One of the most beautiful and compelling books to come out of Austin in many a year is “The Collections,” an encyclopedic account of the 170 million artifacts preserved by the University of Texas.
It’s a big one. The doorstop, released in January 2016, comes in at 720 oversized pages. I’ve browsed through it incessantly and have cooked up some tasty stories from its contents, derived from more than 80 collections of art and artifacts over a wide range of subjects.
Wonder of wonders: It’s now available for free digitally.
If you prefer the hard copy, the list price is $125.
“This is the first time a publication of this kind has been produced by a public university,” said Andrée Bober, the book’s editor and director of the university’s public art program, Landmarks. “By making it available for free and online, we are putting the collection before a greater public. It’s our hope that this digital edition will increase awareness of these materials and inspire other universities to make their collections known.”
Bober conceived this survey and organized more than 350 individuals to lend their expertise. She’s an enormous asset to the university, to say the least.