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Environmental Monitoring Report




The Alexander Architectural Archive







Spring 2002














Architecture & Planning Library


Battle Hall


The University of Texas at Austin


Environmental Monitoring Report






The Alexander Architectural Archive





prepared & presented by



Abby Haywood

Linda Barone

Charles Hargrove

Jenny Hudson

Lauren Streusand

Victoria Naipavel-



Wendy Kraemer

Esther Mes

Melissa Bradshaw

Sarah Rodrigeuz






Spring 2002 Class




LIS 392P.6



Protection & Care of Records Materials








The successful completion of this project would have been impossible without the expertise, patience, and helpful guidance of the following people. Many thanks to you!



Karen Pavelka


Gene Hackmann


Beth Dodd


Nancy Sparrow


Kristy Sorensen


Dan Orozco






          Building History

          Overview of the Collection



          Disaster Plan



Results of Environmental Monitoring


          Temperature & Relative Humidity

          Light & Ultraviolet Radiation

          Air Quality

          Pest Management



Suggestions for Space Use & Storage



Summary of Recommendations





          A. Temperature & Relative Humidity Charts

          B. Maps

          C. Suppliers

          D. Staff Job Descriptions







          This report was submitted as the final project of Karen Pavelka’s “Protection & Care of Records Materials” class in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science.  Over the course of one semester, ten graduate students monitored and studied the Alexander Architectural Archive (AAA) at The University of Texas at Austin.  The information and statistics they compiled, as well as the recommendations they deduced, are presented here.  It is their sincere hope that this survey will be helpful to the AAA and to the preservation and care of its collection materials.




Building History


The building now known as Battle Hall had its genesis in 1906. In January of that year, UT president David Franklin Houston requested funds for the construction of: 


“A large fireproof library with sufficient stack room to last many years, with large reading rooms furnished with desks and with electric lights, which could accommodate five or six hundred students at one time and with seminar and consultation rooms…” [1]


To construct the building, the regents approached Cass Gilbert, a New York architect. Gilbert was well known for his building designs including the Woolworth building in New York, the Minnesota State Capitol building and the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. He was also experienced in the design of fireproof buildings. Gilbert agreed to the job with one caveat. The building would be designed to be free of “any feature of material or ornamentation indigenous to, or identifiable to Texas…”[2] Freed of this onerous regional restriction, Gilbert designed the building that would set the style for the remainder of campus. The building is in a Spanish-Mediterranean revival style, with cream-colored limestone and red tile roofs with overhanging eaves. Construction on Battle Hall was finished in 1911. It served as the main library building on the campus until 1947 when it became the Barker Texas History Center. In 1971 it became the Architectural Library, which it remains to this day. 

The minutes from a 1910 meeting of the UT Board of Regents mentions that the construction of the New Library Building was well underway. Several items from the minutes detail items, which, although not specifically about preservation of the collections, touch on environmental conditions that affect collection condition.

First, the minutes speak to the fact that the building is partially underground. They note, “Through the basement floor, through the foundation walls, and up the outside walls to ground level, runs a layer of waterproofing.”[3] This waterproofing might have served to keep underground water out at one point, but over the 91 years of the building’s existence it has broken down to some extent as evidenced by a minor flood in Room 3. A second item describes the conditions in the library reading room: “The big windows come down to the floor and admit ample light and the breeze.”[4] This note indicates that the library was constructed to fully utilize the outside climatic conditions when appropriate. 


HVAC systems in the AAA


The first heating and ventilation system in Battle Hall is mentioned in the 1910 Regent minutes: “An up-to-date “indirect” heating and ventilating system will be installed, whereby automatically washed, tempered and humidified air will be driven to every part of the building.”[5] This system was in operation until 1966. It then was replaced with an American Blower HVAC system that is still in use today. During the 1996/1997 academic year the entire campus underwent an energy-conservation retrofitting. In Battle Hall this resulted in the following measures:

1) An upgrade on the controls of all the air-handling units.

2) Modification of the ductwork to allow for improved air circulation and humidity control in the Library stacks areas.

3) The conversion on the largest air-handling unit to a variable air volume system. 


Battle Hall has three different air-handling units (AHU) that service different parts of the building. AHU-1, located in the basement, is a multi-zone unit that supplies air to the rooms of the AAA. Although it does not have humidity controls, it draws its return air partially from areas that are served by other units and thus theoretically its air is more controlled than the outside. AHU-2, also located in the basement, is a single zone unit that supplies air to the Library Reading Room. It does have steam humidification controls that allow for the modification of the relative humidity (RH) of its treated air more precisely. AHU-3, located in the attic, is a single-zone unit that supplies air to the stacks area of the building. It, like AHU-2, has humidity controls. It also is the only unit that has ductwork designed to bring in outside air. AHU-1 and 2 originally drew in air through vents, but these vents were capped, and while a small amount of air may still leak through this is unintentional. 




Overview of the Collection


The AAA was established in 1958 when Blake Alexander had a group of his students study historic buildings in Pennsylvania for the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS). The exercise was incorporated into in one of Professor Alexander’s classes at UT, in which the students were required to measure and draw historic Texas buildings in the HABS format for one of their assignments. This growing collection of drawings, known as the Texas Architecture Archive, outgrew Professor Alexander’s office and was moved into a small storage room.

