Avery Drawings & Archives Collections
 

Olive Emslie papers, 1951-1978

Summary Information

Abstract

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. The collection consists of professional papers, interior renderings, floor plans, sign designs, and project photographs.

At a Glance

Bib ID 8501483 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Emslie, Olive
Title Olive Emslie papers, 1951-1978
Physical Description 2 document boxes; 4 folders (flat-file); 1 print box
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

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in four series: Professional Papers, Project Records, Project Samples, and Other Papers.

Description

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.

  • 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.

Publication Date

1951-1978

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.

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.

Preferred Citation

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

Processing Information

Processed; Rihoko Ueno 2011.

Revision Description

2011-03-01 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"
Architecture -- United States -- Designs and plans Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Department stores -- Pennsylvania Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Design -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Emslie, Olive Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Interior decoration -- United States -- History -- 20th century Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Interior decorators -- United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Victor Gruen Associates Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

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.