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Archives in Action
University Archives supports scholarship by preserving and providing access to over 300 unique collections that chronicle the history of Washington University from 1853 to today, as well as related St. Louis history and architectural topics.
Artist Beliz Brother was inspired by the form and lines of the original Eads Bridge drawings during her visit to the University Archives. The result - public art at the Arch-Laclede’s Landing MetroLink Station.
Images from the Monsanto Company Records showing the 1950s plastic "House of the Future" were included in this exhibition, April - July 2013. Following its presentation at the Getty, this exhibition will be on view at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. from October 20, 2013 through March 10, 2014.
Volunteers from the San Diego Electric Railway Association visited St. Louis in 2009-2010 to consult photographs and schematics in the St. Louis Car Company Records. Information gathered at the archive was used to restore vintage trolley cars (originally built in St. Louis) to active service on the SDMT starting in 2011.
Engineers planning extensive repairs and maintenance to the Eads Bridge worked with University Archives to digitize the original architectural and engineering drawings of the Eads bridge. Read more in the Spring 2011 issue of Off the Shelf.
University Archives staff at Washington University in St. Louis, in collaboration with the Linguists Department of Unicamp State University, São Paulo, Brazil, are working to provide international access to the unique 1930s field notes of anthropologist Jules Henry.
The letters, notes, and journals created about the observations in Brazil of the "Kaingang" people (today known as Xokleng Laklãnõ) document the culture & customs of a culture in danger of losing its language as fewer and fewer people are fluent. This is an example of an "endangered language," spoken today by only a few thousand people who live in Brazil.
This project aims to connect scholars and language teachers in Brazil with the information locked into crumbling pages stored in St. Louis. The ultimate goal is to create an on-line site with multiple language descriptions allowing international access and use of these rare materials.
At the request of the acting director of the city library, University Archives digitized and shared three 1950s Olonga city planning documents, which were no longer available in the Philippines. A copy of these reports are located in the archived records of the planning firm Harland Bartholomew and Associates (HBA). Originally headquartered in St. Louis the HBA Records were donated to Washington University after a corporate merger.
Dr. Axel Doßmann, from Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), organized a free public screening of "The Carl Schultz Tour" in the city of Jena. A copy of this rare motion picture documenting 1934 Germany is archived in St. Louis as part of collection WUA00124. Since no complete copy could be located in Germany, University Archives lent a DVD copy to the department of History in the Media and Public.
On November 18, 2013 the film was shown in Jena for the first documented time since 1935. Dr. Doßmann reports that the screening was well attended with an intense discussion following.