Professor Alexander acquired the first professional drawings by professional architects for his collection when, in the mid-1960s, one of his students brought him water-damaged designs by Galveston architect Nicholas Clayton. The drawings had survived the Galveston hurricane of 1900 and had been given to the student by Clayton’s granddaughter. Since then, the collection grew to acquire the work of other important Texas architects. The University of Texas at Austin (UT) General Libraries became the repository for the records in 1979. They were moved to the Architecture and Planning Library and officially named “The Architectural Drawings Collection.” The Texas Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians renamed the collection the AAA in 1997 in honor of its founder.1 

The collection today 


Today the AAA holds almost 70 discrete collections of materials relating to all aspects of architecture and planning.  It is the largest such collection in Texas, with over 200,000 drawings and more than 61 linear feet of other materials including books, personal papers, photographs, slides, models and ephemera. While most of the materials in the AAA come from architects in Texas and the Southwest, there are also collections from California, Chicago, England and South America[6].  

Access to collections is available to students of the University of Texas, as well as scholars and professionals from outside the University community. The focus of the collection is to support the educational mission of the School of Architecture.  It also correlates to some programs of study in Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, and Engineering. Scholars, professionals and government employees from all over the country use the AAA.  Last year, 6,555 users passed through the doors of the AAA.  According to Nancy Sparrow, use of the AAA is evenly divided between members of the UT community and people outside of the University[7].

Access to the AAA is closely controlled, due to the fragile nature and large size of many of the unique materials. The AAA is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m. by appointment. Staff members assist researchers in handling materials, and supervise use during the entire visit. Materials in the collection do not circulate. Patrons may not make photocopies of archived materials. Should a patron determine that they need copies of materials, they may request copy work from staff members. However, this service is provided at a substantial cost, and it takes several days for copies to be made.  Users cannot browse the collection directly, but detailed finding aids are available for many of the collections, and a staff member will always be present to locate desired materials for the patron.  

Two full time employees and one part-time student assistant staff the AAA.  Additionally, student volunteers from the archives program of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science may assist in processing collections.  

Currently, the collections are housed in several different rooms and floors in Battle Hall, as well as in offsite storage. The Charles W. Moore Room on the main floor of Battle Hall is the primary location room where researchers may examine materials. In addition to large tables used for viewing, the room contains a significant amount of flat file storage, large framed pieces and models. The other rooms on the first floor contain more flat file storage, rolled materials, and tables and supplies used for processing materials. Upstairs, there are more collection materials housed in the stack area, as well as unprocessed materials.

The AAA regularly conducts minimal environmental monitoring. Hygrothermographs record the temperature and relative humidity in three of the rooms on the ground floor. Pest traps are placed and monitored periodically.  







Permanent Staffing in the AAA consists of one full-time equivalent (FTE) professional librarian (Beth Dodd), one FTE Library Assistant 2 (LA2) curatorial assistant for public services (Nancy Sparrow), and one .25 FTE Library Assistant 1 (LA1) curatorial assistant for technical services (Kristy Sorensen).  There are three Fluctuating Staffing positions, as of spring 2000: one 9-hour-a-week Student Technician (funded by the General Libraries year round), who processes and works on the TARO project; one 9-hour Student Technician (funded by the General Libraries for one semester; continued funding is not definite) who processes collections materials; and one 9-hour Student Assistant (work study position funded by the School of Architecture for fall and spring semesters only) who processes collections materials and is a copy work courier. There is also one Project-Related Staffing person—a 9-hour Student Technician (funded by an endowment through the School of Architecture)[8].                              According to Beth Dodd, “Our greatest need lies in technical services—collections management/processing area.” Because only one .25 FTE employee of permanent staff focuses on processing, approximately half of the library’s holdings are completely processed. “The rest is either not processed at all,” says Beth, “or partially processed. In an effort to make the material available to the public, we offer access to the partially processed material (this is generally not done in archives). Doing this adds another dimension of workload onto public services, though[9].”                                                                                                                 Among Beth’s list of recommendations are:

One of the advantages and disadvantages to having a library in a university setting is the high turnover rate due to students graduating. Beth reinforces that it is part of the AAA’s mission to educate the students. “One way that we do this is by hiring GSLIS students and mentoring/providing practical experience in our permanent positions,” she said. “To date, this has only been in my .25 FTE position. Ideally, if I were to get additional FTE staff, I would hire a person that would commit to staying longer and reserve my part time positions for more transient grad students[11].” 






Maintaining the security of the AAA is essential to the survival of the documents and to the prevention of their damage or theft. Security is an issue that must always be guarded in any library setting.  The following is a list of strengths and weaknesses of current security practices at the AAA.





Disaster Plan  


In 1997, the staff of the AAA made an excellent effort to develop an easy-to-use disaster plan, complete with color coded maps. Progress on this report was interrupted by several events, the most significant of which was the transfer of the entire collection from one floor of the building to another. The acquisition of space and collection material presented other challenges to the progress of the disaster plan. It is recommended that a new disaster plan be created addressing: the new additions to the collection, the changes in the positions, and the use of space. 


