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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Typ 1097

Henry Hobson Richardson additional drawings and papers


Drawings, correspondence, and photographs by and relating to the American architect H. H. Richardson.


  • Creation: 1858-1886

Conditions Governing Access

Original drawings may be consulted only by prior arrangement and with the permission of the Curator of Printing and Graphic Arts.


1.6 linear feet (4 boxes and 3 folders)

Miscellaneous drawings and correspondence by and relating to H. H. Richardson; Richardson's sketchbook; photographs of architectural drawings (some now lost) and built works by Richardson; study photographs of other buildings.

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. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Drawings
  3. ___A. Loose drawings by Richardson and by members of his office staff
  4. ___B. Sketchbook by Richardson
  5. III. Related material

Physical Location

Lamont E7

Immediate Source of Acquisition

75M-7. Deposited in 1975 by Joseph Priestley Richardson, great-grandson of Henry Hobson Richardson; converted to a gift in 1995 by vote of the directors of Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott, 1 Court Street Boston, Massachusetts 02108, Architects.

Items (47), (48), and (49) were returned to the depositor on 1982 October 13; subsequently returned to the Houghton Library, 2023.

Related collections:

  1. Houghton Library, H. H. Richardson Drawings (MS Typ 1096).
  2. Houghton Library, H. H. Richardson Photographs of architectural projects (MS Typ 1070).
  3. 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 (TR659.R52x).
  4. Harvard University Archives: Building records for Sever Hall (UAI15.82 pf).
  5. Harvard Law School Library: Drawings and photographs of Austin Hall (Art 00.94 D, Art 00.133 D).
  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 (


  • The catalogue referred to in the following descriptions is: O'Gorman, James F. H. H. Richardson and his office: a centennial of his move to Boston, 1874. Selected drawings. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Harvard College Library, 1974.
  • For the most complete list of Richardson collections of drawings and manuscripts in this country, see: Ochsner, Jeffrey Karl. H. H. Richardson, complete architectural works. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1982. Pages 339-443.
Richardson, H. H. (Henry Hobson), 1838-1886. Henry Hobson Richardson additional drawings and papers, 1858-1886 (MS Typ 1097): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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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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