|Avery Drawings & Archives Collections|
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in four series: Professional Papers, Project Records, Project Samples, and Other Papers.
Scope and Content
The Olive Emslie papers documents the interior designer's career and major projects. The collection consists of professional papers, interior renderings, floor plans, sign designs, and project photographs.
Series I: Professional Papers includes Emslie's resume, correspondence, a magazine and newspaper clipping, and an award.
Series II: Project Records is mostly devoted to three major commissions: the two Pennsylvania Kaufmann's stores in Monroeville and Pittsburgh along with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The materials include floor plans and specifications, graphic studies, designs for signs, invoices, contracts, and conference reports for various projects. There are also interior renderings of numerous departments in the Kaufmann's stores, many of which are intricate and colorfully drawn with pencil and color samples. Although the bulk of the material belongs to the Kaufmann's store and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there are also folders for other smaller projects, such as the Robert Simpson Co. Ltd., G. Fox & Co. Inc., and Columbia University's "Man's Right to Knowledge" campaign for their bicentennial. The Project Records series also includes Project Sample Boards, which include color and black & white photographs and images from various projects meant as a portfolio for presentation purposes, all backed on cardboard.
Series III: Other Papers/Materials includes a small box of architectural tools and Emslie's husband's architectural degree and certificate.
Using the Collection
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Restrictions on Access
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Permission to publish must be obtained in writing from the Director, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, 1172 Amsterdam Ave., MC 0301, New York, NY 10027.
Olive Emslie papers, 1951-1978. Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library
Processed; Rihoko Ueno 2011.
2011-03-01 File created.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Olive Emslie was an interior designer who worked on projects for various shopping centers and stores in America and Canada from the 1950s to the early 1970s. Emslie received a bachelor's degree in architecture from Cornell University and worked for various architectural and design firms, such as Levy and Levy, Ketchum Gina and Sharp, and Victor Gruen Associates, before opening her own practice in 1966.
Emslie also owned a patent for her design of a fountain pen from her time as a product designer at Van Doren, Knowland and Schaldermundt. Noteworthy projects include the planning and designing of different floors of two Kaufmann's stores in Pennsylvania - Pittsburgh and Monroeville - as well as Color Print Shop of NY's Metropolitan Museum of Art.