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William N. Morgan Collection

Identifier: MSS 0492

Scope and Content

The William N. Morgan Collection dates from 1934 to 2016 and primarily contains personal papers, professional papers, awards, faculty papers, office records, project files, photographs, slides, drawings, presentation boards, models, digital media, and magazine and journal articles belonging to distinguished Jacksonville, Florida architect, historian, author, and scholar William N. Morgan.

Series 1: "Personal papers, 1934-2016" contains biographical information, personal correspondence, photographs, Morgan’s naval service records, sketches, and student work at Harvard. The series is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Series 2: "Professional papers and awards, 1959-2016" contains awards, professional correspondence, exhibitions, lectures, licenses and certificates, photographs and slides, reference files, and writings on his books including Ancient Architecture of the Southwest, Earth Architecture, Prehistroic Architecture in the Eastern U.S., and Pre-Columbian Architecture in the Eastern North America. The series is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Series 3: "Faculty papers, 1988-2000" contains administrative and course material files for Morgan's faculty appointments at Jacksonville University, the University of Florida, University of North Florida, and University of South Florida.

Series 4: "Office records, 1950-2014" contains administrative records, correspondence, financial records, office signs, project descriptions, public relations material, presentation materials, publications, appointments and address books, clippings and scrapbooks, and photographs from the Morgan architectural firm.

Series 5: "Projects, 1954-2008" contains records of the architectural projects of William Morgan and comprises the bulk of the records in the collection. The series is broken down further by format into five subseries including 5a. Photographs, slides, and negatives, 5b. Files, 5c. Drawings, 5d. Presentation boards, and 5e. Models.

The files are arranged alphabetically by project.

Series 6: "Digital media, undated" contains CDs, DVDs, and floppy disks containing project photographs, award entries, book texts and photo scans, and biographical information on Morgan. Please consult with an archivist before accessing this series.

Series 7: "Magazine and journal articles, 1963-2009" contains magazine and journal articles on Morgan and his projects. This series is arranged alphabetically by publication.


  • 1934 - 2016



The collection is open for research. Except for Series 6. "Digital Media" which has format access issues. Please consult an archivist before using.

Biographical/Historical Note

William Newton Morgan, Sr. was born in Jacksonville, Florida on December 14, 1930. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in Architecture from Harvard in 1952. He then served aboard the USS Bausell as an ensign during the Korean War, later ascending to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. While serving, he was transferred to the island of Guam where he met and married his wife, Bunny. After returning from overseas service, he entered Harvard's Graduate School of Design to earn his Master's Degree in Architecture. He studied in Italy on a Fulbright Scholarship and then returned to Jacksonville in 1961 to open his architecture practice.

Early in his career, Morgan became interested in using earth as a building material. He studied earth structures built by Native Americans before Europeans arrived in the New World. He published numerous books on the subject including Earth Architecture, Prehistoric Architecture in the Eastern United States, Ancient Architecture of the Southwest, and Pre-Columbian Architecture in Eastern North America.

Morgan's long career as an architect included many innovative designs such as his residences in Atlantic Beach, the Dunehouses, the Jacksonville Children's Museum, and Baptist Pavilion. He also designed the Florida State Museum in Gainesville, Federal Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, and the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. Morgan was an active leader in the American Institute of Architects (AIA), including service as chair of the AIA Committee on Design, and he was named as an AIA Fellow in 1975. Throughout his career, Morgan received numerous awards and honors for his work including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Florida School of Architecture. He served as a Distinguished Professor of Architectural Preservation for UF and received and an honorary Doctor of Arts in 2013 in recognition for the scope and impact of his architectural work as well as his contributions as a scholar of architecture and archaeology. Three of his designs are included on the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects list of Florida's top 100 buildings (The Williamson House in Ponte Verda Beach; Morgan's residence in Atlantic Beach; and Dickinson Hall at the University of Florida, formerly the Museum of Natural History).

William Morgan passed away on January 18, 2016.


"William Newton Morgan - Obituary." The Florida Times Union, 30 Jan. 2016,


76.3 Linear Feet (86 Boxes, 242 Flat folders, 18 Models)

Language of Materials



Personal papers, professional papers, awards, faculty papers, office records, project files, photographs, slides, drawings, presentation boards, models, digital media, and magazine and journal articles belonging to distinguished Jacksonville, Florida architect, historian, author, and scholar William N. Morgan.


Please note that parts of this collection are housed in the Auxiliary Library Facility off campus and will require advance notice for timely retrieval. Please contact the Special and Area Studies Collections department prior to your visit.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of the collection was deposited at the University of Florida by William Morgan in 2008. The collection was donated to the University in 2018 by Bunny Morgan.

Alternative Format Available

Digital reproductions of selected items in the Wiliam N. Morgan Collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Processing Notes

The majority of the collection was arranged and described by Cynthia L. Peterson.

This finding aid was revised in August 2022. Recognizing that historical terms do not always completely or directly map to contemporary terms, that historical terms can be offensive or inaccurately describe a person or group, and that the presence of both historical and contemporary terms may be useful for researcher discovery, the archivist has attempted to employ historical terms as they originally appear in the context of the collection, in the description, along with contemporary terms in brackets.

A Guide to the William N. Morgan Collection
Finding aid created by Gerald Loyala and Cindy Peterson
February 2019
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America