|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
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At a Glance
This collection is made up of three series. The first series, Collection I, consists of material donated in 1981 to Avery Library by Harrison's widow Ellen Harrison. The second series, Collection II, consists of materials donated in 1989 from Ellen Harrison via Victoria Newhouse, who had borrowed the materials for her book titled Wallace K. Harrison, Architect. The final series, Series III consists of the architectural drawings donated in both 1981 and 1989.
Scope and Contents
Harrison's architectural drawings and papers are divided into two parts: Collection I (accession number 1981.001) and Collection II (accession number 1989.002). Both parts of the collection have their own finding aid but are bound together in a single volume. The drawings for both parts of the Harrison collection have been cataloged separately in RLIN VIM. Collection I contains 2,050 drawings and Collection II contains 365 drawings. The first part of Harrison's papers (1981.001) consists of material that was given to Avery Library by Mrs. Harrison in 1981. The second part of his papers (1989.002) consists of material that was borrowed by Victoria Newhouse for her book titled Wallace K. Harrison, Architect. This borrowed material was removed from Harrison's papers before they were given to Avery Library. In 1989, when Newhouse's book was published, the material was given to Avery Library to be rejoined with the material from which it was removed. The material borrowed by Newhouse has not been interfiled with the first part of the collection because of the numerous printed references already made to the collection
The Wallace K. Harrison architectural drawings and papers were transferred to Avery Drawings & Archives in two accessions: Accession 1981.001 (now known as Collection I) and accession 1989.002 (now Collection II). The first part of Harrison's papers, Series I: Collection I (1981.001), consists of material given to Avery Library by Ellen Harrison (WKH's wife) in 1981. The second part of his papers, Series II: Collection II (1989.002), consists of materials borrowed by Victoria Newhouse for her book titled Wallace K. Harrison, Architect. This borrowed material was removed from Harrison's papers before they were given to Avery Library. In 1989, when Newhouse's book was published, the material was given to Avery Library to be rejoined with the material from which it was removed. The material borrowed by Newhouse has not been interfiled with the first part of the collection because of the numerous printed references already made to the collection. While both parts of the collection were described as separate collections, much of the material overlaps and it is therefore important for the researcher to view Collection I and Collection II as parallel to each other.
Collection I is arranged by format of material and thereunder by project or subject. Folder titles have been transferred from the original file folder label given by WKH. A folder title in square brackets indicates it has been supplied by the cataloger and not from WKH's original file. While Collection I is not organized into series, there was a corresponding subject index created to faciliate access. This subject index is a downloadable Excel spreadsheet located at the beginning of the container list for Collection I.
Collection II is arranged as follows—Subseries 1: Professional papers (arranged alphabetically by subject title), Subseries 2: Project Files (arranged alphabetically by project title), and Subseries 3: Photographs (arranged with larger projects listed first, followed by smaller projects, then photographs of people, with oversized photographs of people or projects, and various project slides listed at the end.)
The drawings for both parts of the Harrison collection have been cataloged separately in the online catalog. Series III: Architectural Drawings provides a link to each project's associated record. Sheet level description can be found in these project-level records. Each sheet is individually accessioned and indicates which acquisition it originates from. 2,050 drawings arrived in the first accession (and are catalogued under the call number NYDA.1981.001) and 365 drawings arrived in the second accession (catalogued as NYDA.1989.002).
For additional holdings on the firm of Harrison & Abramovitz, consult collections for the individual partners
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
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 call (212) 854-4110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unique time-based media items have been reformatted and are available onsite via links in the container list. Commercial materials are not routinely digitized.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
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. 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.
Wallace K. Harrison architectural drawings and papers, Dept. of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Max Abramovitz architectural records and papers, 1925-1990 Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Hugh Ferriss architectural drawings and papers, circa 1906-1980 (bulk circa 1918-1960) Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
Gift of Mrs. Wallace K. Harrison, 1981.001 and 1989.002.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition--Gift of Mrs. Wallace K. Harrison. Accession number--1981.001 and 1989.002.
Publications About Described Materials
Publications: Newhouse, Victoria. Wallace K. Harrison, Architect. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1989.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
The finding aid description was produced by Mary L. Ferranti as part of the "Early Modern Masters Project," funded by an HEA Title II-C grant in 1994-1995. Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, edited and published the finding aid for the collection in 2014.
2009-07-07 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
2020-07-07 Links added to digitized content. kws
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Wallace K. Harrison (1895-1981), was an American modernist architect. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, where as a teenager he worked for the contractor O.W. Norcross and the architectural firm Frost & Chamberlain. Beginning in 1916, the architectural firms for which Harrison worked were McKim, Mead & White; Cram, Goodhue and Ferguson; Frank J. Helmle & Harvey Wiley Corbett; Corbett, Harrison & MacMurray; Harrison & Fouilhoux; Harrison, Fouilhoux & Abramovitz; and others. He also did free-lance work for Raymond Hood. Harrison served in World War I as a Navy ensign aboard a subchaser. After the war, Harrison attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where he spent a year in the atelier of Gustave Umbdenstock. He was also a winner of a Rotch Travelling Scholarship in 1922. Harrison had a long-standing personal and professional relationship with Nelson A. Rockefeller which began while he was workig on Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller established the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, where Harrison served as assistant coordinator in 1941 and director in 1945. Harrison won numerous awards, including the New York Architectural League's Gold Medal in 1936 and the American Institute of Architect's Gold Medal in 1967.