Ten Years of Yale School of Architecture Getting Serious About Archives

An interesting look behind the scenes at the Yale School of Architecture‘s first decade at taking its archives seriously. As the Yale Daily News tells it, the school, arguably the most prestigious and famous-architect-generating program in the country, had long neglected holding on to things made by its professors and students, even though so many had gone on to become the biggest names in the industry (alumni include notables like Norman Foster, Maya Lin, Richard Rogers, and so on — the list of faculty is even more impressive and lengthy). When big-name-himself Robert A.M. Stern stepped into the role as the dean of the school, he began nearly immediately to transform the program’s archival process, focusing on both the collection of work by current students and faculty and digging through what the school already had and encouraging architects to donate their own material. Though they’ve managed to secure quite a collection over these past ten years, the problem now is that Yale doesn’t give the school a budget to purchase archives, which has become a popular endeavor for popular and successful architects (the paper says that even current visiting professor, Peter Eisenman, decided to sell his archives to the Canadian Center for Architecture instead of donate them). So while still in the early phases of building a storied archive, there remains a few hurdles. Here’s an interview the paper shot with Stern (on what seems like an iPhone):