Scope and Contents note
The Marion Dean Ross collection is arranged by subject. The majority of the collection consists of materials regarding architects, regional architecture, and specific buildings. A large amount of material relates to Oregon architecture, with an emphasis on Portland and Eugene. The material for each subject includes newspaper clippings, photographs, brochures, maps, notes and other items. Located at the end of the collection is a section on architectural and historic preservation organizations, which includes newsletters and other publications produced by the specified organization.
- Creation: 1954-1990
- Ross, Marion Dean (Person)
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open to the public. Collection must be used in Special Collections and University Archives Reading Room. Collection or parts of collection may be stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives in advance of your visit to allow for transportation time.
Conditions Governing Use note
Property rights reside with Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections and University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.
Born in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania in 1913, Marion Dean Ross was educated at Pennsylvania State and Harvard University. He received a B.S. in architecture in 1935 at Penn State, studied at the Universidad Nacional in Mexico, and earned a Master of Architecture degree at Harvard in 1937. Ross studied later at Harvard during summer sessions of 1938, 1940, and 1948.
Starting in 1937, Ross taught architectural history and design at Tulane University. In 1946, Ross taught at Pennsylvania State College. In 1947, Ross started teaching in the Art History department at the University of Oregon. When the art history department was established in 1963, Ross became the first chairman of the department. In 1962-63, Ross filled the position of acting Dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts. He retired from the University of Oregon in 1978.
Teaching the history of architecture, Ross taught a variety of classes including Latin American architecture, Islamic architecture, modern architecture, along with other subjects. His interests ranged from Victorian objects to landscape architecture. He was one of the first to critically study Oregon architecture and also taught a class on the subject.
Outside of the university, Ross participated in architectural and historic preservation organizations. His study of Oregon architecture helped in the creation of stylistic guidelines for the Oregon State Inventory of Historic Properties for the state preservation office. He was a founding member of the Society for Architectural Historians. For thirteen years, Ross served on the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation.
Influential in architectural history at the university, around the state and the nation, Ross was remembered after his death on April 2, 1991 as an important figure in the study of architectural history and historic preservation. He left a one million dollar endowment for library material acquisitions and an endowment for the "Marion Dean Ross Distinguished Professor of Architectural History" in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts (AAA) at the University of Oregon. The AAA library reading room was named the “Marion D. Ross Reading Room” on April 27, 1991 during the dedication of completed renovation of Lawrence Hall.
Sources: “Marion Ross.” Biographical Information Files, UA Ref 2, Box 6, University Archives, Special Collections & University Archives.
Sources: “Review,” School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Spring, 1991. University Publications Files, Box 2, University Archives, Special Collections and University Archives.
22 linear feet (16 containers)
Language of Materials
Marion Dean Ross (1913 - 1991) was a historian of architecture and design who taught at the University of Oregon and served as the Dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts at UO until his retirement in 1978. The collection consists of materials regarding architects, regional architecture, and specific buildings. A large amount of material relates to Oregon architecture, with an emphasis on Portland and Eugene.
Collection is organized primarily in chronological order, with types of records (such as business records, papers presented, biographical information) grouped together when possible. Certain formats have been separated for preservation reasons. These include photographs, video recordings, and digital media. To assist the researcher, the collection has been arranged in the following series for clarity: Series I. ArchitectsSeries II. ArchitectureSeries III. Organizations
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Gift of Marian C. Donnelly in 1992.
Existence and Location of Copies
Selected items are available online in Building Oregon in Oregon Digital.
Collection processed by staff.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
- Architects -- United States
- Architecture -- United States
- Architecture, Domestic -- Oregon
- Art historians -- Oregon
- Colleges and Universities
- Historic buildings -- Oregon
- Historic preservation -- Oregon -- Societies, etc
- International relations
- Public architecture -- Oregon
- Washington (State)
- Guide to the Marion Dean Ross Papers
- Revise Description
- Finding aid prepared by Vida Germano
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
- Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.