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George Collins papers, 1838-1986 (bulk 1949-1986)

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Preferred Citation

George Collins papers, 1838-1986, (bulk 1949-1986), Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

CLIO record: View CLIO record
Creator(s):Collins, George R. (George Roseborough), 1917-1993
Title:George Collins papers, 1838-1986 (bulk 1949-1986)
Physical description:13 linear feet.
Language(s):In English
Access: The bulk of this collection is stored in Columbia University Libraries' off-site storage facility. Materials will be recalled by request. This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is made up of eight series:

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Description

Scope and Content

This collection is composed primarily of correspondence, course material, writings, notes, photographs, slides, and audio tapes. Much of the material pertains to Collins’ career as a professor at Columbia University. There is also a bulk of material regarding to the 1962, 1964, and 1966 Modern Architecture Symposiums held at Columbia University, as well as the publication of N.A. Miliutin‘s Sotsgorod: The Problem of building Socialist Cities, which was translated from Russian to English by Arthur Sprague. The basis for the series and subseries order was developed from Collins’ own groupings. For the majority of the collection, Collins’ folder titles have been maintained and the material has been arranged chronologically.

Series I: Faculty Papers

Series I is comprised of material relating to Collins’ career as a professor in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University in the City of New York. A majority of the papers in this series are related to the Architecture and Technology course Collins taught and the Colloquium he led. There is also a series of folders containing correspondence relating to academic affairs between the years of 1949 and 1958.

Series II: Modern Architecture Symposium

Series II is comprised of three subseries: MAS 1962, MAS 1964, MAS 1966. The first subseries includes material relating to the 1962 Modern Architecture Symposium. There are papers regarding the planning and financial arrangements of the Symposium as well as the publication of its proceedings. There are also individual files containing correspondence and the papers delivered by speakers. The second subseries includes material relating to the 1964 Modern Architecture Symposium. There are papers regarding the planning and financial arrangements of the Symposium as well as the publication of the proceedings. There are also individual files containing correspondence and the papers delivered by speakers. The third subseries includes material relating to the 1966 Modern Architecture Symposium. There are papers regarding the planning and financial arrangements of the Symposium as well as the publication of the proceedings. There are also individual files containing correspondence and the papers delivered by speakers.

Series III: Braziller Papers

Series III is comprised of five subseries: Socialist Planning in the Cities of Eastern Europe, Planning Cities, Individual Files, Book Proposals, and General Material. The first subseries includes proposals, draft pages, correspondence, and illustrations relating to the publication of Socialist Planning in the Cities of Eastern Europe. The second subseries includes correspondence, suggested chapters, author contracts, draft pages, and layout considerations relating to the writing and publication of Planning and Cities. The third subseries includes files on individual authors. The fourth subseries includes book proposals. The fifth subseries includes correspondences, reviews of publications and publicity for George Braziller, Inc.

Series IV: Columbia History of Architecture

Series IV is comprised of material relating to the publication of the Columbia History of Architecture. There are files containing suggested chapters and authors, preliminary instructions to selected authors, chapters regarding prehistoric, primitive, and Pre Columbian architecture, the architecture of Egypt and the Far East, the Architecture of Greater India and South East Asia, Roman Architecture, Gothic Architecture, Mannerism and Classicism, Baroque architecture, the architecture of the United States, and modern architecture. There is also correspondence between Collins and various authors as well as correspondence between Collins and the editors at George Braziller, Inc.

Series V: Russian Papers

Series V is comprised of five subseries: Sotsgorod: The Problems of Building Socialist Cities, Arthur Sprague, Conference Papers, Frederick Starr, and General Material. The first subseries includes material relating to the publication of N.A. Miliutin‘s Sotsgorod: The Problem of building Socialist Cities. The text was translated from Russian to English by Arthur Sprague as part of his dissertation research. Collins, who served as Sprague’s dissertation advisor, edited the translated text. There are files containing the edited manuscript, various drafts, and correspondence. The second subseries includes a selection of Arthur Sprague’s graduate school work. There are files containing Sprague’s master’s essay, as well as various other writings on Soviet architecture. There is also correspondence between George Collins and Sprague, research notes, newspaper clippings. The third subseries includes copies of the papers delivered during the 1974 American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and Columbia University Russian Institute’s Conference on “The Cultural Revolution in Russia, 1928-1933.” The fourth subseries includes numerous papers authored by Frederick Starr, an American expert of Russian and Eurasain affairs. There are also images for Starr’s book Melnikov Solo Architect in a Mass Society, and correspondence between Starr and Collins. The fifth subseries is comprised of general material including newspaper clippings, journal articles, and numerous writings about Soviet architecture and city planning.

