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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Typ 1096

Henry Hobson Richardson drawings


Architectural drawings from American architect H. H. (Henry Hobson) Richardson's Brookline office, and later drawings made by the successor firm.


  • Creation: circa 1886-1940

Conditions Governing Access

The original drawings can be consulted only by prior arrangement and with the permission of the Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts. Readers must first make use of the microfilm (see call number HRR Film 2, HOLLIS record number 990018744060203941, or digital images made from the microfilm (links attached to the record).

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


757 linear feet (5300 drawings)

With over 5,000 drawings, this collection is the most complete collection in existence of architectural drawings from Richardson's office. The finding aid provides a listing of those architectural drawings that were catalogued and microfilmed as part of an NEH grant project conducted during 1994-1996.

Biographical / Historical

The architect Henry Hobson Richardson (1838-1886) was born and raised in Louisiana. He attended Harvard College and was the second American to enroll in the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Upon his return in 1866, he opened a small office in New York City in partnership with Charles Gambrill. In 1872 he received the design commission for Trinity Church in Boston and in 1874 he moved his home and office to Brookline to handle his growing practice in New England. The following years were to be the busiest and most successful years of his career until ill health caused his premature death in 1886 at the age of forty-seven. Richardson is known for his re-interpretation of French Romanesque architecture, called Richardson Romanesque.


Organized into the following series:

  1. California
  2. Connecticut
  3. Illinois
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Michigan
  6. Missouri
  7. New Jersey
  8. New York
  9. Ohio
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. Rhode Island
  12. Vermont
  13. Washington, D.C.
  14. England
  15. Location not given

The finding aid is organized by architectural projects and is arranged according to their geographical location. Each project is identified by an alphabetic code.

If this code is followed by -SRC, the project is a continuation (addition or alteration) of a building designed by Richardson and executed by the successor firm Shepley Rutan and Coolidge (1886-1915). If SRC, CS [Coolidge and Shattuck, 1915-1924] or CSBA [Coolidge Shepley Bulfinch and Abbott, 1924-1952] precede the code, the project is the work of a successor firm.

Individual drawings have a two-part code: the code of the project; then the letters A-F (which indicate the type of view: A = plans, B = elevations, C = sections, D = exterior details, E = interior details, F = site views and perspectives), and the drawing number within each lettered sequence. Each project starts with information about the address of the project; its name and date or dates; names of the client, the architect when not Richardson, and the collaborators; the number of drawings; references to the standard bibliographies (see 'Abbreviations Used for Bibliographic References' below); and location of the project on the microfilm. In the finding aid and on the microfilm, the drawings are arranged from exterior to interior of each project, much as Richardson designed them originally.

The description of each drawing includes the following information: view, genre, media and support, scale if known, measurements of height and width in centimeters, location, drawing number, condition, and any relevant notes. The "genre" field describes the phase of the drawings within the design process: contract drawings, design drawings, presentation drawings, preliminary drawings, schematic drawings, site plans, working drawings. In general, the descriptive terms used in the Finding Aid follow those of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus. An exception is the term "blue stationery," which is peculiar to this collection and describes a type of notebook used by Richardson.

Physical Location

Richardson Alcove

Other Finding Aids

Older finding aids in paper form produced by Houghton Library are available under the call number MS Typ 1239 (HOLLIS number 99153749818703941).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of the collection is gift of Henry Richardson Shepley; received: 1942.

*83M-39 (drawings FWA A-6, FWA B-2, FWA B-3, FWA B-4, FWA E-1). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William Andrews, 1983.

Existence and Location of Copies

Microfilm and digital images produced from the microfilm of the entire set of architectural drawings from Richardson's office are available for consultation. The number of images is sometimes greater than the number of drawings because oversized drawings required two or more frames or because versos were filmed. In all cases, the image represents the best possible resolution given the size and condition of the drawings.

For the microfilm, see the call number HRR Film 2 or the HOLLIS record number 990018744060203941 (links to the digital images are attached to this record). A digital copy of the paper index to the microfilm is found at the link$363i .

Related Collections

  1. Houghton Library, H. H. Richardson Additional drawings and papers (MS Typ 1097).
  2. Houghton Library, H. H. Richardson Photographs of architectural projects. (MS Typ 1070).
  3. TR659.R52x: Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University: 53 scrapbooks containing 3500 photographs collected by H. H. Richardson of sites, structures and works of art in Europe, the United States and Asia.
  4. UAI15.82 pf: Harvard University Archives: Building records for Sever Hall.
  5. Art 00.94 D, Art 00.133 D: Harvard Law School Library: Drawings and photographs of Austin Hall.
  6. Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbot: The present successor firm retains some drawings and records relating to H. H. Richardson and his buildings (
  7. Archives of American Art: 3 reels of microfilm containing 180 items of correspondence, photographs, printed material, drawings, biographical material, record books and business records by and pertaining to H. H. Richardson (

For the most complete list of Richardson collections of drawings and manuscripts in this country, see Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, H.H. Richardson, complete architectural works. [Cambridge, MA: MIT Press], c1982, pages 339-443.