Thorough disaster plans should include the following[12]:

·        Procedures devised to prevent and prepare for disasters

·        Instructions on what to do during a disaster (identifying possible disasters and plans of action for each)

·        Provide a list of those to contact when a disaster occurs (emergency team members, emergency numbers, organizational contacts including building maintenance team, businesses that can be helpful in the community, and information contacts such as Amigos or SoliNET)

·        Provide a comprehensive list of all supplies needed and storage areas

·        Identify all important collections or items and note their location

·        Outline a recovery plan  (especially in the event of flood or fire)


It is recommended that a new disaster plan be created addressing the new additions to the collection, the changes in the positions and use of space. Steps for developing a new disaster plan include:

·        Performing a risk analysis

·        Recognizing current procedures already in place

·        Identifying areas for improvements (including financial issues and possibilities of training)

·        Develop an emergency team and update and add to list of all contacts

·        Outline response and recovery procedures appropriate for the organization, keeping in mind resources available, the collection and staff



Environmental Control



1. Temperature and Relative Humidity


Proper environmental conditions are perhaps the most cost-effective measure to maintaining the longevity of archival materials. Control of temperature and relative humidity (RH) is especially important, as fluctuations and extremes can cause and hasten distortion to materials, such as paper and printing inks and dyes. High temperature and RH must also be guarded against to prevent mold bloom. Elevated RH increases the chance of mold outbreaks.

High temperature and/or RH accelerates the rate of degradation of the cellulose fibers used to make paper, speeds up chemical reactions that break down the fibers, and damages the printing dyes used in architectural drawings and blueprints. Thus, it is essential that proper conditions be consistently maintained.

Four hygrothermographs and six data loggers (also known as “Hobos”) were used to monitor the temperature and relative humidity (RH) of the AAA. While there are 15 rooms (if the small rooms formerly serving as offices for doctoral students are counted) used for storage of collection materials and staff space, only ten monitoring devices were available to monitor them. However, all rooms containing collection material were monitored. Since many of the spaces are large, the devices were distributed in a manner believed to reflect the various micro-climates of the entire space.

The AAA had three hygrothermographs previously in place and a fourth instrument was installed for the duration of this study.  Hygrothermographs were placed in Room 1 (also known as the quarantine room), Room 2 (which adjoins Room 6 and contains collection material), Room 3 (the processing room, also used for collection material storage), and Room 6 (the main reading room).

The six data loggers were placed in the remaining spaces, with some overlap. Hobo #1 was placed in Room 6, near an exterior wall and window (as this is a large space, we thought it best to place two monitoring devices here, in opposite corners) this room serves as the reading room for visitors, workspace for staff, and holds collection material. Hobo #2 was placed in Room 302, on a high shelf near an exterior wall. Room 302 is located on the seventh floor and contains collection material. Hobo #3 was placed in Room 108, Hobo #4 in Room 108A, these two rooms contain collection material and workspace for staff. Both Hobos were placed in the middle of each room. Hobo #5 in aisle C8 in the stacks, close to an exterior wall, and finally, Hobo #6 was also placed in the third floor stacks, in aisle C33, near an interior wall.  




To ensure that the data gathered was as accurate as possible, the hygrothermographs were calibrated twice weekly from February 11th to February 25th. From March until the end of the survey period, April 15th, the equipment was checked weekly. To clarify, the hygrothermographs were calibrated by using the aspirating psychrometer owned by the AAA. As it is not possible to directly calibrate the Hobos, these devices were calibrated by means of a calibration curve. Before the monitoring period began, the devices were put in place and allowed to equilibrate to their environment. After achieving equilibrium, an aspirating psychrometer was used to record the temperature and relative humidity in each Hobo location. Each data logger's deviation from the aspirating psychrometer’s measurements was recorded for future reference. 




Data was compiled from February 11th to April 15th, 2002.  The RH ranged from a low of 16% in late February to a high of 76% in early March.  The temperature experienced less dramatic fluctuations – between 62 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, typically maintaining a temperature of 68 degrees.  As the air handling unit serving the spaces we monitored provided temperature modification but not humidity control, the temperature remained fairly constant, but the RH mirrored outside climactic conditions. 

All of the spaces monitored showed wide variations and the data loggers placed along exterior walls did not vary dramatically from those placed in interior spaces. 

Following are the most dramatic shifts, during the week of March 3rd-10th, for each room.  While this week is the most striking, the RH readings were consistently greatly varied[13]. 


Room 1

The RH ranged from a low of 16% to a high of 75% during this week.  As this room is bordered on two sides by exterior walls and abuts a hallway with a nearby, frequently used exit, this is not surprising.  The temperature maintained an average of 62 degrees.


Room 2

This room is across the hallway from Room 1, also containing an exterior wall and abutting the hallway.  The RH ranged from 23% to a high of 63%.  The temperature ranged from 64 to 68 degrees, maintaining an average of 65 degrees.


Room 3

This room adjoins Battle 1 with one exterior wall.  The RH ranged from 27% up to 45%.  The temperature steadily maintained 67 degrees.


Room 6

The hygrothermograph readings ranged from 30% to a high of 75%.  The datalogger ranged from 23% to 60%.  The temperature maintained an average of 65 degrees, according to both the hygrothermograph and datalogger.


