Dymaxion Chronofile – Stanford, California - Atlas Obscura

Dymaxion Chronofile

An archive of nearly every day of Buckminster Fuller's life. 


Buckminster Fuller was one of the 20th century’s greatest thinkers, with his interests stretching from math to architecture to philosophy to design to public speaking and to, of course, geodesic domes. And each and every day of this dynamic life he contributed to the Dymaxion Chronofile, an archive of his existence.

With more than 140,000 papers and 1,700 hours of audio and video, all stretching to more than 1,400 linear feet of material, Fuller’s life might be the most documented life of all time. The files go back to when he was four-years-old, but he only seriously started the archive in 1917. From then until his death in 1983 he collected everything from each day, with ingoing and outgoing correspondence, newspaper clippings, drawings, blueprints, models, and even the mundane ephemera like dry cleaning bills.

The Dymaxion Chronofile has been at the Stanford University Libraries Department of Special Collections since 1999. There you can pick any day of these years of his life and find out exactly what he was doing nearly to the hour by flipping through a scrapbook. You might even see his glasses or passport. 

Atlas Obscura Trips

City of Secrets: Underground in Los Angeles

On this an insider’s journey into the City of Angeles, we'll discover the murals and art of the famous Arts district with a resident artist, clink glasses at an underground speakeasy, and hike through hidden ruins with a suspicious past, all in pursuit of the less angelic side of the City of Angels.