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Edward Durell Stone Papers

Papers, 1927-1974
120 linear feet
22,000 drawings

Manuscript Collection MS St71/236 Stone (First Accession) and
                                      MC 340 (Second Accession)


Edward Durell Stone (1902-1978) was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  He attended the University of Arkansas from 1920 to 1923, then moved to Boston to take courses at the Boston Architectural Club, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In 1927, he was awarded the Rotch Scholarship, which enabled him to travel and study architecture in Europe from 1927 to 1929.  On his return from Europe in 1929, Stone worked with several architectural firms in New York before establishing his own firm, Edward Durell Stone & Associates in 1936.  This firm later expanded to include Edward Durell Stone, Inc., Hicks Drafting Corporation, and Torch Realty.  Stone continued to practice architecture and take an active role in the firm's practice until 1974, when his health declined. For additional biographical information concerning Stone, consult Special Collections Vertical File, as well as Stone's two autobiographies, The Evolution of an Architect (1962) and Recent and Future Architecture (1967).


Edward Durell Stone presented a large body of his papers to the University of Arkansas Libraries in 1975, three years before his death.  In 1979 his widow, Violet Stone, donated a substantial quantity of his professional papers.  The collection thoroughly documents the professional and business operations of a major figure in American architecture in the twentieth century.

 Illustrations of some of Stone's designs may be seen at Mary Ann Sullivan's Digital Imaging Project.

The two accessions comprise professional and personal correspondence, memoranda, plans, drawings, models, blueprints, field diaries, construction logs, specifications, contracts, speeches, photographic prints and slides, financial and legal records, and other original unpublished materials documenting Stone's life and career. An estimated twenty-two thousand drawings range from hastily-drawn conceptual sketches on note paper to finished presentation renderings. Approximately four hundred projects are documented in the collection.

Stone regularly corresponded with many cultural figures of his time. The collection includes  correspondence with architects Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, the Saarinens, Buckminster Fuller, Philip Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright, and others; the sculptors Alexander Calder and Isamu Noguchi; interior designer Donald Deskey; Henry R. Luce and Clare Boothe Luce, William Paley, Salvador Dali,  Dwight D. Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, and other notables.

The Stone firm maintained extensive files of the publicity generated by their projects, daily itineraries,  manuscript drafts of Stone's writings, and transactions with publishers. The financial records detail the workings of a major architectural firm of the twentieth century. They cover the period from 1945, when Stone resumed his practice after World War II, until 1974, when he retired from active participation in the management of the firm.


The Stone papers were received in two increments and processed as two separate collections. Consequently, they are described in two finding aids. A Project Index combines project-related materials found in either or both parts of the collection in a single alphabetical list.

The first accession, MS St71/236/Stone, is described in a detailed finding aid available in the Special Collections reading room. An abridgement of the paper finding aid is on line.

The second accession, MC 340, is described in a detailed finding aid available in the Special Collections reading room and on line.

The first accession was processed by Betty Austin. The second accession was processed by Georgia Ann Kunze, who also created the Project Index.

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