Edward S. Parsons Papers

Identifier: 82-02

Scope and Contents

Specifications for Parsons’ architectural drawings (drawings separated to NAA3). Other business materials such as payroll and accounts also included. In an attempt to facilitate easier access, when possible both job number, standardized title, and location of building have been included even if both are not represented on the original folder title.


  • 1949-1981


Conditions Governing Access

Unprocessed collection is open for research. Advanced notice is required; contact staff to schedule access. Materials must be used onsite. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law or special donor agreement.

Biographical Note

Edward Shier Parsons was born in Tonopah, Nevada in 1907 and attended schools in Salt Lake City and Reno. Parsons became interested in architecture at a very early age. He pursued that interest at the University of Southern California and continued his education in architecture, graduating with a degree in Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, he returned to Nevada where he established a firm and engaged in a wide variety of activities related to his profession. A brief stint in the army provided the only interruption in his career.

Parsons worked on numerous projects throughout his career including private homes, Incline High School, and several buildings for the University of Nevada, Reno. University buildings include Fleischmann Agriculture and Home Economics, the Orvis School of Nursing, and the first three phases of the Medical School complex.

In his oral history, completed by the University of Nevada, Reno Oral History Project, he describes serving his community and the state of Nevada as a citizen member of numerous boards and committees. Parsons was a leader in Nevada in historic preservation, restoring numerous buildings and in his service to the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He also served as state preservation coordinator for Nevada for the American Institute of Architects, and was an active member of the Comstock Historic District Commission, the Nevada Historic Preservation Review Committee, and Washoe Landmark Preservation, Inc. He was professionally involved in the restoration of the State Capitol Building, Morrill Hall on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, Bowers Mansion, the Lake Mansion, the Berlin Mill, the Virginia City, Belmont and Genoa courthouses, Fort Churchill, and numerous other projects.

[Much of the biographical note is from Edward S. Parsons: Charrette! The Life of an Architect. University of Nevada, Reno Oral History Project, 1983]


47 Cubic Feet (48 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Edward S. Parsons in January 1982.

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by the UNR Special Collections Department:

Edward S. Parsons Architectural Drawings (NAA3); Edward S. Parsons, FAIA (91-17); Parsons, Edward S. Charrette! The Life of an Architect. University of Nevada, Reno Oral History Project, 1983

Separated Materials

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections Photo Archive as collection number UNRS-P1989-34.

Guide to the Edward S. Parson Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)