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Shepherd Stevens papers

Call Number: MS 865
Scope and Contents

The papers, spanning 1789-1961 (bulk 1840-1961), consist of correspondence, architectural drawings, sketches, diaries, photographs, lecture materials, writings, and other documents pertaining to the life of Shepherd Stevens (1880-1962), an American architect and professor of architecture at Cornell (1915-1920) and Yale (1920-1947) universities who was educated at Columbia University (1899-1903) and trained in the Beaux-Arts tradition at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, France, where he received his diplôme in 1908. The papers are a particularly rich and valuable resource for the study of architectural education and pedagogy in the early decades of the twentieth century. Also included in the collection are materials pertaining to the lives of several of Stevens’s family members.

Among the twelve records series documenting Stevens’s academic, professional, and personal activities, the most significant and extensive include Series II, Correspondence, and Series III, Diaries and Calendars, both of which record Stevens’s time as a student, a practicing architect, and a professor of architecture, as well as his travels throughout the world; Series IV, Drawings and Sketches, which comprise student projects, assignments, and sketchbooks undertaken at Columbia and the École, and some professional work Stevens pursued during his brief stint as an architect; Series VI, Lecture and Class Material, which includes student writings, lecture notes,and assignments, as well as teaching materials from Yale; and Series IX, Photographs, which contains images of Stevens, portraits and snapshots of various friends and family members, and a variety of travel photographs, including a series of images taken after World War I in France, where Stevens worked for the American Red Cross documenting wartime destruction. The final series, Series XIII, comprises the papers of several family members who were close to Stevens, including his aunt Charlotte Cordelia (Shepherd) Davenport and uncle William Bates Davenport; these papers consist of correspondence, photographs, writings, and other records documenting a range of personal and professional activities, including events relating to the American Civil War and World War I.

Language of Materials

The materials are primarily in English, with some French.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown; probably transferred from the Yale University's Art Library.


The collection is arranged in thirteen series: I. Card Indexes, undated. II. Correspondence, 1884-1960. III. Diaries and calendars, 1892-1959. IV. Drawings and sketches, 1890-1957. V. Financial records, 1888-1957. VI. Lecture and class material, 1896-1947. VII. Notes, writings, and speeches, 1888-1956. VIII. Official documents, 1856-1954. IX. Photographs, 1873-1952. X. Postcards, undated. XI. Printed material, 1789-1961. XII. Miscellanea, 1818-1955. XIII. Papers of Stevens's family members, 1822-1931.

Majority of material found within 1840 - 1961
107 Linear Feet (108 boxes)
Related Names
Stevens, Shepherd, 1880-1962
Language of Materials
Multiple languages