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About the Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering

The Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering was established in the Library of Congress in 2002 through a bequest from the distinguished American architect Paul Rudolph and the contributions of individuals, foundations, and corporations.

The purpose of the Center is to focus attention on, encourage support for, and promote the study of the Library's unmatched architecture, design, and engineering collections, thereby increasing the public's awareness and appreciation of the achievements of the architecture, design, and engineering professions and their contributions to our quality of life. Additionally, the Center will serve to attract private sector support to encourage, develop, and sponsor special projects for processing, preserving, and interpreting the Library's architecture, design, and engineering collections, thus expanding their general accessibility.

A primary goal is to increase the percentage of the collections available through the Library's immensely popular website, which has become a principal tool for educators from K-12 to universities, and currently attracts over three billion hits a year.

A $500,000 grant from the Shell Foundation, for example, has allowed the Library to put over 300,000 photographs, measured drawings, and pages of written information from the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) on its website ( or, providing high resolution images to students, teachers, researchers, and professionals throughout the world.

Since the acquisition of Thomas Jefferson's personal library in 1815, the collections of the Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, have grown to more than 120 million items on approximately 530 miles of bookshelves. They include more than 18 million books, 2.5 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.5 million maps, and 54 million manuscripts. Unmatched in scope and richness, the subjects of architecture, design, and engineering are woven throughout these materials. However, much in them remains unknown to scholars, practitioners, and the general public.

From the vernacular and traditional to the most sophisticated examples, the built environment is represented in measured drawings and photographs in documentary surveys such as HABS/HAER/HALS, the Pictorial Archives of Early American Architecture, the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South, the Archive of Hispanic Culture, and the Seagram County Court House Archive, as well as hundreds of more modest efforts.

The design process is represented broadly in the Library's superb holdings of the work and papers of many of the most distinguished figures in the history of architecture, design, and engineering, especially in the United States, including Thomas Jefferson, William Thornton, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, Stephen Hallet, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Robert Fulton, Joseph Jacques Ramée, Charles Bulfinch, Richard Upjohn, James Renwick, Thomas Ustick Walter, Montgomery C. Meigs, Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Cass Gilbert, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Rudolf Schindler, Richard Neutra, Winold Reiss, Erich Mendelsohn, Louis Skidmore, Nathaniel Owings, Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames, Raymond Loewy, Victor Gruen, Paul Rudolph, I. M. Pei, James Freed, Cesar Pelli, John Hejduk, Michael Graves, Rem Koolhaas, and thousands of others. The Library's holdings of the works and archives of notable photographers, printmakers, and graphic and decorative artists are likewise extensive and unmatched.

For additional information concerning the Center for Architecture Design and Engineering, contact :

C. Ford Peatross
Prints and Photographs Division
Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 20540-4730
(202) 707-8695
FAX (202) 707-6647
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  Home >> Center for Architecture, Design, and Engineering
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  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  October 22, 2010
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