all important details, such as reproductions and access, should be determined prior to acquisition. Also, if the designer is still practicing, we recommend determining how often the records will be transferred to the archives and establishing a retention policy to cover that frequency and the appropriate projects to be preserved within the archives. As previously mentioned, addressing any software-dependent records that will be transferred to the archives, of which the designer should have firsthand knowledge, is crucial. This will impact the preservation of and future access to the records.
The audience for design records may vary with special collections. The records may be used in partnership with archival professionals and faculty for collection-based instruction and projects for students. Researchers may also be interested in accessing the records for either scholastic efforts, including creating exhibits/exhibitions, or for historic restoration or renovation to extant structures reflected in the collection.
University Archives/Facilities Management Appraisal Tool
A variety of repositories, including university archives, project management or maintenance departments, municipalities, and utility companies, hold facilities collections. Maintenance staff, engineers, and architects typically use operational records while researching upcoming construction projects. In addition, other departments, such as safety, security, sustainability, and legal counsel, may use these records to assist in their job duties. Public affairs or archival professionals may also use these resources in exhibits.
Post-construction operational records are particularly important to this type of repository (see Table 4). This phase of a project produces records that the repository will need to maintain, including as-built drawings, operations and maintenance manuals, and an operations copy of the latest updates or changes, as well as documentation about what systems are currently in service. Because permits, fire alarms, and other equipment must be up-to-date according to national and local code compliance, archival professionals should expect to receive safety assessments and reports as well.
Architects design buildings to last, and inevitably they will require ongoing maintenance and repair, equipment replacement, and complete renewals. These records are dynamic and in active use while the building is extant, therefore archival professionals and records managers should anticipate that these records may be updated and changed over time. If an existing building undergoes any renovations, records should incorporate those changes. Maintenance and field staff need current records for day-to-day operations and building emergencies; out-of-date records can result in lost time and frustration for all involved. Architects and engineers need current records so they can adequately scope new design projects. In this instance, outdated records can result in change orders, thereby increasing project costs for the client. Once building renovations are complete, clients should create as-builts of the new facility for future research use. This involves incorporating each of the separate projects into one collection of drawings and manuals for the entire building.
Because facilities documentation serves a variety of users, archival professionals should consider formats when speaking with and accepting files from donors. With the push toward born-digital records, design records creators may want to donate only files that require specialized software. Construction and facilities managers might not have access to the software needed to open these files. In addition, some might prefer to have either a hard-copy drawing in the field or a portable file that can be accessed on a tablet. Even if the repository purchases the necessary software, archival professionals might not have the technical skills to digest, manipulate, or deliver the files needed by the users. If storage of physical materials is not possible, archival professionals should consider requiring supplemental files that are software independent, such as Tagged Image Format Files (TIFFs) or PDFs.
Access to design and construction records for this institution type should be limited to internal staff due to the sensitive nature of the information included in the records. Whereas displaying shovels used in ground-breaking ceremonies, open ephemera collections, or contracts that were publicly put out to bid is appropriate, facilities repositories should limit access to as-built drawings such as structural and security systems drawings or photographs and manuals of equipment. “Archives routinely separate out the drawings of security systems from collections open to the public and may restrict these drawings sets to the people authorized to maintain these structures. There is little point in restricting access to information that can be ascertained by visiting the structure or site.”11 However, allowing access to sensitive building-related resources may expose an institution to unwanted risk. Drawings that illustrate structural assembly, security system components, and locations of priceless art and rare materials in the wrong hands can expose an institution to sinister intentions.
