Guide to the Selected Papers of William G. Purcell

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: Purcell, William G., 1880-1965
Title: Selected papers of William G. Purcell
Dates: 1919-1964 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 3.5 linear feet (3 containers)
Collection Number: Ax 267
Summary: William G. Purcell (1880-1965) was an architect in the firm of Purcell and Elmslie (active 1907-1921). The collection includes architectural drawings, correspondence, publications, and literary manuscripts.
Repository: University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
Contact Information: UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

William Gray Purcell (1880-1965) was an architect in partnership with George Grant Elmslie (1869-1952). They designed buildings in the "Prairie" or "Progressive" style in the East (Pennsylvania), the Midwest (Minnesota and Illinois), and the West (Oregon).

Content Description

The collection includes architectural plans, correspondence, reference materials, and literary manuscripts that reflect the career of William Gray Purcell, architect.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use :  

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation :  

[Identification of item], Selected Papers of William G. Purcell, Ax 267, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon

Administrative Information

Processing Note :  

Collection processed by processing staff, March 1986.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Related Materials :  

William Gray Purcell Papers (N3), Northwest Architectural Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis.

William Gray Purcell papers, #15\3\m.119, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Detailed Description of the Collection

1 1 Biographical notes
1 2 Miscellaneous correspondence and writings (photocopies)
1 3 Miscellaneous correspondence and writings (photocopies)
1 4 Architectural and philosophical writings
1 5 Architectural and philosophical writings
1 6 Advertising work, Alexander Brothers 1917-1920
1 7 Letters about and notes on Louis Sullivan
1 8 Notes on Louis Sullivan
1 9 Architectural drawings and sketches; miscellaneous drawings and sketches
1 10 Correspondence with Paul and Mary Carson (photocopies) 1939-1943
1 11 George Elmslie correspondence and sketches
1 12 Purcell and Elmslie architectural work, including notes, letters, data
1 13 Collection of photographs and writings representative of Purcell and Elmslie
1 14 Purcell and Purcell and Elmslie letterhead
1 15 Purcell and Elmslie--publications, photographs, records
1 16 Articles from Northwest Architect 1940-1955
1 17 St. Croix Trail Stories
1 18 Memorial to grandfather, Dr. William Cunningham Gray
2 1 Sketches and poems
2 2 Miscellany
2 3 Miscellany
2 4 Manuscript material for Cecily (photocopy)
2 5 Articles by Purcell in Northwest Architect that he intended to later collect for a book (photocopy)
2 6 Pencil Points, contains article , "George Grant Elmslie and the Chicago Scene" by Talbot F. Hamlin September 1941
2 7 Morrison diary. Island Lake (photocopy) 1895
2 8 Purcell and Leonard Eaton, correspondence relating to Berlage 1955-1958
2 9 Curriculum vitae of John Jager
2 10 John Jager letters (unsorted) 1919-1959
2 11 John Jager letters (unsorted) 1919-1959
2 12 John Jager letters (unsorted) 1919-1959
2 13 John Jager letters (unsorted) 1919-1959
2 14 John Jager letters (unsorted) 1919-1959
2 15 John Jager letters (unsorted) 1919-1959
3 1 John Jager letters (unsorted) 1919-1959
3 2 Manuscript, "The Prairie Spirit of Architecture: The Architecture of William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie, 1909-1922 by David Gebhard (photocopy)
3 3 Van Evera Bailey correspondence
3 4 Van Evera Bailey correspondence


  • Personal Names :
  • Elmslie, George Grant, 1871-1952
  • Jager, John
  • Jager, John--Correspondence
  • Purcell, William Gray, 1880-1965--Correspondence
  • Sullivan, Louis H., 1856-1924
  • Corporate Names :
  • Purcell and Elmslie
  • Subject Terms :
  • Architects--United States--20th century--Correspondence
  • Architecture--United States--20th century--Designs and plans
  • Prairie school (Architecture)--United States

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