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William F. Cody Architecture Archives

Researching Modernist architect William F. Cody in Kennedy Library's Special Collections and Archives

The William F. Cody Papers at Cal Poly

Special Collections and Archives houses the personal and professional papers of Palm Springs architect William F. Cody.

Combined, the materials fill over 92 boxes, 69 flat files, and 29 tubes.

Types of materials include:

  • drawings of built and unrealized projects
  • correspondence with clients and colleagues
  • publicity files
  • photographs
  • examples of Cody’s student work

Searching the collections

Special Collections and Archives holds two collections of Cody’s work that when combined document Cody’s significant career. Many projects have materials in both collections, so it is recommended to search across both collections to find all relevant documents.

The two collections having "finding aids" or guides that are searchable through the Online Archive of California. You can search them separately at the following links:

William F. Cody Papers (MS 007)
William F. Cody Papers 2 (MS 163)

The collections were 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:

  • Client Name
  • project type
  • job #
  • Country Club (if applicable)
  • city, state
  • 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.

Digitized materials

We are digitizing materials from the collections on a regular basis.

You can browse each collection:

Or from the Online Archive search bar you can search a specific client or project name, location, or keyword.

Advanced search: You can check to see if a specific folder or item has been digitized by searching the image identifier number (a unique number for each item digitized). The formatting of image identifiers is: MS#-SeriesLetter-SubseriesNumber-Box#-Folder#-imagenumber. To find images from MS007 Box 20 Folder 1, you would search:

007-3-b-20-01, see results here 

There are also digitized photos of Cody projects by Julius Shulman at the Getty. See below for how to search these photos.

Related Archives

Other archives and museums also hold archives that relate to Cody's collections here at Cal Poly. 

The Getty's Julius Shulman Photography Archives have digital access to many of the projects Shulman photographed for Cody. You can search for these photos here on the Getty's Digital Collections on Primo.

The Palm Springs Historical Society has photos and other records of the Cody family. Learn more at their website.

The Palm Springs Art Museum has a Cody collection

Set up an appointment or request reference photos 

Search the Cody finding aids and identify Boxes or Flat File Folders you would like to look at. You will give this list of materials to the archives and they will pull the material before your visit.