Contents and Arrangement

Series 2: Talks and Articles, 1937-1997

6 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series includes drafts, typescripts, handwritten notes, and clippings of Candela's lectures and published papers, itineraries, receipts, and correspondence related to his international travels and participation in conferences worldwide, along with drafts and clippings of his published articles and translations. These materials, which Candela filed together, pertain broadly to his role as a leader in the field of architecture and as an advocate for innovative methods of thin-shell concrete design. Beginning in the 1950s, Candela became an outspoken proponent of a new type of structural analysis that de-emphasized overly complex mathematical calculations in favor of a more thorough theoretical understanding of forms based on principles of geometry. His public lectures and writings promoted an economy of design that was not divorced from aesthetic concerns, made strong arguments against classical structural analysis, and at the same time, attracted attention and publicity to his firm, Cubiertas Ala. Materials in this series reflect Candela's regular participation in international professional conferences, meetings, and publications related to architecture and structural design, and the viewpoints he promoted. Some writings and typescripts of Candela's lectures regarding topics tangential to architecture, such as politics and urban planning, are also included.

File groups in this series reflect Candela's original organization of the materials, and his original folder titles were retained when they were present. Researchers looking for drafts of articles by Candela should note that many of his published articles originated as lectures, and are filed as such, sometimes alongside clippings of the resultant article in print. It should also be noted that materials filed under travels often contain correspondence, receipts, and notes related to conferences and other events at which Candela presented papers, drafts of which are filed separately with his lectures and papers. While materials in this series are the most comprehensive for Candela's activities from 1950 through the early 1970s, some earlier and later materials are also present.


This series is arranged into three file groups, following original order: Lectures and Papers, Travels, and Articles.

Collection History

Custodial History

Prior to their move to the Special Collections, the Félix Candela Papers were housed at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where they were used as research materials for Maria Garlock and David Billington's book, Félix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist (Princeton University Art Museum, 2008). Maria Garlock facilitated Dorothy Candela's donation of these materials to Princeton University beginning in 2006-2007, as an addition to what was then referred to as the Maillart Archives.


All materials were retained during 2014 processing, with the exception of a blank internal hard drive, which was discarded.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in May-July 2014. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in July 2014.

A box of oversize materials, formerly housed in Box 5, were rehoused into flat files in September 2021. As a result, there is no Box 5.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Trustees of Princeton University hold the copyright for materials in this collection that were created by Félix Candela. Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Series 2: Talks and Articles; Félix Candela Papers, C1455, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 14, 6
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 15-17; 37

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Related Materials

Additional architectural records and papers of Félix Candela, including his office files from Cubiertas Ala, are held in the Department of Drawings and Archives at the Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University.

Candela, Félix, 1910-1997