Dick McDonald papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US US kmk 2015-16.018

Level of description



Dick McDonald papers


  • 1977–1996 (Creation)


5.50 Linear Feet, 4.00 Boxes plus items in Oversize Cabinet

Name of creator


Biographical history

Charles Richard "Dick" McDonald was born on January 30, 1933, in Fort Scott, Kansas.
He attendend the University of Kansas from 1951 to 1953 until he joined the United States Navy. McDonald served as a pilot from 1953 to 1957, reaching the rank of Lieutenant. He then attended Kansas State University from 1958 to 1960, recieving his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering in 1960. McDonald also recieved his Master of Architecture from Kansas State University in 1979.
He taught at Kansas State University from 1969 to 1990. He was an instructor of applied mechanics from 1969 to 1974, an instructor of architectural engineering and construction science from 1974 to 1975, an instructor of pre-design professions from 1975 to 1980, an assistant professor of pre-design professions from 1980 to 1984, and an associate professor of environmental design from 1985 until his death in 1997.
McDonald was married to Beatrice N. Heffermann in 1958 until her death in 1973. He then married Ann L. Gudgel Johnson in 1974. He had four children: a son, daughter, and two step-daughters.
Dick McDonald died on December 23, 1997.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection details the construction and 1981 collapse of the walkways in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City through the records of Richard (Dick) McDonald, an investigator of the accident. Included are preliminary designs and calculations, as well as finalized designs and plans for the hotel walkways. A large portion of the collection gives insight into the investigation by the National Bureau of Standards, including photographs, slides, and notes. Another feature of this collection is McDonald's teaching materials at Kansas State University in the subjects of architecture, applied mechanics, and design from 1969 to 1990. This collection includes detailed descriptions of his classes through his portfolios, as well as one folder of three sketches.

System of arrangement

This collection was kept in original order with some photographic slides and oversized papers separated according to standard practice.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

No access restriction: All materials are open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

It received accession number 2015-16.018.

Immediate source of acquisition

Acqusition Source: Bruce McMillan
Acqusition Method: Donation.
Acqusition Date: 20160121

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Aligns with faculty papers collecting guidelines, with special significance due to connection with the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse in Kansas City in 1981.


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Specialized notes

  • Citation: [Item title], [item date], Dick McDonald papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Archon Collection ID


Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding Aid Author: McKenzie Combes
Processing Info: McKenzie Combes, student assistant, processed and described this collection and university archivist Cliff Hight reviewed it in 2016.
Publication Date: 2016-10-24

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