Project Codes

The list of codes is:

  1. ACH (City Hall, Albany NY)
  2. AEB (American Merchants Union Express Co. Building, Chicago IL)
  3. AGL (Frederick Lothrop Ames Gate Lodge, North Easton MA)
  4. AGL-CSBA1 (Frederick Lothrop Ames Gate Lodge, alterations and additions, job no. 422)
  5. AGL-CSBA2 (Frederick Lothrop Ames Gate Lodge, alterations and additions, job no. 508)
  6. AH (Austin Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge MA)
  7. AH-SBRA (Austin Hall, Harvard University, connecting stairs to tunnel)
  8. AH-SRC (Austin Hall, Harvard University, additions)
  9. AHW (Hay Adams houses, Washington DC)
  10. ALNE (Oliver Ames Free Library, North Easton MA)
  11. ALNE-CSBA (Oliver Ames Free Library, alterations)
  12. APN (A. P. Nichols house project, Buffalo NY)
  13. ARC (Civil War Memorial project, Buffalo NY)
  14. ASA (All Saints Episcopal Cathedral project, Albany NY)
  15. ASC (New York State Capitol, Albany NY)
  16. ASL (New York State Library, Albany NY)
  17. AWS (New York State Capitol, Western Staircase, Albany NY)
  18. BCN (Immanuel Baptist Church, Newton MA)
  19. BED (Frederick Lothrop Ames Wholesale Store, Bedford St., Boston MA)
  20. BED-SRC (Frederick Lothrop Ames Wholesale Store, Bedford St., Boston MA)
  21. BIG (Dr. H. J. Bigelow house, Newton MA)
  22. BIL (Billings Library, University of Vermont, Burlington VT)
  23. BL (Young Men's Association Library project, Buffalo NY)
  24. BLA (Buffalo State Hospital, Buffalo NY)
  25. BOR (Alida Borland house project, Boston MA)
  26. BRY (Dr. John Bryant house, Cohasset MA)
  27. BRYS (Dr. John Bryant stables)
  28. BRYS-SRC (Dr. John Bryant stables, additions and alterations)
  29. BSC (Brattle Square Church, Boston MA)
  30. CCC (Chamber of Commerce Building, Cincinnati OH)
  31. CHE (James Cheney house project, South Manchester CT)
  32. CLQ (Thomas Crane Public Library, Quincy MA)
  33. COD (Richard Codman house project, West Roxbury MA)
  34. CRO (Crowninshield apartment house project, Boston MA)
  35. CRY (Church project, Crystal City MO)
  36. CS-ALE (Ames Building, Lincoln and Essex Sts., Boston MA)
  37. CSBA-HP (Harvard pump, Harvard University, Cambridge MA)
  38. CSH (Connecticut State Capitol project, Hartford CT)
  39. DB (Boston and Albany Railroad Dairy Building, Boston MA)
  40. EC (Erastus Corning house project, Albany NY)
  41. ECA (Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh PA)
  42. ELA (Equitable Life Assurance Building project, New York NY)
  43. EUR (Drawings of European subjects)
  44. EWG (Ephraim W. Gurney house, Beverly MA)
  45. FB (Bridges in Fenway Park, Boston MA)
  46. FLH (F. L. Higginson house, Boston MA)
  47. FLH-CS (F. L. Higginson House)
  48. FLH-SRC (F. L. Higginson house)
  49. FOU (Bagley Memorial Fountain, Detroit MI)
  50. FRA (Boston and Albany Railroad Station, Framingham MA)
  51. FWA (F. W. Andrews house, Newport RI)
  52. GAC (Frederick Lothrop Ames gardener's cottage, North Easton MA)
  53. GAC-SRC (Frederick Lothrop Ames gardener's cottage, addition, North Easton MA)
  54. GLE (J. J. Glessner house, Chicago IL)
  55. GP (Church project, location not given)
  56. GS (Grange Sard Jr. house, Albany NY)
  57. GYM (Gymnasium project, University of Vermont, Burlington VT)
  58. HER (Sir Hubert Herkomer house, Bushey Hertfordshire England)
  59. HOC (Church project, Holyoke MA)
  60. HOL (Connecticut River Railroad Station, Holyoke MA)
  61. HOS (General Hospital project, Worcester MA)
  62. HOY (Hoyt Library project, East Saginaw, MI)
  63. HYD (Mrs. Hyde house project, location not given)
  64. IHL (I. H. Lionberger house, St. Louis MO)
  65. JHH (J. H. Hampton house, Pittsburgh PA)
  66. JRL (J. R. Lionberger house, St. Louis MO)
  67. JRLS (J. R. Lionberger stables, St. Louis MO)
  68. KNE (Boston and Albany Railroad Station, Boston MA)
  69. LH (Castle Hill Lighthouse project, Newport RI)
  70. MAC (Franklin MacVeagh house, Chicago IL)
  71. MAL (Malden Public Library, Malden MA)
  72. MF (Marshall Field Wholesale Store, Chicago IL)
  73. MFK (Mary F. King house, location not given)
  74. MON (Robert Gould Shaw monument project, Boston MA)
  75. NAS (Normal Art School project, Boston MA)
  76. NEF (Old Colony Railroad Freight House project, North Easton MA)
  77. NES (Old Colony Railroad Station, North Easton MA)
