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How to use this site

This website can be used in several ways.  It can provide an overview of Wright's interest in books and reading, with the introductory essay ("Frank Lloyd Wright and books"), or by browsing through the lists of books and authors.  Searching for specific authors or books can be done with two search functions (one on the home page, one in the "Database" section of the site).  A user can learn about the various collections of books that either belonged to Wright or had some other connection with him.  One can examine a compilation of Wright's own statements about the books and authors he read.  There is also a description of how the project came about and was accomplished, as well as "Contact" information if a user wishes to communicate with the project's creator.


Frank Lloyd Wright and books

This essay describes the importance of reading to Wright, summarizes the types of books that most interested him at different times of his life, and examines various aspects of his relationship with books.  Reading the essay may be helpful in using the other parts of the website.         


The Database

A basic point to keep in mind about the site is that the "Database" of authors and books is actually a combination of databases of several collections or groups of books, which have different relationships to Wright.   Some of the collections (such as "Wright's books at Taliesin West") contain works that are known to have belonged to him.  Others (such as "Olgivanna Wright's books") contain works that may have belonged to him.  Others (such as "Louis Sullivan's books") contain works that he probably had access to, at some time in his life.  And other entries in the Database are from the "Authors read by Wright" section of the website (a compilation of authors and books that Wright said he read, or for which there is other evidence of his having read).  Therefore, a user who finds a book in the Database, or in a search, must note what collection it is in, and be familiar with the nature of that collection, in order to understand what connection it had with Wright.  This can be done as follows.

Once a book is found in the Database, or through a search, clicking on the book's title will produce information about the work.  Under the "Keywords" heading, the collection is identified in red (e.g., "Collection: Wright's books at Taliesin").  Clicking on this collection name produces a list of all the works in that collection.  If users are not already familiar with the nature of the collection, they should go to "Collections of Books" in the menu, and click on the collection name, which will produce the description of that collection.

Some of the entries in the Database give an author's name, followed by "[Unknown]" instead of a book title.  This means that the author is one of the entries in the "Authors read by Wright" section of the website, and that it is unknown what book or books by the author were read by Wright.  Clicking on "[Unknown]" (not the author's name) will give a brief description of the evidence that Wright was familiar with this author.  One should then go to the "Authors read by Wright" section of the website to find the full description of what Wright said about the author (or other evidence that he read the author).

The Database has an alphabetic row of letters (ABCDEFG....), for quicker examination of the entries, but it is not visible unless one clicks on "Author," "Keyword," or "Title," at the top of the Database list.  (Clicking on "Author," etc. also reverses the alphabetic listing of the entries; re-clicking the term returns the list to normal alphabetic order.)

Clicking on "Year" produces a listing of the books by their publication dates (starting with the most recent year, 1959). At the end of the list, following the earliest year, are books given the designation "0," meaning that the year of publication is unknown.


The collections of books

Nine collections or groups of books are listed in the "Collections of books" section of the website.  Clicking on one of the collection names produces a description of the collection and its connection with Wright.  For eight of the collections, a link following the description takes one to a list of the books in the collection.  (There is no such link for the collection of "Anna Wright's books" because the books are listed directly below the collection description, for reasons having to do with the nature of this collection.)   There is another way to find a list of the books in one of the collections.   In the main Database or in a search, if one clicks on a specific book title, the resulting information includes (under "Keywords") the name of the collection containing this book; clicking on this collection name produces the list of the books in the collection.

A couple of points must be kept in mind when examining the list of books in a collection.  At the top of the list is the heading "The Database," the same heading that is in the main database of all the book collections.  The fact that the list is for a specific collection is indicated only in the pink-colored strip that reads "Filters: Keyword is...," followed by the name of the collection.  This is important to remember because one can inadvertently change this list of books to the list of books in the main database.  For example, if one clicks on the word "Author," "Keyword," or "Title" (just above the pink-colored strip), an alphabetic row of letters appears (ABCDEFG....), suggesting that one can use them to go to a specific letter in the list of books in this collection.  This is deceptive, because clicking on one of the letters automatically takes one to the main database.  THEREFORE, IF YOU WANT TO STAY IN THE LIST OF THIS COLLECTION'S BOOKS, DO NOT CLICK ON A LETTER IN THIS ALPHABETIC ROW.  The only way to examine all the books in a particular collection is to scroll through the list.  To make sure that one is still in this collection's list, one should check the pink-colored strip to see the name of the collection.

The books in the collections preserved at Taliesin West have identification numbers, which were assigned at various times by the archivists there.  It was impractical to include these numbers in this website.  If a user wants to know the archival number of a particular book, the project's creator can be contacted and will be able to provide it.


Authors read by Wright

This section of the website is a compilation of the authors (and in some cases specific books) that Wright said he read, or for which there is other evidence of his having read.  Much of the information comes from Wright's autobiography, his other publications, his correspondence, the accounts of his acquaintances, and miscellaneous sources.  Users of the website who know of additional authors or books that Wright read are encouraged to provide this information to the project's creator.



Most of the books in the database have been given "keywords," which are of four types: Collection (the name of the collection the book is in), Subject (architecture, poetry, novels, etc.), Language (for non-English-language books), and Trait (for books that are annotated, inscribed to Wright, etc.).  To see a list of all the keywords, go to the search function in the Database, click on "Show only items where," and click on the scroll-down arrow for "Keyword."   Clicking on a particular keyword, and then clicking on "Filter," will produce the database entries that have been given this keyword.  Before making another search, click on "Clear all filters."



The following abbreviations may be encountered in the website. 

FLW or FLLW: Frank Lloyd Wright

OLW or OLLW: Olgivanna Lloyd Wright

HHS: Hillside Home School

TW: Taliesin West

PVT: Paul V. Turner

WWP Library: William Wesley Peters Library (Taliesin West)



The formatting of the website can be different when viewed on a computer or a mobile device.  In general it is easier to use on a computer.


How to search the site

To search the site in general: use the search bar above the title (this includes the essays and descriptive text).

To search the database:

  • Go to the Database page
  • Click on ‘Search’ to reveal the options.

  • Here you can either enter a search term in the box and click “Search the database”, or click “Show only items where” to reveal more options.
  • Here you will find drop-down menus where you can choose from various options. For example, under “Keyword” you can choose from the various collections.
  • After choosing a keyword (or a year, etc.), click on "Filter" to get a list of the entries with this keyword, etc.  Before making another search, click on "Clear all filters."