Message - Re: Buying Drawings

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Posted by  Jim on June 14, 2003 at 13:47:46:

In Reply to:  Re: Buying Drawings posted by Richard Haut on June 09, 2003 at 04:51:32:

While all of us appreciate architecture, not all of us appreciate the need to preserve history, and thus some will knowingly or unknowlingly buy seperate sheets from those in a group for a single project, sometimes in the original antique linen or modern mylar forms. This has the sad effect of often eliminating any remaining documents of buildings lost to us, or remodeled beyond recognition of original form. For this reason, PLEASE be sure that what print/drawing you buy is NOT the only one known. This is usually easy to confirm in your own locality by locating the community's permit-granters and see what they have preserved on microform, since they usually discard the paper prints after photographing them. If the project is at least on microform, it is not lost to us in that one can always make new prints off the microform. True, such prints off of a machine are not as good as originals, but at least some evidence of an architect's work will remain for posterity. This way if you buy a drawing, you will know that you are not destroying history for those who appreciate it. If the municipality in the area of the project does NOT copy the drawings it screens, then you may want to leave it, or even donate it to the nearest Architectural Archive. An example is the Wis. Architectural Archive housed in the central library in Milwaukee. Other such libraries are listed by the Society of American Archivists ( ). They can tell you where the nearest Architectural Archive is and what they will receive. Sometimes these archives have duplicates of prints/drawings on hand, and will sell the duplicates on request. It pays to inquire.

Many of the works of great architects have been lost to us and oftentimes their artistic drawings also, so please do not further the destruction of the historic record by becoming the modern day equivalent of the ancient tomb robbers. After all, to be selfish about it, when will the day soon come when you have a project to remodel or need to get inspiration for, and you will find that no one preserved the drawings?!!

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