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Phil Patton Papers

About the Collection

Series 1. Book Materials comprises manuscripts, typescripts, notes, research materials, press and promotional materials, correspondence, and clippings related to the books Patton wrote. These files are arranged by book project and presented chronologically. Series 2. Research Files is divided into two subseries based on how Patton maintained these sets of files, one he called "topic boxes" and the other "topic files." As their names suggest, topic boxes were banker's boxes with files related to a specific topic, whereas topic files are folders on miscellaneous topics arranged together alphabetically. In accordance with the principle of respect des fonds, we present these two files as distinct subseries. Files contain typed and handwritten notes, drafts of articles on associated topics, clippings and photocopies or related materials used for research, ephemera related to the topic of the file or box. Series 3: Magazines and Clippings comprises published copies of articles written by Patton, including a few folders of actual magazine and newspaper clippings and five banker's boxes of full magazines containing articles by Patton. Series 4. Miscellaneous Writing and Research contains items that supported Patton's research and writing (including drafts) but were not organized in any way. While correspondence and drafts of articles can be found scattered throughout the collection (especially in Series 2. Research Files), some drafts and correspondence were maintained separately and so are re-presented here as part of Series 4. Miscellaneous Writing and Research and Series 5. Correspondence. Patton kept notebooks consistently from his college years until his death, all of which are collected in Series 6. Notes and Notebooks, along with loose notes not filed with any particular writing project or topic file. Series 7. About Phil Patton comprises personal materials such as resumes, awards, teaching materials, and miscellaneous publicity material. Series 8. 3-D Objects contains both various objects strewn throughout the collection with no obvious organization and the coffee cup lids that Patton collected. Phil Patton (1952–2015) was a design and culture critic noted for the emphasis he placed on the significance of everyday objects, such as coffee cup lids and interstates, as well as his books on the UFO culture in Roswell and the impact of television on football. A significant portion of his writing is on automobile design—including a book on the history of the Volkswagen Beetle. The collection comprises notes and typescripts for books and articles, research materials, clippings and magazines containing articles by Patton, correspondence, and miscellaneous notes and notebooks.