Frederic J. DeLongchamps Architecture Records

Identifier: NC1215

Scope and Contents

The Frederic J. DeLongchamps collection of architectural drawings and accompanying papers was acquired by the University of Nevada, Reno in 1978 from Hewitt C. Wells, DeLongchamps' partner and successor in the architectural firm of DeLongchamps, O' Brien and Wells. The drawings, dating from 1899 to 1962, were rolled and stored in approximately 250 cardboard tubes. Accompanying specifications and documents relating to the drawings were stored in separate boxes.

In 1983, the Special Collections Department at the University of Nevada, Reno received a grant from the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office to arrange and catalog the drawings and architectural records. The drawings were humidified, flattened and placed in map folders. They are stored flat on metal shelves in the Special Collections Department. Each of the approximately 550 DeLongchamps projects has been given a record number. These were assigned chronologically, with earliest projects having the lowest numbers. Drawings within each project are numbered from earliest to latest and include preliminary drawings, sketches, presentation drawings, working drawings and shop drawings. Each drawing is identified with a record number and a drawing number. Although projects containing many drawings are stored in several folders, no more than one architectural project is contained in a single folder. The drawings are arranged by record number in numerical order on the shelves.

The DeLongchamps drawings have been cataloged using MARC (machine readable catalog) format. Computer printout catalogs for the collection have been produced and are available in the Special Collections Department at the University of Nevada Reno, Library. Information for each record includes building name, architect, architectural firm, project location, client name, date of drawings (an asterisk after date indicates that the date does not appear on the drawings and was taken from another source), building type and description (includes architectural style), number and type of drawings, and record number. Drawings may be accessed in the catalogs by building name, location, client, description (style), date and record number.

Specifications exist for some but not all of the DeLongchamps architectural projects. These, and accompanying documents, are stored in 14 boxes on the Special Collection Department shelves. Record numbers assigned to the architectural drawings also apply to corresponding specifications and documents. Record numbers for the drawings are preceded with NAA 1 and for the specifications, NC1215. Drawings by other architects included in the DeLongchamps collection, appear in the printout by building name. Specifications for these drawings can be found in box 14 along with specifications having no accompanying drawings. These drawings and specifications have not been assigned a record number. A small collection of photographs were transferred to the photo archives and printed material transferred into the Special Collections or general stacks.


  • 1899-1962



Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Conditions Governing Use

Architectural drawings may not be reproduced (photographed, photcopied, scanned, digitized) due to Home Land Security precautions/measures.

Biographical Note

Frederic J. DeLongchamps was born Frederic Joseph DeLonchant in Reno, Nevada on January 2, 1882. He attended Washoe County schools and graduated from the University of Nevada in 1904 with a degree in mining engineering.

He was employed as a mining engineer and draftsman in Inyo County, California before he embarked on a career in architecture. DeLongchamps spent a short time in San Francisco where he may have apprenticed, but he entered the architectural profession with no extensive formal training. He returned to Nevada in 1907 and formed a partnership with Ira W. Tesch which lasted for two years. From 1909 to 1938, DeLongchamps maintained his own firm and became one of Nevada's most prolific architects. He designed both private and public buildings including nine county courthouses in Nevada and California. He was awarded the contract to design the Nevada Buildings for the Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco in 1915, winning a silver medal for his work.

DeLongchamps was appointed Nevada State Architect in 1919 and was the only person to hold the position, which was abolished in 1926. During this time, he designed many state buildings.

In 1939, George L. F. O' Brien joined DeLongchamps in partnership in Reno, and Hewitt Wells added his name to the association in 1962. The architectural firm of DeLongchamps, O'Brien and Wells continued to design buildings, mainly in the Reno area, into the 1960s.

Frederic J. DeLongchamps remained active in mining engineering throughout his life and was also involved in many community service organizations. In 1966, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the University of Nevada, Reno. He died in Reno, Nevada on February 11, 1969.


14 Linear Feet (14 boxes, drawings for 550 projects)

Language of Materials



Frederic J. DeLongchamps (1882-1969) was a mining engineer and draftsman in Inyo County and Nevada State Architect. Included in the collection are drawings for projects designed by DeLongchamps and his firm and specifications for many of those projects. Project drawings may include preliminary sketches, presentation drawings, working drawings, and shop drawings specifications may include contracts and correspondence. The collection also contains a small amount of DeLongchamps' personal papers and photographs.


Drawings arranged chronologically; specifications arranged by project number.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Drawings and specifications purchased from Hewitt C. Wells, accessioned as NC1215. Reno, NV.

Separated Materials

Photographs have been transferred to the Special Collections Department photo archive as collection number UNRS-P1989-09

Guide to the Frederic J. DeLongchamps Architecture Records
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)