Room 108

The datalogger RH reading ranged from 25% to 62%.  The temperature averaged 65 degrees.


Room 108A

As Room 108A adjoins Room 108, it had similar readings.  The RH ranged from 25% to 58%.  The temperature averaged 66 degrees.


Level 3 Stacks C-33

This datalogger was placed along the interior wall.  The RH ranged from 33% to 55%.  The temperature varied from 68 to 71 degrees.


Level 3 Stacks C-8

Along the exterior wall the RH ranged from 28% to 55%. The temperature ranged from 70 to 72 degrees.



The RH ranged from 25% to 62% and the temperature varied between 64 and 65 degrees.





As this monitoring program indicated a direct correlation between indoor relative humidity and outdoor relative humidity, we strongly recommend renovation of the current air-handling units to provide humidity control for Battle Hall. It is our belief that this correlation of outdoor and indoor RH will continue into the summer, when outdoor relative humidity can reach levels of 85% or higher. Thus, during summer months indoor RH will reach unacceptably high levels for library and archival collections. Mold has been a problem in this library in the past. In the interim, University Physical Plant should be contacted to determine a method of lowering indoor RH during the summer months. It may be possible to achieve lower RH in the summer by increasing the air flow in the building or lowering the cool deck temperature. Since indoor RH mirrors outdoor RH so closely, it is unlikely that portable humidification or dehumidification devices would be able to control RH in the AAA. It may be of merit, however, to rent or lease portable devices for a trial period and monitor outdoor and indoor RH levels, to determine the effectiveness of such devices. It should be noted, however, that such devices must be emptied or they will overflow: maintaining them at nights and on weekends can be problematic with such a small staff. As an additional measure to control indoor RH, we recommend sealing around the doors of the ground floor exit located near Room 1, which may improve the conditions in the adjacent rooms. Furthermore, we recommend closing this exit to the public, except as an emergency egress.  



2. Light and Ultraviolet Radiation


Light and UV levels were monitored in the reading room, the quarantine and flat file rooms, the third floor stacks, Rooms 108 and 108A, and Room 302. The equipment used to monitor light intensity and UV radiation was a hand-held Elsec 764 UV+ Monitor.

In the quarantine room, flat file rooms, and third floor stacks, the lights are turned off except when the room is in use, and the blinds in the reading room are kept closed. The remaining rooms (108, 108A, and 302) have uncovered windows, but the lights are also kept off when the rooms are not occupied. As most of the items in the AAA are kept in flat files and rolled storage, they are not exposed to the natural light from the windows except when they are pulled. The amount of light from electrical fixtures remains constant from day to day, so readings were performed only once. 


Table 1


Light Intensity (lux)

Ultraviolet Radiation (microwatts per lumen)

Reading room, near windows (Room 6)



Flat file room (room 2)



Quarantine room (Room 1)



Flat file room (room 3)



Third floor stacks









Room 108



Room 108A



Seventh floor, near windows (Room 302)




Both the reading room and the adjacent flat file room have fluorescent lights equipped with UV filtering sleeves, as do rooms 108 and 108A. The third floor stacks also have UV filtering sleeves on the lamps, but they are roughly ten years old. Even so, the level of UV measured is far below the maximum level according to lighting standards, which is 75 µwatts/lumen[14].  The lights are turned off most of the time in the stacks and access to those levels is restricted. The only room that exceeds the recommended level of UV exposure is Room 302. As mentioned previously, the lights in Room 302 are kept off when it is not occupied; however, any light-sensitive materials in the room should be stored away from the windows. It would be advisable that blinds be installed on the windows to protect the contents of the room, since it is used as a storage area for the AAA

3. Air Quality


          Air quality in museums and libraries is determined by levels of gaseous and particulate pollutants.  Airborne pollutants, including microbial and chemical agents, accelerate the chemical degradation of paper materials.  Particulate matter such as soot is acidic, abrasive, and soils materials found in libraries.

            Gene Hackmann, a UT Physical Plant engineer, described the nature of particulate pollutants as the product of building “sneezes.”  Over time, dust, grime, and dirt build up in the corners of a building’s ductwork and form chunky particulate matter combined with water.  When an HVAC system is shut down for maintenance work and then restarted, these deposits can become dislodged and exit the system through vents into the building[15].  Evidence of this has been noted by Beth Dodd, particularly in Room 2 underneath the air conditioning vent.

            Particulate pollutants were monitored by attaching Trapper Monitor & Insect Traps (Bell Laboratories, Inc.) directly under the air vents in all rooms except 108A because of the high ceiling.  Traps were also placed in front of the doors leading outside in the reading room and in front of the windows of the seventh floor storage area.  A total of nine traps were used.  Levels of gaseous pollutants were not monitored due to the lack of costly equipment required.

            The traps were collected after one week.  Trace amounts of particles were found on those located in Rooms 2, 3, 6 (window), and 302.  The only trap containing significant amounts of particulate matter was the one located next to the window on the seventh floor.

