John W. Elliott Holland Library Medallion Casts, 1949

Overview of the Collection

Elliott, John William, 1883-1971.
John W. Elliott Holland Library Medallion Casts
1949 (inclusive)
3 Linear feet of shelf space, (3 Boxes)
Collection Number
Archives 397 (collection)
Plaster casts of the eight medallions embedded in the floor of Washington State University’s Holland Library reception area.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

When Washington State University’s Holland Library opened in 1950, one of the decorative elements included eight medallions (listed either as silver-nickel or bronze in different descriptions) embedded in the floor of the circulation waiting area. Each medallion depicted an area of study at the college, with two stylized individuals working in that field. The medallions were created by sculptor John William Elliott.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John William Elliott (1883-1971) began a seven year silver industry apprenticeship at age 13, and graduated the Sheffield Technical Art School (now part of University of Sheffield). He emigrated to the United States in 1906, working in silver and glass industries. He settled in Seattle in 1924. He was best known for his work in repousse’ and metal chasing, and was awarded a Certificate of Superior Craftsmanship in Architectural Sculpture and Repousse in Metal by the Washington State Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists primarily of eight original plaster casts of medallions placed in the floor of the original circulation area of Washington State University’s Holland Library. It also includes one small folder of biographical material and some photographs.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions apply.

Preferred Citation

[Item description]

John W. Elliott Holland Library Medallion Casts, 1949 (Archives 397)

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


At the start of the first box is a single folder with five sheets of materials both biographical and about the housing of the medallions, from the UW collection from which they were removed. It also includes 10 photographs: nine of the medallions, and one of John Elliott. The nine medallion photographs were apparently taken by Maurice Hodge of Portland immediately after their bronze casting by the Oregon Brass Works.

Following that folder are the eight medallion casts, organized alphabetically by title, each individually boxed, with two to three protective boxes in each archival box.

Acquisition Information

The materials were transferred to the Washington State University Libraries in 2011 from the John W. Elliott drawing and photograph collection (PH1184) at the University of Washington. They were in turn transferred to the WSU Libraries’ Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections by Susan Lundquist of the Libraries Administrative Office on January 9, 2019, and retained there as UA2019-01.

Processing Note

The collection was protectively rehoused by MASC conservator Linnea Rash in May-June of 2019, at which time it was processed by University Archivist Mark O’English.

Separated Materials

A large collection of John Elliott’s work can be found at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections as the John W. Elliott drawing and photograph collection, PH1184. These casts were originally part of that collection.

Related Materials

What are believed to be early drawings (dated April 1, 1947) of these by their creator can be found in WSU MASC’s Architectural Drawings, 1899-1975 (UA 215), folder 62.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1 Papers: biography and photographs
1 2 Agriculture
1 3 Business
2 4 Construction
2 5 Fisheries
2 6 Lumber
3 7 Mining
3 8 Power
3 9 Recreation

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Medallions (Decorative arts) -- Washington (State) -- Pullman.
  • Plaster casts.

Personal Names

  • Elliott, John William, 1883-1971.

Corporate Names

  • Washington State University. Libraries.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Sculptures