This website hosts digital content from the holdings of the Environmental Design Archives at the University of California, Berkeley. Virtual Collections represent either one physical collection or one subject with content coming from multiple physical collections.
The Architectural Archives was established in 1953 by William W. Wurster Dean of the School of Architecture. In 1959 the School of Architecture was combined with the Departments of Landscape Architecture, City Planning, and Decorative Arts to form the College of Environmental Design. The historical collections of the Landscape Department were combined with the architecture collections in 1973 to form the "Documents Collection." The collection became the Environmental Design Archives in 1999 in response to the establishment of a formal archival program.
The Archives is Northern California's premiere collection of historic architecture and landscape architecture records, holding more than 100 collections documenting the built and landscaped environment. These records span more than a century and contain primary source materials such as correspondence, reports, specifications, drawings, photographs, and artifacts. Although the archives' primary focus is the San Francisco Bay Area, designers and projects from throughout California, the United States, and the world are found in the collections.
The Environmental Design Archives holds the records of some of California's most important architects including Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, William Wurster, Joseph Esherick, and William Turnbull/MLTW.
Collections of lesser-known architects who nonetheless made significant contributions to the built environment of the San Francisco Bay Area also comprise an important part of the Archives. These collections document hundreds of the commercial storefronts, office buildings, apartment buildings, and institutional structures that constitute the cultural landscape.
Equally integral to the Archives are the collections of significant American and English landscape architects including Thomas Church, Garrett Eckbo, Beatrix Farrand, and Gertrude Jekyll. The Environmental Design Archives also holds the work of architectural photographers. See the Collections tab for more information about specific holdings.