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Wright's books at Taliesin

The buildings at Taliesin, in Spring Green, Wisconsin, contain many books.  An inventory of them, compiled in 2017 by Kyle Dockery (Collections Coordinator of the Frank Lloyd Wright Froundation) lists roughly 2,000 books, of which about 1,700 were published before Wright's death in 1959.[1]  I have not personally examined the books; the information here is based on the inventory and on my correspondence with Kyle Dockery. About forty of the books in the inventory bear inscriptions to Wright, but otherwise it is nearly impossible to determine which books actually belonged to Wright or were at Taliesin while he lived there.  Many books were acquired after 1959, having been either donated to Taliesin or left there by apprentices or others.

Besides the post-1959 books, others can be discounted from having been part of Wright's library: books that belonged to the Porter family (the family of Wright's sister Mary Jane), who lived near the main Taliesin buildings; books on subjects known to be the exclusive interest of Olgivanna Wright, such as spiritualism; and foreign-language books—with a few exceptions, such as a 1936 book on the master-plan for the reconstruction of Moscow, which Wright likely acquired when he visited Russia in 1937.  And about seventy of the books in the inventory contain "Hillside Home School" bookplates or stamps and are not included in this section of the database because they are listed in the separate Hillside Home School section.  Still, there are hundreds of remaining books in the inventory.  I have chosen to include here about 180 of them that I consider most likely to have belonged to Wright, such as books with early publication dates, or books on topics known to be of special interest to Wright.  Several of the books, in fact, are works that Wright specifically mentioned reading, in his own writings, or for which there is other evidence of his having read.  These cases are indicated in the notes accompanying the entries here.  The books that bear inscriptions to Wright also have notes to this effect, as well as being identified by an "inscribed to Wright" tag.

View a list of books in this collection

[1] "Taliesin Historic Book Inventory."  The inventory contains over 2500 items, but some of them are not actually books; also listed are sheet music, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, etc.   For more information about this Taliesin inventory, one may contact the Collections Department of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.