            We found no indications of problems with the general air quality. Although the results of our monitoring did not show evidence of pollutants produced from the “sneezes,” we do feel that this should be further explored and a more extensive air quality-monitoring program should be developed. We also were concerned about the amount of particles collected near the window on the second floor. This points to a problem with the seal on the window and leaves room for the introduction of external pollutants from exhaust, pigeon droppings and other airborne particles.

The group was also concerned about the strong vinegar smell that is apparent in the stacks level next to Room 6. The smell is caused by the release of acetic acid from the deterioration of cellulose acetate. Although the space houses collections that belong to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the smell is noticeable in the reading room of the AAA. Constant exposure to these vapors can cause health problems[16] and possible damage to other collections. Because of this, we recommend that the AAA request an inspection of the air quality to ensure the safety of the staff and materials.

            Recommendations for the air quality are:

·        Seal the seventh floor room to ensure the safety and health of the collection and the patrons.

·        Develop a monitoring system that checks the level of airborne pollutants found near doors and vents during different times of year and especially when events or deliveries increase the number of cars left running in the loading area outside of BTL 6.



4. Pest Management


Insects and rodents can be harmful to collections. Pests often target paper as a food source. They especially like the additives, starches and adhesives all collections contain. Damage also occurs with tunneling and nesting or from the secretions of the body[17]. Since pests prefer dark hidden areas of a library, a problem may occur without the knowledge of the staff. For this reason, a strong integrated pest management program is encouraged for the safety and health of the collection.

A two-month  (February 18, 2000 – April 15, 2002) pest-monitoring program was set up in the AAA. The intention of the program was to estimate the insect population in the building and to establish the needs of the library. The group used “Trapper Monitor & Insect Traps” from Bell Laboratories, Inc. and placed them in areas not covered by the staff’s pest monitoring program. Two traps were placed in the stacks areas where no AAA traps were seen. They were checked on monitoring days and all new pests were reported.

During the collection process, few pests were apparent in the first few weeks.  Overall, there were relatively few insects captured over the span of the study. This is possibly the result of the time of year and the short amount of time allotted for monitoring. To maintain a better understanding of the pest situation, the group consulted the results of the AAA pest-monitoring program which gave a year-round.

The groups monitoring produced evidence of spiders, mosquitoes, beetles, and ants. The trap placed in front of the double doors in Room 6 captured the most specimens of pests. Surprisingly, during our monitoring project, little evidence of insects was found in the stacks area. After reviewing the results of our monitoring and the AAA’s monitoring, certain conclusions were made:

·        The number of pests captured is directly related to the temperature and climate outside

·        Beetles and crickets are the majority of the pests in the storage areas

·        The rooms and areas closest to the outside have the most problems. The traps nearest to the doors a collected the most pests.


The nature of the access to the collection allows no food or drink into the collection areas. This is strictly enforced so food and drink offer little threat. The hallway between the newly acquired areas and Room 6, does contain a soda machine and benches, so the possibility of food being introduced to areas near the collection is great and therefore slightly troublesome.  


After examining the findings of our pest monitoring project and in association the results of the AAA’s monitoring project, a few recommendations can be made and particular problem areas are pinpointed.  As could be expected, the problem areas were still the areas near and around the outside entrances, particularly in the Room 6 near the door leading to the loading docks.


Recommendations for immediate action include:

·        The removal of the soda fountain form the area near the storage of the collection as any spilling may attract an insect infestation

·        Resealing and ensuring the closure of the two large turquoise doors leading into the hallway, as they allow for an access point for pests as well as introducing environmental instability that can help to create a pest-friendly climate.

·        Resealing and checking the closure of the window in BTL 302.

·        Instituting humidity control to help maintain a low relative humility rate creating a less attractive environment for pests.

·        Integrate a complete inspection of storage areas every few weeks. Search dark corners and hidden areas with flashlight to ensure knowledge of all areas of the stacks. Make sure to check for signs of frass or dead pests when sweeping. Keep a close watch on the areas around pipes or water sources, as pests tend to like these areas.

·        An effort to identify the pests listed as “other” or “mystery pests” should be made to further understand the threat they pose to the collection.
Space Use in the AAA


            The AAA recently took possession of new rooms in Battle Hall, and as there are many flat files in the archives, a discussion began as to the best use of the new space, and indeed all of the space allotted to AAA. The following are some recommendations on how the available space could be best used. At the suggestion of the staff, all arrangements were designed to accommodate flat files of standard museum size and quality. These correspond to the AAA’s “E” sized flat files, and have exterior measurements of approximately 54” x 42”.  All flat file arrangements were designed to account for a 6-inch gap between flat files and walls. A range consists of three flat files stacked vertically.


Room 6:

According to the staff of the AAA, the configuration of flat files in this room is relatively permanent. The current configuration makes good use of the space available. However, we suggest that a second table be acquired/made for the viewing of items. The current viewing table is of an excellent size and shape, and an additional table would fit into the space available and be extremely useful for both patrons and staff. 


Room 3 ~ The New Space (maps A & B)[18]:

The new space acquired by the AAA is reserved for collection storage only, and all processing currently being done in this space is to be transferred to Room 2.  Following are two possible plans for this new arrangement.


Plan A

1.  Remove all interior walls. Thus configured, the space can hold a maximum of 27 ranges, or 81 flat files.

2.  Use 25 ranges, or 75 flat files, leaving the southwest corner of the room for oversized framed objects or workspace. See map A.

