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Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. The GSD History Collection, Administrative Affairs: 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.2009.0002.011762440
Repository: Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University
Title: Harvard University, Graduate School of Design. The GSD History Collection, Administrative Affairs: An Inventory
Date(s): 1936-1993
Quantity: 24 linear feet
Quantity: Extent is approxmimate
Abstract: This collection includes documents relating to the organization and administration of Harvard's Graduate School of Design, mainly between 1936 and 1993.

Acquisition Information:

The material in this collection was assembled throughout the years in Robinson Hall, and later in Gund Hall.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Inés Zalduendo

Conditions on Use and Access:

Contact the Special Collections Department, Frances Loeb Library, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University. Some folders may be restricted for a diversity of reasons, including internal Harvard University policies. Written request and permission from the librarian and/or dean may be required.


The first academic degree programs in architecture and landscape architecture at Harvard emerged from design education initiatives that began in 1874 when Charles Eliot Norton introduced architectural history into his fine arts courses. The first Harvard course devoted exclusively to architecture was offered by Herbert Langford Warren in 1893. In 1899 the first Harvard building devoted solely to instruction in the fields of design was started in memory of Nelson Robinson, Jr., a former Harvard student who had been interested in architectural design and landscape architecture. The Faculty of Architecture was established in 1914 to coordinate the curricula and degrees in architecture and landscape architecture. City planning became the third component of the design curriculum in 1909, when James Sturgis Pray began teaching planning courses within the landscape architecture program. It was not until 1936 that Harvard created a separate professional school for these various disciplines when the Graduate School of Design was established for the study of architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning. Joseph Hudnut was appointed dean of the newly established GSD, and he invited Walter Gropius to come to Harvard as chairman of the department of architecture in 1936. Another landmark during this period was the admission of women to the GSD for the first time in 1942. The postwar era brought enormous changes for all three professions. Both Hudnut and Gropius reached retirement age in the early 1950s, and Josep Lluis Sert was appointed dean in 1953. Among his many contributions was the establishment in 1960 of the first degree program in urban design in the United States.


The collection GSD History Collection: Administrative Affairs is arranged into six series: Series A (Administration); Series B (External Relations); Series C (Publications and Exhibitions); Series D (Events); Series E (Library and Building Facilities); Series F (GSD Life: Memorabilia and Photographs). Series A (Harvard University GSD, Administrative Affairs: Administration) is comprised of Subseries AA: General Administration; Subseries AB: Official Registers and Registrar's Office Materials. Series B (Harvard University GSD, Administrative Affairs: External Relations) is comprised of Subseries BA: News and Announcements; Subseries BB: Development; Subseries BC: Alumni Relations; and Subseries BD: Student Forum. Series C (Harvard University GSD, Administrative Affairs: Publications and Exhibitions) is comprised of Subseries CA: GSD Publications; Subseries CB: GSD Publications -- Miscellaneous Materials; Subseries CC: GSD Exhibitions: Brochures, Posters, Exhibition Committees. Series D (Harvard University GSD, Administrative Affairs: Events) is comprised of Subseries DA: Gund Hall Opening and Related Materials; Subseries DB: Special Events (Demonstrations, Celebrations, Anniversaries); Subseries DC: Conferences and Lectures). Series E (Harvard University GSD, Administrative Affairs: Library and Building Facilities) is comprised of Subseries EA: Library; and Subseries EB: Building Facilities. Series F (Harvard University GSD, Administrative Affairs: GSD Life, Miscellaneous and Photographs) is comprised of Subseries FA: Miscellaneous; and Subseries FB: Photographs.

Scope and Contents

This collection documents aspects relating to the organization and administration of the school. Materials include official registers, directories, news and press releases, and materials related to publications, exhibitions, conferences, lectures, and special events. It also includes some alumni association materials, library and building facilities, and GSD life photographs. The vast majority of the materials span the years 1936-1993.

Container List

Personal Names Index

Corporate Names Index

Conference Names Index

Titles Index