Preserving Albright’s Historical Architecture
Established in 1856, Albright College has gone through many architectural, social and structural changes to become what it is today. Jennifer Koch ’12, Albright alumna and facilities service response manager, believes that learning from Albright’s past will help us to better understand our present and future.
Joined by history major Cayleigh Skulrak ’19, and digital studio arts major Faith Miravich ’21, Koch is preserving historical college documents that have influenced architectural plans for campus buildings as she works towards a master’s degree in library information sciences at Drexel University.
The project is expected to be available in Albright’s Gingrich Library’s Special Collections, beginning January 2019.
“The purpose of adding Albright’s architectural documents to the college’s Special Collections is to provide public access to the drawings, showing how the campus has evolved,” says Koch. “There is tremendous value in allowing these artifacts to be available for research.”
Meanwhile, Koch’s student team members are gaining valuable experience and an appreciation for Albright’s history. “As an artist, I really like seeing each individual document and how the designs are made and what changes take place over time,” says Miravich. “We found some fascinating old documents, including one from 1920. It was a rendering of Schuylkill Seminary Building, which later became Masters Hall.”
Albright’s archivist and Special Collection librarian, Sidney Dreese, says preserving architectural material like this is vital for telling the college’s long history. “The archives contain material related to the history and people of Albright College and documents the evolution of the College,” explains Dreese.
Koch is optimistic that this project will inspire future research into Albright’s past. “Our hope is to further research the documents of significant value for their context in relation to identifying their provenance, and then their aesthetic, social, technical and historic cultural dimensions.”
For more on the Gingrich Library’s Special Collections, visit http://library.albright.edu/casc.