3.  The space behind the flat files on the west wall can be used for storage of upright items or supplies.

4.  The space above the flat files can be used for rolled storage, manuscript box shelving/storage, 3-dimensional items or oversized items.

5.  Have a wheeled table constructed to ease the transfer of items from storage to the reading room.


Plan B

This plan is suggested in the event that the basement hallway may be acquired by the AAA and the basement sealed off as a secure area. 

1.  Remove all temporary walls and erect new walls as shown. See map B.

2.  Replace existing exterior door with a new sealed and secure door. Door is to be used as a fire exit and receiving door only.

3.  Reconfigured as in map B, the space can hold a maximum of 35 ranges, or 105 flat files.

4.  The space above the flat files can be used for rolled storage, manuscript box shelving/storage, 3-dimensional items or oversized items.


Room 1:

As the staff is happy with the location and size of this room, we suggest that it remain the quarantine room. 

1.  Replace existing doors (which do not shut correctly and which have air-leaking spaces around the edges) with properly closing and sealed doors. Consider having the door enlarged to a double door.

2.  Equip the room with a system of movable shelves that can be easily assembled and disassembled, possibly metal baker’s racks. The room must remain versatile in order to accommodate any incoming collection, regardless of shape or packaging.


Room 2 (map C1, C2):

This room to be reserved for processing and preservation activities. However, if this space is used for flat files storage of collection items, it can hold a maximum of 9 ranges, or 27 flat files of standard size (archive code “E”). See map C2.

1.  Remove all flat files currently in this room to the new space, excepting 3 ranges of flat files to be placed along the north wall. These may be used as temporary housing for materials in process.

2.  Fill the remainder of the room with enough tables to facilitate processing activities. See map C1.


Room 108 (map E):

Considering the mixed sizes of flat files in this room, the current configuration seems to be the best use of space. There are currently 33 stationary flat files of varying sizes, and 1 small movable flat file.  

1.  Shift the 5 flat files along the east wall to the right in order to facilitate access to the breaker box on the north wall.

2.  Transfer all storage materials and supplies to room 302.

The space gained on top of the flat files on the east wall may be used for rolled storage, 3-dimensional objects, oversized storage, or manuscript box storage.


Room 108A:

This room is to remain a processing room and keep its current configuration. 


Room 302:

This room is not used for the storage of flat files because the AAA staff has ascertained that the floor is not structurally sound. However, it is equipped with wall shelving. 

1.  Store all surplus and filing materials here.

2.  Store all 3-dimensional objects not on permanent display here.

3.  Equip with an appropriate number of tables to serve any volunteer student workers.




Rolled Storage

               The large quantity of rolled items in the AAA presents unique storage, preservation, and handling problems.  Though storing these items flat in flat files would be the best choice for protecting them from damage, the sheer number of items, available space, and the constant expansion of the collection may not allow this an option.  Also, some items are too large to fit into the flat files.  Any new option for storage should protect the drawings from physical damage such as crushing and tearing.  Shelves must be designed to allow the staff to maneuver in the stacks area without damaging the items.
               To maximize shelf space and maneuverability in the stacks area, we would recommend closing off every other aisle in the rolled storage section. The two rows of shelves should be connected with wooden extensions. Though metal shelves should not react in any negative way with the paper, cutting custom metal shelving may not be an economically viable solution to the problem. Therefore, we suggest using well-sealed wooden shelving, which could be constructed by the university’s wood shop. Aged wood is preferable, and any wood used should be sealed with at least three coats of polyurethane. As a further protection, all rolled items should be wrapped in acid-free paper if they are not already, before they are placed on these new shelves. The new shelves should be cut to fit around the existing vertical supports of the shelves and they should span the entire width across both shelves. By connecting these two rows the items can rest back past the shelf edge to prevent them from being damaged in the retrieval processes. 
               Oversize drawings can also be stored in other rooms on top of flat files.  Wooden cubbies made with sealed wood could span the length of the flat files and would provide easy access to the rolled items.  Assuming adequate retrieval space, cubbies of varying heights and widths could be constructed by the university’s wood shop to accommodate different sized items. A few levels of cubbies could be stacked on top of each flat file, greatly expanding existing rolled storage space.
               Rolled items pose a pest problem.  They provide dark secure places where bugs or rodents can nest. Permanent rolled storage and items that are not going to be flattened soon should be stored in the areas least prone to pest problems. 
               For the easy transport of heavy rolled items, we suggest the AAA acquire a wheeled cart. A modified book truck may do the job though these may prove too short for larger items. The Container Store sells large rolling metal carts (60 inches in length) sturdy enough to hold electronic equipment for around $300 (prices vary as carts can be customized). Commercial bakery suppliers also sell comparable carts at higher prices ($600-$1000). However, they offer a wider range of styles and less expensive refurbished used equipment, which may serve the AAA needs more effectively.  Magna Industries (, and are a few of the online sources for this type of equipment. 

