A Guide to the R. Buckminster Fuller Collection, 1949-1978 Fuller, R. Buckminster, Collection Ms1975-007

A Guide to the R. Buckminster Fuller Collection, 1949-1978

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1975-007


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2006 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Jennifer Vipperman and Amy Vilelle, Special Collections Staff

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
R. Buckminster Fuller Collection, 1949-1978
Physical Characteristics
1 box, 1 flat box; 0.4 cu. ft.
The R. Buckminster Fuller Archives, Philadelphia, PA
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) was a poet, philosopher, inventor, engineer and architect. Fuller, or "Bucky" to his friends and colleagues, was most well known for his invention of the geodesic dome, a ground-based dome with no limiting dimensions. The collection contains unsigned correspondence by Fuller and others, as well as various articles on architecture and the geodesic dome, nature, utopian design, space and science.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the R. Buckminster Fuller Collection must be obtained from the Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: R. Buckminster Fuller Collection, Ms1975-007, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The R. Buckminster Fuller Collection was purchased for the architectural collection of the library around 1975.

Processing Information

An inventory of the R. Buckminster Fuller Collection was created in 1976. The processing, rearrangement and description of the collection took place in August 2006.

Biographical Information

R. Buckminster Fuller was born in Milton, Massachusetts on July 12, 1895. He attended Harvard University from 1913-15, but never finished his degree. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in 1917 and served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War I. In 1954, Fuller patented the geodesic dome, the structure he is most famous for as an architect. The U.S. Pavilion, a geodesic dome designed by Fuller, was a main feature of the Canadian Universal and International Exhibition in 1967. Fuller was also the inventor of a "dymaxion" car as well as a "dymaxion" world map, a map which limited the distortions that are common with most world maps. Fuller was not just an inventor and architect, but also a philosopher and poet. He published many books and articles throughout his life, both fiction and non-fiction. Fuller's contributions as a poet, philosopher, architect and inventor have made him the subject of numerous books and articles, as well as earning him many honorary degrees and awards.

Scope and Content

The R. Buckminster Fuller Collection consists of correspondence written by Fuller himself as well as letters written to him from various sources. Correspondence consists of unsigned copies of letters to and from Fuller; most pertain to the operation of his business, Geodesics, Inc. In addition, there are numerous reprints of newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles written about Fuller's architecture and achievements. Also included are many examples of Fuller's own writing, including a reprint of a portion of his book, Nine Chains to the Moon.


The R. Buckminster Fuller Collection is arranged in three series and in complete chronological order within each series. Some items are stored separately in a flat box (Box 2) due to their large size.

Series I contains correspondence of Fuller and others pertaining to various subjects, such as the running of his business Geodesics, Inc.

Series II contains four folders consisting of the writings of Fuller. These writings include poems, articles, and stories written by Fuller throughout his life.

Series III contains seven folders consisting of articles and other materials written about the life and works of Fuller.

Related Material

Buckminster Fuller's complete archive was acquired by Stanford University in 1999. Some of the resources have been placed online .

Contents List

Letters to and from R. Buckminster Fuller .
  • Nov 1953 - Dec 1962 . 1:1, Box-folder
Writings of R. Buckminster Fuller .
  • 1952-1965 . 1:2, Box-folder
  • Sep 1965 - Aug 1969 . 1:3, Box-folder
  • Oct 1969 - May 1976 . 1:4, Box-folder
  • 1974 . 2:1, Box-folder
Writings about R. Buckminster Fuller .
  • Jun 1949 - Jan 1959 . 1:5, Box-folder
  • May 1959 - April 1965 . 1:6, Box-folder
  • Apr 1965 - 1969 . 1:7, Box-folder
  • Nov 1969 - Dec 1973 . 1:8, Box-folder
  • c. 1975 - Mar 1976 . 1:9, Box-folder
  • Honorary Doctorate Citations, 1954 - c. 1975 . 1:10, Box-folder
  • 1955-1967 . 2:2, Box-folder