Combining of architectural archives, library sound decision

Learning from the past can help one better understand the present. That’s a role the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives plays.

The organization collects, preserves and documents the design and construction process of significant architecture in Columbus and Bartholomew County, plus landscape architecture, public art and public planning. That’s important, considering the community has achieved national and international recognition for architecture.

The American Institute of Architects ranks Columbus as the sixth-most architecturally significant city in the United States.

Among the archive’s possessions are more than 30,000 drawings, 60 models and thousands of slides and photographs. Some collections of note:

  • North Christian Church, by Eero Saarinen
  • Cleo Rogers Memorial Library, by I.M. Pei
  • St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, by Gunnar Birkerts
  • Columbus Post Office, by Kevin Roche
  • Cummins Technical Center, by Harry Weese

Thus, there’s good reason for the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives and its collections to endure, so that history is well preserved for future study and presentation.

The Bartholomew County Public Library can assure that as it assumes ownership of the Columbus Indiana Architectural Archives, effective Jan. 1.

The nonprofit archives are currently supported by private donations and an endowment. Although the library has provided physical space for the archives, formally placing it under the supervision of the library solidifies a support structure and should allow for the expansion of its reach through the library’s resources.

Library and archives leaders who approved this new arrangement are to be commended for recognizing its benefits. Preserving artifacts of the past has enduring value.

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