Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives : manuscripts, 1894-1959, bulk 1894-1959

Summary Information

Abstract

Manuscripts of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright contain his working drafts and final versions of his writings (published and unpublished), lectures, and talks dating from 1894 until his death in 1959. The collection consists of approximately 2,785 drafts amounting to over 31,000 sheets. The manuscripts range from handwritten drafts to heavily corrected typescripts and galley proofs. Included in this comprehensive collection of writings are a large number of unpublished pieces which expand upon Wright's published ideas on architecture, art and aesthetics, and which provide further insights into the architect's views on politics, religion, morality and various other topics.

At a Glance

Bib ID 12471342 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 ; Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959
Title Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives : manuscripts, 1894-1959, bulk 1894-1959
Physical Description 20 linear feet
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Arrangement

Description

Scope and Content

The manuscripts are arranged into two groups: Series I: Writings consists of prepublication manuscripts, drafts of articles, lectures, stories, and some fugitive fragments. The series is arranged in loose chronological order, with each subseries representing a decade of Wright's career. Many of the manuscripts in this series are short in length (1 to 10 pages). Series II: Major Texts includes drafts for books published by Wright.

--DESCRIPTION STYLE GUIDE--

Titling and Identification Format:

[Foundation Manuscript Number]. [Manuscript Title]. [Inclusive Date]

[Draft Version]: [Draft Title], [Date]. [Form] : [Description] ; [Pagination]

Example:

MSS 2401.431. A New System of Subdivision [City Club]. [1913]

A: A New System Of Subdivision [City Club], [1913?]. Typescript : Ink and pencil corrections ; pp. (1p.), 2-6

B: [A New System of Subdivision / City Club] Author's Statement, [undated]. Typescript : Pencil corrections and ink and color pencil notations ; pp. (1p.), 2-7

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FOUNDATION MANUSCRIPT NUMBER:

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation assigned each manuscript an item number or manuscript number. This number has been maintained as a call number to aid in retrieval and citation. The manuscripts are physically arranged by manuscript number.

Manuscript Number Example--

Wright's essay "Twentieth Century Architecture" was assigned the number "2401.059."

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DRAFT VERSION:

Manuscripts can have anywhere from one draft to ten or more drafts. Each version of a draft is identified by a letter (in alphabetical order, i.e. A, B, C, E, etc.). Draft order does not necessarliy indicate earliest to latest version.

Draft Version Example--

"Twentieth Century Architecture" has five drafts, with the first draft being identified as "2401.059-A" and the last draft in the file being identified as "2401.059-E."

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TITLE:

Titles are transcribed directly from the source. When no title appears on a draft, a supplied title has been added by the cataloger in brackets [ ]. Titles have also been supplied where the existing title requires further descriptive information. In these instances, the bracketed title then serves as the uniform title so that all versions can be found together.

Title Example--

supplied title-- 2401.244-A : [To London]

found title-- 2401.244-B : Rebuild London

supplied title-- 2401.244-C : [To London]

found title-- 2401.244-D : To London

found title-- 2401.244-E : To London

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FORM:

Form refers to the document type. The following document types are represented in the collection: holograph manuscript (written in the author's hand), typescript, carbon typescript, mimeograph typescript, galley proofs, and printed monographs. "Fragment" is applied to all forms in the case of incompleteness, for example, where a draft contains only page 7. Incompleteness would not be for a draft that is missing a couple of pages but is otherwise complete.

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DESCRIPTION:

Description provides information regarding any edits or additions to the document. Types of description can include mentions of pencil corrections, ink corrections, annotations, holograph (handwritten) date changes, appearnce of drawn sketches, extensive holograph re-writes, or notations regarding draft version or lecture history.

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DATE:

Dates are transcribed directly from the source. When no date appears on a draft, a supplied date has been added by the cataloger in brackets. Supplied dates have been sourced from the FLW Foundation's original database. When a supplied date is questionable, the notation of circa (ca.), a question mark (?), or a dash (i.e. 193-) has been added.

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PAGINATION:

Pagination indicates the sequence of numbered pages for each draft. Non-numbered pages are indicated by page count in parentheses.

Pagination Example--

[5 pages, all numbered] : pp. 1-5

[5 pages, all unnumbered] : (5pp.)

[5 pages. 2-4 numbered only] : pp. (1p.), 2-4, (1p.)

  • Series I: Writings (Chronological)

    The first grouping of manuscripts includes prepublication manuscripts, drafts of articles, lectures, reviews, and some fugitive fragments. The series is arranged in loose chronological order, with each subseries representing a decade of Wright's career. Many of the manuscripts in this series are short in length (1 to 10 pages). The original filing system for the manuscripts was prepared by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and has been maintained for this finding aid. In this filing system, each manuscript was given an identification number, for example, "2401.017."

    According to Nicholas Olsberg in his 1988 essay "A Guide to the Archives of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation":

    "Wright developed full-length manuscripts by assembling shorter pieces. He persistently modified essays and statements prepared in one context for use in another, and he re-edited after publication, often on the manuscript or by adding a new version to the file. Each piece of writing was also treated in development to extensive and repeated stylistic revisions or to less frequent but significant re-working. In addition some major manuscripts were developed as statements about projects or exhibitions, and may be closely related to project records. The status of each manuscript piece--its position in the development of another and its relationship to a published version--is therefore difficult to ascertain."

    As such, related manuscripts can have multiple dates spanning several decades. Some related manuscripts have been filed together, while others are filed separately. For example, all associated drafts for the "Introduction to German Monograph of 1910" were arranged together (by the FLW Foundation) and assigned the manuscript number 2401.017. The "2401.017" file is now located in Subseries 2: 1910s, but also includes drafts completed in the 1950s. Alternatively, drafts for Wright's manuscript "To The Young Man In Architecture" are filed separately as both 2401.081 (dated 1930, and found in Subseries 4: 1930s) and 2401.299 (1950, and found in Subseries 6: 1950s). If a manuscript has been identified as being of interest, users are encouraged to search the title across the collection for other instances of its appearance (search using Ctrl+F).

    --DESCRIPTION STYLE GUIDE--

    [Manuscript Number]. [Manuscript Title]. [Inclusive Date]

    [Draft Version]: [Draft Title], [Date]. [Form] : [Description] ; [Pagination]

  • Series II: Major Texts

    This series includes drafts for Wright's books and includes An Autobiography(1932 and 1943 edition), The Disappearing City (1932), When Democracy Builds (1945), The Living City (1958), Genius and the Mobocracy (1949) and A Testament (1957). The series also includes, in Subseries 8, various biographical sketches and bibliographies created or compiled by Wright.

    Titles are transcribed directly from the source. When there is no title on a draft, a supplied title has been added by the cataloger in brackets. Supplied titles have also been added to found title when additional descriptive information is needed. In this instance, the bracketed title serves as the uniform title so that all versions will be found together, despite the variations in draft title.

Publication Date

ca. 1894-1959

Part of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York

Using the Collection

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please email avery-drawings@library.columbia.edu.

Restrictions on Use

Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Preferred Citation

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives : manuscripts, ca. 1894-1959. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives (The Museum of Modern Art | Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York).

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Shelley Hayreh (Avery Archivist).

Revision Description

2017-08-28 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Architects -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural criticism Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural design -- Study and teaching Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architectural writing Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- Study and teaching Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Architecture -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Taliesin Fellowship Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical sketch

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was an American Architect internationally recognized for his innovative building design, Taliesin school and fellowship, and philosophy of "organic architecture.".