What architectural archives does Special Collections and Archives have?
Special Collections and Archives houses the personal and professional papers of architects, landscape architects, architectural photographers, and other collections related to the built environment of California.
Types of materials include:
architectural drawings of built and unrealized projects
You can browse and search the collections we have at our online collections portal on the Online Archive of California
To see most of our architecture-related archives, search the keyword "architecture" or go here.
Searching the collections
The collections are organized by archivists. Records related to projects are divided by type of record and format: publicity and public relations, presentation drawings, architectural drawings, project records (correspondence, project specifications, etc.), and photographs. Not all projects have all types of records.
Projects are identified with the following information, when known:
Country Club (if applicable)
year of project (approximate)
FF stands for flat file, which indicates oversized drawings stored in folders. TUBE indicates oversized drawings (5 ft. or longer) rolled on tubes.
A flat file folder may contain between 1 to 15 items. A box folder may contain between 1 to 30 items. A tube can contain 1 to 2 items.
Setting up an appointment
Set up an appointment to research the collections.
Look at the finding aids and identify Boxes or Flat File Folders you would like to look at. You will submit this list of materials to the archives and they will pull the material before your visit.
When requesting materials, it is important to track the collection title or manuscript number (e.g. Cody Papers or MS 007) so archives staff know which collection to pull from.
Email or call Special Collections to set up an appointment and request these materials. We are open M-F, 9am-4pm.
During your research appointment you will:
Complete a researcher registration form (first visit only)
Leave all your belongings in the cubbies. You may have in the reading room pencils, cameras, laptops, phones, or ipads. Staff will provide you with paper.
Look at one folder at a time. Keep materials in folder in order.
Use care when handling materials. Ask staff for help with fragile or folded materials.
Oversized drawings will require assistance from staff
If you take photos, make sure to record the location of the item
Searching the digital collections
We are digitizing materials from the collection on a regular basis.
Using Google Advanced Search with specific search terms can help yield more focused results. Within Advanced Search, use the "all of these worlds" and the "This exact word or phrase" to enter keywords for your subject, for example:
all these words: Kauffman House
any of these words: archives manuscripts collection correspondence scrapbooks sources letters
all of these words: Kauffman House
this exact word or phrase: "Archival collections" "manuscript collections"
Also try (separately):
all these words: Kauffman house WITH this exact word or phrase: finding aid