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Cooper Union’s Architecture Archive Awarded Grant to Digitize Collection

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture has received a $149,736 federal grant that will support the creation of an online archive for its Student Work Collection.

The Institutes of Museum and Library Services grant will allow the archive to organize, catalogue, and digitize more than thirty thousand works, with four thousand student projects from the 1930s, including blueprints, photographs, drawings, and small- and large-scale models.

“Not only will this enable us to multiply our audiences, but it effectively allows us to share the pedagogical heritage of the school with the world at large,” Nader Tehrani, dean of the school of architecture, said. “I am delighted to share this news with our alumni, whose work is the subject of this archive, and also pleased to be able to speak to our prospective students to help them better understand the ethics and discipline that underlie this work.”

Established in 1983, the school of architecture’s archive stemmed from a project that John Hejduk and Roger Canon initiated in 1970 while organizing the exhibition “Education of An Architect: A Point of View” (1971) for New York’s MoMA.

Associate dean Elizabeth O’Donnell said, “The collection documents student work, but reveals as well the radical changes in architectural theory, practice and the tools of architectural investigation and representation over the last fifty years.”