Documentation re British Architecture of the 1950s and 1960s

The papers assembled by Prof. Stefan Muthesius over 25 years relate closely to three of the researcher’s books: Tower Block. Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (with Miles Glendinning, Yale University Press 1994); The Post-War University. Utopianist Campus and College (Yale University Press 1999); and Concrete and Open Skies. Architecture at the University of East Anglia (with Peter Dormer, Unicorn Press 2004).

cClive Darra

Copyright Clive Darra

In this post we have asked Muthesius (creator and depositor of the papers), to help us draw out the collection’s strengths and potential value to researchers.

The three publications all concern British (and in the case of the Yale University book also foreign) architecture of the 1940s to the 1970s. The material in the archive consists of copies of some unprinted archival material of the period (Ministry papers), of extracts from books, pamphlets and ministerial publications, many of them obscure and hard to get hold of, but principally of extracts from the periodical press of the period in question. While some material from the very major journals may be available on-line, the many lesser periodicals which are massive and which contain the bulk of the detailed information are unlikely to ever be scanned. These extracts have been culled from diverse libraries and have been filed here under both subject and place. The value of these files lies precisely in the fact that nowhere else can one easily find assembled information about a certain building, in this case a housing estate, or a university. Such information is often far ‘better’ than what one could gain from a visit to a local library or archive.

UEA.PHO.4.20

Copyright University of East Anglia

As British architecture of the 1950s and 1960s is now receiving very much more interest than during the 1990s and the 2000nds, the collection will attract more interest, too. The collection relating to UEA (a campus with examples of brutalist buildings from the 60s) likewise contains material that cannot be accessed anywhere else.

Please contact the Archives should you wish to arrange access to the papers.

A guide to Stefan Muthesius’ Papers held in UEA Archives

Photo: Clive Darra (Creative commons license)