Series VI: Other Projects

Series VI is comprised of material that Collins collected during the 1981 XIV Congress of the International Union of Architects, which was held in Warsaw, Poland. There is a series of general correspondence divided alphabetically that date from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. There is a series of folders containing photocopies, correspondence, notes, newspaper clippings, and exhibition material regarding Avery Library’s collection of children’s drawings of the Spanish Civil War. There is also a series of files relating to the Guastavino family including correspondence between Collins and Bob Guastavino, numerous articles, newspaper clippings, and writings. The final grouping of material in this series is comprised of notes written by Collins on various matters.

Series VII: Visual Material

Series VII includes photographs taken during the 1962, 1964, and 1966 Modern Architecture Symposium, photographs of Soviet Architecture, photographs taken during an architecture studio review, and photographs of the Frank Lloyd Wright Humanities Exhibit. There are also numerous slides of Russian architecture as well as a series contact sheets and negatives.

Series VIII: Audio Material

Series VIII is comprised of eight tape reels that contain the audio recording of the 1966 Modern Architecture Symposium.

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Using the Collection

Access Restrictions

 The bulk of this collection is stored in Columbia University Libraries' off-site storage facility. Materials will be recalled by request. This collection is available for use by appointment in the Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For further information and to make an appointment, please call (212) 854-4110 or email avery-drawings@libraries.columbia.edu.

Restrictions on Use

Columbia University is providing access to the materials in the Library's collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of Columbia University is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University. For additional guidance, see Columbia University Libraries' publication policy.

In addition to permission from Columbia University, permission of the copyright owner (if not Columbia University) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distributions, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. Columbia University makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Preferred Citation

George Collins papers, 1838-1986, (bulk 1949-1986), Department of Drawings & Archives, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

Related Material

George R. Collins Papers, 1937-1985, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.

George R. Collins Collection, 1941-1992, Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs.

George R. Collins Archive of Catalan Art and Architecture, 1864-1992, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute.

The George Collins Collection on Linear City Planning, Special Collections, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard School of Design.

Christiane C. Collins collection of the West Harlem Coalition for Morningside Park and Urban Problems of the Contiguous Communities: West Harlem, Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights and Manhattanville, 1961-1971, Archives and Rare Books Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library.

For Further Information

For more information about using the collections and conducting research in the Department of Drawings & Archives, please see our FAQ.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Avery Architecture and Fine Arts Library. Department of Drawings and Archives; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Vincent Wilcke (Graduate Intern), under the supervision of Shelley Hayreh, Avery Archivist, in 2014.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion June 7, 2014 Finding aid written in English.
    2014-06-07 File created.

CLIO ID: 10820511 View CLIO record

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Index Terms

The names and terms listed below are represented in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a consortial/union catalog offered by OCLC that allows users to search the holdings of multiple archives and libraries.

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Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
R. Guastavino CompanyPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mili͡utin, N. A. (Nikolaĭ Aleksandrovich), 1889-1942.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sprague, Arthur Colby, 1895-1991PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Spain--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Soviet Union.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture, Modern--Congresses.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Architecture--Study and teaching.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

History

George R. Collins was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on September 2, 1917. After graduating from Newton High School, in Newtonville, Massachusetts, Collins went on to study art history at Princeton University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1939 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1942. During World War II Collins volunteered with the American Field Service and earned four battle stars while serving with British forces. After the conclusion of the war Collins served for two years as deputy director and later director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration Displaced Persons Centers in Bremen and Kassel-Mattenberg, Germany. In 1950, Collins married Christiane Crasemann, his future collaborater for the 1965 translation of Camillo Sitte's The Birth of Modern City Planning.

When Collins returned to the United States he began working as a teaching instructor at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he would continue to teach for the next forty years. In 1962 Collins was tenured as a full professor in the school's department of Art History and Archaeology. Considered the foremost Gaudi scholar in the United States, Collins wrote, edited, translated, and contributed to many significant works on Antonio Gaudi including Antonio Gaudi, which was published in 1960 and was the first book in English on Gaudi's work. Collin's research work extended beyond Gaudi and he wrote on numerous topics including the Guastavino Brothers' tile-vaulting system, Art Nouveau, city planning, Soviet architecture and planning, and modern architecture. For his scholarly work, Collins was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship as well as numerous grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies.

George Collins died in Falmouth, MA in 1993.

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