Contents and Arrangement

Series 4: Biographical Materials, 1915-2000

13 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series contains materials primarily related to Candela's personal life and activities, including appointment books, financial ledgers, address books, student notebooks, drawing portfolios, study guides, autobiographical writings with related clippings and documents, personal photographs of Candela traveling with his family, and various awards and honorary certificates he received throughout his career. Contents range from school work and black-and-white photographs from Candela's early education and athletic career in Spain to contemporary color photographs of Candela in his later years traveling in Europe and South America alongside his wife, Dorothy Candela. A complete run of appointment books spanning from 1968 until 1997 is also present, containing a great deal of information about his daily activities and interactions.

While materials in this series are primarily personal in nature, some also shed light on aspects of Candela's professional career, including his school notebooks and copies of study guides he wrote for structural engineering courses in college, autobiography drafts that detail his professional activities, and certain notes in his appointment books that trace his meetings with collaborators, work habits, construction schedules, travel plans, and lecture and conference participation. Of note is a draft copy of Candela's unfinished autobiography, written in the mid-1990s, which contains a lengthy and thorough narrative of his architectural career and his personal history leading up to it. Also included with the notes for his autobiography are several original personal documents and identification papers, such as passports and immigration documents from the various countries in which he held citizenship during his lifetime.


This series is arranged into five subseries: Appointment Books, Student Work, Autobiography Materials, Personal Photographs, and Awards.

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 4: Biographical Materials; 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.
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 19-29; 37
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box 4

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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