Design/Engineering Firm Corporate Archives Appraisal Tool
Corporate archives at design and engineering firms collect and preserve records generated in the course of operations for their enduring value. Firms may have explicit archival programs or a more informal system of permanently retained records. Regardless of the level at which a firm articulates its archival program, records management and appraisal are occurring.12 Each design firm attributes different weights to company history, legacy, corporate intelligence/institutional memory, relationship building with repeat or new clients, and legal compliance while deciding which records to retain. A records retention policy will help make those implicit evaluations clear to ensure a firm's record-keeping is in line with its values and priorities. More guidance concerning the creation of a records retention policy can be found in “Retaining and Archiving Records” in The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 14th edition.13
Project records document the design process and the deliverable products, both of which have inherent value; however, when space and other resources are limited, the archival professional should prioritize significant record documents (see Table 5). Recognizing that iteration is a critical part of the design process that often results in many slightly varying copies of files and drawing sets, archival professionals are encouraged to selectively weed to address potential excessive storage burdens. Records reflecting valuable institutional knowledge are more challenging to identify when the project team has undertaken no or limited curation of the project records prior to their transfer into the archival repository.
Design records within corporate archives are used by a range of individuals, from within and beyond the design community. At the firm, architects and engineers reference design records from past projects as part of their active work to understand how the firm has solved design problems previously or to refer to prior work for a repeating client. Marketing, communications, and special projects departments utilize materials from the archives to win new projects, attract clients, and present the firm's work publicly in press, publications, or exhibitions. Academic researchers contact firms to gain access to design records to study their work. Clients sometimes request drawings, specifications, or other documentation to support facility management, long after project close-out. A firm may consider how to maintain the archives for eventual acquisition by a special collection and may make smaller donations of project records to galleries, archives, or museums over time. The consideration that perhaps weighs most heavily on management's minds is that a firm's design records must be maintained to comply with legal guidelines governing projects and could be referenced as part of ongoing litigation or legal discovery.
In contemporary practice, most design records created throughout the life of a project are born digital, with a smaller proportion of analog materials like sketches, mark-up notations, and models.14 This shift to digital may give design firms the illusion of endless storage and records existing in perpetuity. These conceptions can result in putting off important decisions to ensure long-term maintenance and accessibility of their records. When attempting to reference digital project records in their archives, firms may discover the compact discs (CDs) or Blu-rays on which they stored their files have degraded, they no longer have the software or hardware necessary to open files that are more than a few years old, or key links within computer-aided design (CAD) files have been moved or deleted.15 We strongly recommend that the corporate archival professional work closely with the technology support staff within the firm to address these technical hurdles.
Additionally, questions of ownership and custody should be considered thoughtfully in an increasingly complex landscape of digital tools. Contractors and consultants use proprietary content and information management platforms to ease collaboration. This can lead to the loss of records and information if that flow of documentation is not intentionally captured. An increasing reliance on cloud storage within businesses raises similar concerns of ownership and management.
Strategies to navigate the complex issues of digital preservation of design records are discussed in SAA's forthcoming Trends in Archives Practice publication, Born-Digital Design Records.16 Appraisal is an important initial step in meeting those challenges: understanding what records are kept is the foundation for understanding how to maintain them for the long term.
This professional resource is intended to provide a foundation for archival professionals, records managers, facility managers, and other professionals responsible for collecting and providing access to design records for their institutions, as well as to aid any new archival professional unfamiliar with terms and records that are part of design collections. “Appraisal is the process of distinguishing records of enduring value from those of little or no value so that the latter may be eliminated.”17 The definition of “records of enduring value” varies across institution types, as well as within those institution types based on the collecting policies and records retention schedules, anticipated audience, and availability of resources. As records creators change their practices and collecting repositories adjust their collecting policies, the appraisal process must be revisited and seen as a continuously developing practice.
The appraisal process is also a balancing act of adhering to collection policy guidelines and embracing curiosity. The customized Appraisal Tool templates by institution types offer a starting point, or frame of reference, for practitioners to ask questions about what is currently in their collections and about future potential acquisitions. Being proactive in asking questions not only about the records available, but also about the ecosystem in which they were created and how they were used or disseminated internally and externally, will help ensure a more comprehensive understanding of what records have enduring value for an institution. This line of questioning will also expose potential barriers to long-term preservation and access. The Appraisal Tool glossary aims to assist the archival professional with this interaction.
