William F. Cody Papers 2, 1918-1980 (MS 163)
Scope and Content
The William F. Cody Papers 2 (MS 163) contains personal papers, student work, awards, architectural drawings and plans, office records, marketing and public relations materials, presentation drawings, photographs, correspondence, and project files from the architect's estate, acquired through purchase from his daughter in 2008-09.
At the time that Cody closed his office, family members split the records and drawings of the practice and stored them in various locations. Researchers are strongly advised to consult the guide to the first, separate, and substantial gift of Cody drawings and papers given to Cal Poly in 1984 (William F. Cody Papers, FAIA, MS 007).
The collection is divided into five series:
- Personal Papers, 1918-1980, including childhood sketches, biographical information, extensive pre-collegiate and USC student work, and financial records;
- Professional Papers, 1946-1979, including certifications; awards, plaques and certificates; and scrapbooks/tearsheets;
- Office Records, 1944-1976, including appointment books, correspondence with clients and colleagues, extensive project portfolios, presentation photographs, and presentation drawings
- Project Records, 1943-1973, including files, photographs, plans and drawings on residential, recreational, and commercial commissions
- McCulloch Project Records, 1967-1972, including extensive project plans for industrialist Robert P. McCulloch and his related companies.
The collection is housed in 19 flat file drawers and 41 Hollinger containers and 11 tubes. The most significant portions of the collection — project records for wide variety of Cody commissions in the Coachella Valley, Arizona, and Havana — are located in Series 4. The collection is also rich in Cody's student work.
Most of the plans in the collection are Ozalids, a monochromatic copying process producing diazo prints, common to the mid-twentieth century. Many of the Ozalids and oversized plans are in poor condition. Some drawings, primarily preliminary sketches or mechanical drawings produced in consultation, have been left in project files, when relocation would have deterred research. Job numbers from Cody's practice are given, when known, but some errors in duplicate numbering have been found. With the exception of the presentation photographs in Series 3.D. and the project portfolios, there are few images in the collection.
Some project names changed before completion; drawings are located under the project's as-built name, when known. Town and city names and boundaries may also have changed; drawings are located under the current name of the town or city.
Where possible, the provenance, or original organization, of the papers has been preserved. However, in order to simplify access to the collection for researchers, some materials in specific formats and subject areas were reorganized and refoldered to more accurately reflect their contents.