Summary of Recommendations

Below is a general list of recommendations that we have made for the AAA based on the information in this report.  More specific details can be found by referring to the sections listed.
·        More staff is needed to help process collections.
·        Close outside door to pedestrian traffic.
·        Replace door to Room 1 (Quarantine Room).
·        Upgrade locks
Disaster Plan
·        A new and more comprehensive disaster plan should be created and implemented.
Temperature/Relative Humidity Control
·        Test humidity control on AHU-3.
·        Outside door should be sealed.
·        Outside door should be closed to pedestrian traffic.
·        Blinds should be installed in Room 302 to reduce the amount of damaging sunlight coming in.
·        Again, the outside door needs to be replaced/improved.
·        The soda vending machine should be removed from the building.
·        Monitoring gaseous pollutants should be done with the proper equipment, as we were not able to obtain such equipment.
Space Use
·        Arrange for maximum storage space.  
·        (See text for detailed plans.)
Rolled Storage
·        Connect shelves in stacks with wooden extensions.
·        Create cubbies above flat files.
·        Acquire wheeled cart. 
·        (See text for detailed plans.)

Appendix D


Permanent Staff Job Descriptions[19]

Library Assistant II :  Curatorial Assistant for Public Services (including
office management)
·        Manages AAA office operations:  40%
               Serves as General Office Manager and manages AAA operations during the absence of the Curator.  Acts as first point of contact for all incoming calls and uses judgment and knowledge to route calls, schedule appointments, or otherwise respond to public service requests.  Maintains central office calendar.  Schedules reference appointments and copy work services.  Using foresight and experience, assists in planning, development, implementation, tracking, assessing, and reporting all aspects of projects in the archive.
               Monitors and requests office supplies and equipment, including those for specialized preservation/conservation needs.  Assists in conducting needs assessments for the upcoming year and preparing formal requests for funds from the General Libraries Preservation Department.  Researches specialized preservation supplies by referring to numerous catalogues, professional discussion lists, and by communicating directly with vendors.  Types order forms, tracks purchase orders and receipts and manages follow-up paper work.  Stores supplies and maintains inventory.  Assists in maintaining office files and electronic backups.
               Assists in routine and emergency security, facilities and equipment maintenance, custodial services, pest management and abatement, environmental monitoring, and reports concerns to Curator and Unit Head.  Participates in disaster planning.
·        Provides reference assistance and public service:  25%
               Conducts reference interviews, maintains reference log and correspondence, conducts basic research of holdings.  Schedules user appointments and schedules the paging and re-shelving of archival materials.  Monitors use of archival material and shows drawings using proper handling techniques.  Instructs users in archival research and policies.  Records statistics for reference, circulation, attendance, and instruction.
               Assists in scheduling and conducting tours and open houses.  Plans or assists in planning and scheduling exhibitions, including developing and producing label copy.  Mats and frames archival material, determines appropriate hanging techniques.  Mounts and breaks down exhibit, maintains exhibit log and writes tour reports.  Pages and re-shelves material, prepares handouts and catalogues, records statistics.
·        Responsible for copy work operations, handles user requests:  12.5%
               Works closely with users in describing copy work policies and procedures, available formats, copyright issues, and billing.  Assists users in determining copyright holders.  Measures and describes material, contacts service providers for estimates.  Prepares order forms, calculates total billing estimates, and obtains purchase orders.  Performs preservation treatment and prepares housing for transport.  Schedules appointments for services and transports materials or schedules with vendor for pick up and delivery.  Catalogs, re-houses, and files copy negatives.  Maintains copy work log and records statistics.
·        Performs technical services and accessioning:  12.5%
               Assists in gift transportation preparation, quarantine for pests, receipt inventory, and collection records.  Manages retrospective processing in response to public service requests and assists in managing processing routines for new collections.  Uses specialized knowledge for preservation/conservation treatment, re-housing, removal of fasteners, humidification and flattening, surface cleaning, and minor repairs. Records items in need of isolation or professional conservation treatment. Develops arrangement of files according to original order or prescribes new order.  Writes descriptions and compiles finding aids, enters records in the project database.  Enhances paper and electronic finding aids as needed.  Assists in collection maintenance, including: shelf listing, space planning and shifting. Maintains processing logs and records statistics. Produces annual ARL preservation statistics reports.
·        Supervises student assistants, work-study positions, and volunteers:  5%
               Assists in the hiring, training and supervision of employees, students, and volunteers.  Uses knowledge of the collection and understanding of primary users' needs to assist in the prioritizing of their projects.
·        Conducts research for collection development activities:  5%
               Assists in conducting preliminary research needed for the development of collections, and reports on related needs for staffing and supplies.  Assists in courting donors, making site visits, and conducting initial physical and intellectual assessments of potential gifts.
Library Assistant 1: Curatorial Assistant for Technical Services
(including facilities management)
Working Hours:   
Between  8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or as arranged with the supervisor.
Initial Screening for Referral:  
Experience with bibliographic records and online catalogs.  Experience in a library or archival collection. Demonstrated aptitude for data entry.
Preferred Qualifications:
Experience with special collection material or rare books.  Experience in archival processing.  Familiarity with MARC format and EAD DTD coding standard.
Purpose of Position:
To assist librarians in the management of archival and special collection materials.  To process special collection and archival material for addition to the collections, including bibliographic verification, condition assessment, collection arrangement and description.  To key added copy records in the online catalog, to prepare finding aids, and to enter data into local databases.  To assist curator with statistics reporting, facilities maintenance, and space planning.  To supervise and train 2-4 student assistants and volunteers.
Essential Job Duties:
·        Performs bibliographic verification & processing of special collections materials:  35%
·        Archival materials management, including collection arrangement, description & maintenance:  20%
·        Supervision:  10%
·        Keying added copy records into online catalog
·        Monitors environmental conditions & facilities maintenance            10%
·        Compiles statistics & reports                      10%
Marginal Tasks Performed:
·        Other duties as assigned
Specific equipment for Essential Duties (include percent time):
·        VDT terminals:  50%
·        Typewriter:   5%
Physical Tasks necessary for essential duties:
·        Viewing:  100%
·        Listening:  80%
·        Sitting:  50%
·        Standing:  50%
·        Lifting up to 20 lb.:  40%
·        Carrying oversize materials:  35%
·        Bending:  20%
·        Twisting:  20%
·        Kneeling:  5%
·        Reaching:  60%
·        Ability to use equipment listed above:  90%
·        Pushing book trucks:  10%
Environmental demands/hazards for essential duties:
·        Paper dust:  100%
·        VDT emissions:  95%
·        Work under deadlines:  50%
·        Work independently:  80%
·        Work as a team member:  20%
·        Direct patron contact:  5%