The Appraisal Tool also offers guidance on restrictions regarding design records that may not otherwise cross the mind of an archival professional. Archival records are frequently available after a timeframe set in accordance with personal privacy concerns; however, some design documentation continues to be active until a building is no longer extant. Drawings for structures inherently contain information that exposes weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and being aware of these can protect an institution's liability and the safety of the building.
Institutional records management offices exist to determine retention schedules based on use and state and local guidelines. When these policies do not specifically address design records, archival professionals can use the recommendations in this professional resource to make retention decisions and to provide valuable feedback to records managers. These recommendations are based on our experience with the utility of these records over time across a wide range of design records collecting repositories.
Every institution's contribution to collecting design records helps ensure a lasting memory of the built environment and, through a variety of collecting scopes, ensures that the broadest range of local, regional, and national spaces are documented.
Appendix A: Glossary
PROJECT LIFE-CYCLE RECORDS
Appendix B: Related Reading
American Institute of Architects. The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 14th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
American Institute of Architects. The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013.
American Institute of Architects and Evan H. Shu. “Retaining and Archiving Records.” In The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 14th ed., 445–57.
Cook, Terry. “Building an Archives: Appraisal Theory for Architectural Records.” American Archivist 59, no. 2 (1996): 136–43. https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.59.2.9016827w6t4271wl.
Cox, Richard J. “The Archival Documentation Strategy and Its Implications for the Appraisal of Architectural Records.” American Archivist 50, no. 2 (1996): 144–54. https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.59.2.a63421672782h178.
Getty Research Institute. “Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online.” https://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat.
Next Generation Technical Services POT 3 Lightning Team and the UC Guidelines Revision Project Team. “Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries,” v. 4. University of California Systemwide Libraries, 2020. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4b81g01z.
Leventhal, Aliza. “Designing the Future Landscape: Digital Architecture, Design & Engineering Assets.” Washington, DC: Library of Congress, March 2018.
Leventhal, Aliza, Julie Collins, and Tessa Walsh. “Of Grasshoppers and Rhinos: A Visual Literacy Approach to Born-Digital Design Records.” American Archivist 84, no. 2 (2021).
Lowell, Waverly, and Tawny Nelb. Architectural Records: Managing Design and Construction Records. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006.
Pierce, Kathryn. “Collaborative Efforts to Preserve Born-Digital Architectural Records: A Case Study Documenting Present-Day Practice.” Art Documentation Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 30, no. 2 (2011): 43–48. www.jstor.org/stable/41244064.
Scanlan, Kathryn A. “ARMA v. SAA: The History and Heart of Professional Friction.” American Archivist 74, no. 2 (2011): 428–50. https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.74.2.b52104n3n14h8654.
Society of American Archivists. “Appraisal.” Dictionary of Archives Terminology. https://dictionary.archivists.org/entry/appraisal.html.
Society of American Archivists. “Fair Use.” Dictionary of Archives Terminology. https://dictionary.archivists.org/entry/fair-use.html.
Thompson, Jody, Euan Cochrane, Aliza Leventhal, Laura Schroffel, and Emily Vigor. “Emerging Best Practices in the Accessioning, Preservation, and Emulation of Born-Digital Design Materials.” In Born-Digital Design Records, ed. Stacie Williams and Samantha Winn. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, forthcoming.
Society of American Archivists, s.v. “appraisal,” Dictionary of Archives Terminology, https://dictionary.archivists.org/entry/appraisal.html, captured at https://perma.cc/97PM-DMC9.
Terry Cook, “Building an Archives: Appraisal Theory for Architectural Records,” American Archivist 59, no. 2 (1996): 137, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.59.2.9016827w6t4271wl.
Richard J. Cox, “The Archival Documentation Strategy and Its Implications for the Appraisal of Architectural Records, American Archivist 50, no. 2 (1996): 154, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.59.2.a63421672782h178.
On April 29, 2020, the Society of American Archivists announced that the resource A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology was superseded by the Dictionary of Archives Terminology (DAT).
American Institute of Architects, The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th ed. (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013), 1135.
