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Joyce Roy Architectural Collection

Identifier: Ms-2019-046

Content Description

This collection contains a mixture of personal and professional papers, including correspondence, project and office records, and architectural drawings relating to the life and career of Joyce Margarite Roy (nee Cox). 65% of the collection consists of drawings and files that relate to Roy's work as an architect, furniture craftswoman, and interior designer in the Republic of India and in the United States, spanning the time period from 1961 to 2016. The collection also consists of files, correspondence, and office records relevant to Space Constructs, a private teaching business established by Joyce Roy in 1972, which evolved into an architecture and design firm based in New York. Other materials include lecture notes, exams, papers, drawings, and homework from Roy’s days as an undergraduate at Pennsylvania State University and Washington State University.


  • 1953 - 2016

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research except for Box 1, Folder 2-2, which contains education information about Shanthi Leah Roy, deceased daughter of Joyce Roy. The materials in this folder, including her student ID and course history, may be restricted until 2032. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Joyce Roy Architectural Collection must be obtained from Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech.

Biographical / Historical

Joyce (Cox) Roy was born in Champaign, Illinois, on October 30, 1934, to parents George and Lucille Cox. She studied architecture at Pennsylvania State University from 1953 to 1956 and graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Architectural Engineering in 1959. In 1974, Roy was certified by the University of the State of New York Education Department to practice architecture in the State of New York. Joyce Roy specialized in apartment renovations, family residences, furniture, and interior design.

In 1961, Joyce Roy moved to India with her family, where she worked for eight years. She worked as an assistant architect for Heavy Engineering Corporation in Ranchi, India, from October 1962 to October 1963, during which Roy was responsible for designing low-rise apartments, low-cost housing, other private residences, and a primary school. From 1963 to 1969, she was self-employed, and worked as project architect on a hospital re-design in Coorg, and as furniture and residential designer. She also designed an exhibition pavilion for crafts and furniture in Hyderabad.

After a brief stint working as a consultant for the Ford Foundation in New Delhi, Roy returned to New York with her family. Upon her return, Joyce Roy worked as a project architect at Oppenheimer, Brady & Vogelstein from 1971 to 1974. Roy began teaching basic carpentry and cabinetmaking classes in 1972 and registered her teaching business as Space Constructs. Eventually Space Constructs evolved into an architecture and design cooperative, and its office opened in New York City in 1986. After the company dissolved in 1992, Joyce Roy moved to Oakland, California, and worked as a designer at David Wade Byrens from 1993 to 1994. Following this time, she worked various jobs as consultant, project manager, and freelance designer. From 1995 to 1999 she taught a "Portable Powertools for Beginners" class at the Building Education Center in Berkeley, CA. She became engaged with local transit organizations and advocated for improved public transit, smart growth, and historic preservation. She died July 11, 2018.

Sources: "Women in Architecture." The New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. New York City, 1974. "Board Memos, Joyce Roy." AC Transit Board Memos, Joyce Roy, 2009 February. "Joyce Marguerite Roy, 1934-2018." Obituary, East Bay Times, 2018 August 29.


8.0 Cubic Feet (5 boxes and 4 rolls.)

Language of Materials



This collection contains a mixture of personal and professional papers and project records relating to the life and work of Joyce Margarite Roy (nee Cox). Documents include school work, notes, project files, correspondence, and architectural drawings, spanning the years 1953 to 2016.


This collection is arranged into four series: personal papers, professional papers, Space Constructs, and project records. Roy's personal papers primarily consist of undergraduate school work, with some biographical information and personal correspondence. The professional papers series contains reference files and correspondence, while the Space Constructs series contains all documentation related to its existence as a business entity (1972-1992). The project records series is divided into project files and drawings, and these files are organized by client name.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Joyce Roy Architectural Collection was donated to Special Collections and University Archives in July 2019.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Joyce Roy Architectural Collection commenced in November 2019 and was completed in August 2021.

A Guide to the Joyce Roy Architectural Collection, 1934-2018
Special Collections and University Archives staff
2021 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for inherited script
Language of description note
The description is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US