Appendix C





Magna Industries (


Appendix A


Temperature & Relative Humidity Charts



~ available upon request ~



Appendix B


Maps depicting the use of space



~ available upon request ~





“About the Alexander Architectural Archive.”  UT Library Online:

Architecture and Planning Library: Alexander Architectural Archive. 

The University of Texas at Austin, 2001.  From: <>


Alexander Architectural Archive. Austin: Architecture and Planning Library,

the General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin, 2000.  From: <>

Anghelescu, Hermina, et al. "Environmental Monitoring Project:

Architecture Library, Battle Hall, the University of Texas at Austin."

Austin, TX 1994.




ANSI/NISO Z39.79 – 2001: “Environmental Conditions for Exhibiting Library

and Archival Materials.”  Bethesda: National Information Standards

Organization  2002.  From: <>


Applebaum, Barbara. Guide to Environmental Protection of Collections.

Conn: Soun View Press, 1991.


Brown, Jonathan P. “Hygrometric Measurement in Museums: Calibration,

Accuracy and the Specification of Relative Humidity”. Preventative Conservation: Theory and Research, Preprints of the Contributions to the Ottawa Congress, 12-16 September 1994. Eds. Ashok Roy and Petty Smith. London: International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, 1994.


Carrier Corporation. “Psychometrics Introduction”. N.P.: Carrier

Corporation, 1993.


Dodd, Beth.  Letter to the authors.  9 April 2002.


Lull, William P. Conservation Environment Guidelines for Libraries and

Archives. Albany: The New York State Library, 1991.



Lyall, Jan. "Disaster Planning for Libraries and Archives: Understanding

the Essential Issues." Canberra: National Library of Australia, July 9, 1998. From: <>


National Occupational Health & Safety Commission, National

Commonwealth of Australia, “Acetic Acid.”  2002.  From:



Patkus, Beth Lindblom. "Integrated Pest Management." NEDCC Technical

Leaflet 11, Section 3. Andover, MA: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 1999. From: <>


Protection & Care of Records Materials Class of 2001. "An Environmental                   Monitoring Study of the Classics Library." 2001.


Sparrow, Nancy.  Letter to the authors.  26 April 2002.


Thompson, Garry. The Museum Environment. London: Butterworths, 1994.


Wilson, William K. Environmental Guidelines for the Storage of Paper

Records. NISO TR01-1995. Bethesda: National Information Standards


[1] August Watkins Harris, “Cass Gilbert’s Old Library Building: The Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center,” Southwest History Quarterly, LXIV:1 (July, 1960), 43.

[2] Harris, 44.

[3] Minutes of the UT Board of Regents, 1910, Architecture Library.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] “About the Alexander Architectural Archive.”  UT Library Online: Architecture and Planning Library: Alexander Architectural Archive.  Austin, TX:  2001.  From: <>

[7] Sparrow, Nancy.  Letter to the authors.  26 April 2002.

[8] Full listings of the staff’s job descriptions are located in Appendix D.

[9] Dodd, Beth.  Letter to the authors.  9 April 2002.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Lyall, Jan. "Disaster Planning for Libraries and Archives: Understanding the Essential Issues." Canberra: National Library of Australia, July 9, 1998. From: <>


[13] The temperature and RH charts for each week are included in Appendix A.


[14] ANSI/NISO 6.

[15] Protection & Care of Records Materials Class of 2001. "An Environmental Monitoring Study of the Classics Library." 2001.

[16]   National Occupational Health & Safety Commission, National Commonwealth of Australia, “Acetic Acid.”  2002.  From: <>

[17] Patkus, B. L. "Integrated Pest Management." NEDCC Technical Leaflet 11, Section 3. Andover, MA: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 1999. From: <>

[18] Maps depicting the use of space are found in Appendix B.

[19] Dodd, Beth.  Letter to the authors.  9 April 2002.

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