As of March 2021, the authors reached out to the Dictionary Working Group regarding submitting terms from the following glossary for inclusion in the DAT. A small team of volunteers from the Digital Design Records Taskforce are currently working to complete the submission guidelines that require citations with usage context in addition to the definition and source listed in the “source” column of the glossary.
American Institute of Architects, The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 15th ed., 1122, 1132–35.
Kathryn A. Scanlan, “ARMA v. SAA: The History and Heart of Professional Friction,” American Archivist 74, no. 2 (2011), 448, https://doi.org/10.17723/aarc.74.2.b52104n3n14h8654.
Jody Thompson, Euan Cochrane, Aliza Leventhal, Laura Schroffel, and Emily Vigor, “Emerging Best Practices in the Accession, Preservation and Emulation of Born-Digital Design Materials,” in Born-Digital Design Records, ed. Stacie Williams and Samantha Winn (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, forthcoming), 120–23.
Waverly Lowell and Tawny Ryan Nelb, Architectural Records: Managing Design and Construction Records (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006), 37.
Lowell and Nelb, Architectural Records, 161.
Kathryn Pierce, “Collaborative Efforts to Preserve Born-Digital Architectural Records: A Case Study Documenting Present-Day Practice,” Art Documentation Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America 30, no. 2 (2011): 47.
American Institute of Architects and Evan H. Shu, “Retaining and Archiving Records,” in The Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice, 14th Edition (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2008), 445–57.
Aliza Leventhal, Julie Collins, and Tessa Walsh, “Of Grasshoppers and Rhinos: A Visual Literacy Approach to Born-Digital Design Records,” American Archivist 84, no. 2 (2021).
For a discussion regarding the challenges posed by born-digital design records for architecture and engineering firms, see Aliza Leventhal, “Designing the Future Landscape: Digital Architecture, Design & Engineering Assets” (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 2018).
For detailed information on digital preservation of design records, see Thompson, Cochrane, Leventhal, Schroffel, and Vigor, “Emerging Best Practices in the Accessioning, Preservation, and Emulation of Born-Digital Design Materials.”
Next Generation Technical Services POT 3 Lightning Team and the UC Guidelines Revision Project Team, “Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries,” v. 4 (University of California Systemwide Libraries, 2020), https://escholarship.org/uc/item/4b81g01z.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Aliza Leventhal is the head of the Prints & Photographs Division's Technical Services Section at the Library of Congress. Prior to joining the Library of Congress, she was the corporate librarian and archivist for the Boston-based interdisciplinary design firm Sasaki. She is the cofounder and cochair of the SAA Design Records Section's Digital Design Records Task Force and has both written and presented extensively in a variety of forums including SAA, VRA, ICAM, and the Library of Congress. She is the coauthor of the forthcoming Digital Preservation Coalition's Technology Watch Report on 3D Design and Construction Records. She holds an MSLIS and an MA in history from Simmons University's Archives Management Program.
Jody Thompson is head of the Archives, Special Collections, and Digital Curation Department at Georgia Institute of Technology's Library. She is the cochair of the Digital Design Records Task Force, which is part of SAA's Design Records Section. She is the coauthor of the forthcoming Digital Preservation Coalition's Technology Watch Report on 3D Design and Construction Records. She holds a master's degree in history from Georgia Southern University.
Alison Anderson is the senior processing archivist at the Property Information Resource Center at Harvard University. She is a certified archivist and holds a master's degree in library and information science with a concentration in archives management from Simmons University. She currently serves as senior cochair of the Design Records Section, is a member of the Digital Design Records Task Force, and is founder of a local Boston architectural records group with fellow archivists to network and discuss the myriad issues surrounding design records.
Sarah Schubert is a certified archivist with over ten years of archives and records management experience. She holds a master's degree in information science and a master's degree in history from the State University at Albany. Schubert is currently an archivist at the Naval History and Heritage Command and previously worked as the engineering records archivist at Fairfax Water.
Andi Altenbach is the archivist and librarian at the design firm Studio Gang, where she manages its diverse collections of sketches, architectural models, digital files, and other design records. She holds an MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.