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Collins, George Roseborough, 1917- . The George Collins Collection on Linear City Planning: An Inventory.

Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University


Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: DES.2001.00001.008766565
Repository: Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
Title: The George Collins Collection on Linear City Planning.
Date(s): 1910-1960
Quantity: 10 linear feet
Quantity: Extent is approximate
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The collection is comprised of research files and correspondence assembled and maintained by architectural historian George Roseborough Collins (1917-1993) related to linear planning and, more specifically, to the Ciudad Lineal of Madrid by Arturo Soria y Mata (1844-1920), as well as related photographic and printed works.

Acquisition Information:

Immediate source of acquisition: The George R. Collins Research Collection on Linear Planning was a gift of Christiane Crasemann Collins to the Harvard Design School, made during the year 2001.

Processing Information:

Processed by Ines Zalduendo

Conditions on Use and Access:

Contact Special Collections Department, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard Design School


Arturo Soria y Mata (1844-1920) acknowledged by some authors as the inventor of modern linear planning, was clearly one of its most enthusiastic advocates in late nineteenth century Spain. During the 1880's he elaborated his theory through a series of articles in the newspaper El Progreso, and during the 1890's he administered the pilot project of the Ciudad Lineal of Madrid. The original marketing of the Ciudad Lineal was announced in 1892 in a brochure Ferrocarril-Tranvía de Circunvalación de Madrid, where the sale of shares of the Compañía Madrileña de Urbanización that would carry out the plan was announced. The actual construction of a portion of the Ciudad Lineal began in 1894, but the urbanization remained limited in scope given that subsequent phases were never materialized. Soria y Mata also published the journal La Ciudad Lineal - during 35 years - until the Spanish Civil War began. The periodical, of city planning with a particular emphasis on linear planning, focused on the practical and social advantages of this 'modern' city with its equitable distribution of land, where an endless street - and its accompanying broad band of land occupation - would extend continuously between cities joining them in a vast network. Soria y Mata's interests also involved research and publications on mathematics and geometry (Origen Poliédrico de las Especies, 1897) as well as miscellaneous inventions (Teodolito Impresor-Automático, 1870; Avisador de la Crecida de los Ríos, 1879).


The George Collins Collection on Linear City Planning is arranged into seven series according to the following structure: Series A (City Planning Research Files), Series B (Roadtown Research Files), Series C (Correspondence), Series D (Printed Works), Series E (Slides), Series F (File Cards), Series G (Miscellaneous).

Scope and Contents

The George Collins Collection on Linear City Planning contains research files comprised mainly of reference material, clippings, manuscripts, typescripts, photographs and other miscellaneous files assembled during his years of research and teaching on city planning, linear cities in general, and the Ciudad Lineal of Madrid in particular. It also includes research files on Roadtown, a version of linear city planning imagined by Edgar Chambless and published in 1910 as a monograph. The correspondence files include letters exchanged with Arturo Soria y Mata's family, with Benoit-Lévy of the Association Internationale des Cités - Jardins - Linéaires with headquarters in Paris, and with Stanley Freese, of the English Linear Cities Association, related to Reverend William Drury. The collection also includes publications and other written works, significant among them are several first editions of many of Arturo Soria y Mata's publications and the Compañía Madrileña de Urbanización, and a first edition of Chambless' Roadtown of 1910.

Container List

Personal Names Index

Corporate Names Index

Conference Names Index

Titles Index

LC Topical Headings Index

Geographic Names Index

Genre / Form Index

AAT Terms Index