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Preserving Abright College’s Historical Architecture

Aug 15, 2018 • by Albright College
Albright College

Reading, PA –  Joined by Albright College history major Cayleigh Skulrak ’19, and digital studio arts major Faith Miravich ’21, alumna Jennifer Koch ’12 is preserving historical college documents that have influenced architectural plans for campus buildings. The project is expected to be available in Albright College’s Gingrich Library’s Special Collections, beginning January 2019.

Established in 1856, Albright College has gone through many architectural, social and structural changes to become what it is today. Alumna Jennifer Koch believes that learning from Albright’s past will help us to better understand our present and future. She is completing the project while serving as a facilities service response manager at Abright, and working towards a master’s degree in library information sciences at Drexel University.

“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.

Founded in 1856, Albright College educates creative, curious students to become adaptable, global citizens who discover and reach their full potential. The College’s flexible interdisciplinary curriculum encourages students to combine majors and disciplines to create individualized academic programs. Close faculty mentorship, numerous experiential learning options, and a diverse, supportive and nurturing community of scholars and learners help students exceed their own expectations and graduate with a commitment to a lifetime of service and learning. Located in Reading, Pennsylvania, Albright enrolls more than 1,800 full-time undergraduates and 700 adult learners and graduate students. 

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