  78. NLA (N. L. Anderson house, Washington DC)
  79. NLS (Union Station, New London CT)
  80. OA (Oliver Ames house project, Boston MA)
  81. PB (Rev. Percy Browne house, Marion MA)
  82. PC (Private pullman car project, Boston and Albany Railroad, Boston MA)
  83. PCH (Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail, Pittsburgh PA)
  84. PJ (Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail, Pittsburgh PA)
  85. POT (Henry S. Potter house, St. Louis MO)
  86. RFC (R. And F. Cheney Building, Hartford CT)
  87. RTP (Robert Treat Paine house, Waltham MA)
  88. SH (Sever Hall, Harvard University, Cambridge MA)
  89. SPR (Hampden County Courthouse, Springfield MA)
  90. SRC-ALE (Ames Building, Lincoln and Essex Sts., Boston MA)
  91. SRC-ALT (Ames Building, Lincoln and Tufts Sts., Boston MA)
  92. SRC-ANE (Frederick Lothrop Ames house, North Easton MA)
  93. SRC-ARS (New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, Union Passenger Station, Albany NY)
  94. SRC-AS (Boston and Albany Railroad Passenger Station, Ashland MA)
  95. SRC-CAC (Charles A. Coolidge house, Marion MA)
  96. SRC-CACS (Charles A. Coolidge stables project, Marion MA)
  97. SRC-CFL (Carnegie Free Library, Cincinnati OH)
  98. SRC-ECM (Episcopal Church, Marion MA)
  99. SRC-FBC (First Baptist Church project, Newark NJ)
  100. SRC-HC (Harvard Congregational Society, Brookline MA)
  101. SRC-HOP (Wells Fargo Co. Building, San Francisco CA)
  102. SRC-HUN (Huntington Park Entrance project, Boston MA)
  103. SRC-LS (J. R. Lionberger store, St. Louis MO)
  104. SRC-MBC (Baptist Church, Malden MA)
  105. SRC-MVC (Mt. Vernon Congregational Church, Boston MA)
  106. SRC-NIC (A. W. Nickerson house, Dedham MA)
  107. SRC-NLL (New London Public Library, New London CT)
  108. SRC-NRS (Union Station, Norwich CT)
  109. SRC-STAN (Stanford University buildings, Stanford CA
  110. SRC-TB (Mr. Tudor's barn, Buzzard's Bay?, MA)
  111. SRC-WSB (Dr. W. S. Bigelow house, Boston MA)
  112. STO (Mrs. M. F. Stoughton house, Cambridge MA)
  113. TC (Trinity Church, Boston MA)
  114. TC-CS (Trinity Church, porch, Boston MA)
  115. TC-CSBA (Trinity Church, vestibule)
  116. TC-SRC1 (Trinity Church, alterations and additions to Western front, Boston MA)
  117. TC-SRC2 (Trinity Church, baldachin project, Boston MA)
  118. TCPH (Trinity Church Parish House, Boston MA)
  119. TCPH-CS (Trinity Church Parish House, alterations, Boston MA)
  120. TCPH-CSBA (Trinity Church Parish House, storm porch, Boston MA)
  121. TCR (Trinity Church Rectory, Boston MA)
  122. TCR-SRC (Trinity Church Rectory, Boston MA)
  123. TOW (Oakes Ames Memorial Town Hall, North Easton MA)
  124. UC (Unity Church, Springfield MA)
  125. UDH (Unidentified domestic designs)
  126. UNK (Unidentified projects)
  127. WAR (Benjamin H. Warder house, Washington DC)
  128. WAS (Frederick Lothrop Ames store, 515-521 Washington St., Boston MA)
  129. WAS-SRC (Frederick Lothrop Ames store, 515-521 Washington St., Boston MA)
  130. WC (Dr. W. S. Channing house, Brookline MA)
  131. WCT (Washington Casino project, Washington DC)
  132. WGG (William H. Gratwick house, Buffalo NY)
  133. WIL (New London Northern Railroad Station project, Willimantic CT)
  134. WJ (William James house project, Cambridge MA)
  135. WML (Winn Memorial Public Library, Woburn MA)
  136. WRS (Boston and Albany Railroad Station, Waban, Newton MA)
  137. WSH (William Watts Sherman house, Newport RI)

Abbreviations Used For Bibliographic References:

  1. OCHSNER: Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl. H. H. Richardson, complete architectural works. [Cambridge, MA: MIT Press], c1982.
  2. O'GORMAN: O'Gorman, James F. H. H. Richardson and his office: a centennial of his move to Boston, 1874: selected drawings. [Cambridge, Mass.]: Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harvard College Library, 1974.

Processing Information

Processed by: Ardys Kozbial.

The HOLLIS catalog includes not only a collection-level record for this collection, but also series-level records. All records can be located by searching for call number: MS Typ 1096.

Richardson, H. H. (Henry Hobson), 1838-1886. Henry Hobson Richardson drawings (MS Typ 1096): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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