Skip to main content

Records of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design

 Record Group
Call Number: RG 18


This record group comprises the records of the University of Kansas' School of Architecture and Design, including administrative records, student files, and other materials regarding the School and specific programs and units within the School.


  • Creation: 1915 - 2023


Conditions Governing Access

Some series in this record group will require permission from the office of origin before use. Personnel and student records are closed in accordance with applicable law. All requests are subject to review by the Archives staff to determine accessibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of University of Kansas School of Architecture and Design

In the fall of 1912, Goldwin Goldsmith became the first Professor and Head of Architecture at the University of Kansas, when the program was established within the School of Engineering as an undergraduate program. Under Goldsmith, KU joined a select group of 15 “accredited” schools of architecture out of the 40 that then existed in the nation. By 1922, KU was listed among the top schools by the Beaux Arts Institute of Design.

After Goldsmith, Joseph Kellogg became Chair of Architecture. By then, KU began to move away from the Beaux Arts method of teaching design towards the practices of the so-called Chicago School of thought. In 1962, Eugene George became Chair of Architecture.

In 1967, the National Architecture Accrediting Board (NAAB) recommended that the Architecture Program at KU become an autonomous school of the University and separate from the School of Engineering. In 1968, Charles Kahn, a Professor of Architecture at North Carolina State University-Raleigh, became the first Dean of the new School of Architecture and Urban Design. During Kahn’s tenure at Kansas the new school grew significantly in numbers of both students and faculty within its three programs of architecture, architectural engineering, and urban planning.

In the 1980s, under Dean Max Lucas, the School received two bequests that created endowed professorships: The J.L. Constant Chair and the Don and Mary Bole Hatch Chair. Lucas also led efforts to establish foreign study programs in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, the School has architectural study-abroad programs in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark and Spain. The KU Architecture Program achieved national recognition in the 1980s and was ranked among the top 10 programs in the United States.

In 2009, the school changed its name to the School of Architecture Design and Planning, after design programs formerly under the School of Fine Arts transferred to the architecture department. In 2017, after the department of Urban Planning transferred to the School of Public Affairs, the school changed its name again to the School of Architecture and Design, adding a new degree program in interior design.


198.75 Linear Feet (217 boxes + 1 volume, portions of boxes, 1 oversize box, 9 oversize folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

RG 18 includes records from the School of Architecture and Design, including both correspondence and subject files from School administration and records of students who went through the undergraduate and graduate programs. Most of the records in the record group date from the latter half of the 20th century.

Most of the administrative records in RG 18 are correspondence from within the Dean’s office from the 1970s through the 2000s. There are also subject files and artificial records from the same period. Many of the other records in RG 18 are records of students who went through the undergraduate and graduate program, mostly dating from teh 1970s-1990s. There are a small number of oversize drawings (both artistic and technical) of buildings. There are also faculty records and a small number of records related to various specific programs within the School over the years, such as the architectural management program or from the Regents Center at the Edwards Campus in Johnson County.

Physical Location

RG 18


University Archives staff continue to add material to this record group on a regular basis. The inventory was current as of fall 2022.

Related Materials

RG 18 covers the school of Architecture, which began as a program under the School of Engineering (RG 21).

Serial publications for this department may be found at the same record group (RG) number.

Guide to the Records of the University of Kansas
Records of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design
Finding aid prepared by jtf, 2006. Finding aid encoded by jtf, 2006. Finding aid revised by lmb, 2010; eear, 2013; jb and mwh, 2022.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for inventorying of this record group was provided by the G. Baley Price Spencer Research Library Fellowship Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Records of the University of Kansas School of Architecture and Urban Design, University Archives, RG 18, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States