Skip to main content

Han Schroeder Architectural Collection

Identifier: Ms-1987-064

Scope and Content

The Han Schroeder Architectural Collection consists of correspondence, clippings, publications, teaching materials, scrapbooks, photographs, family information and architectural materials. Architectural materials include drawings, photographs, specifications, and reports. The collection also contains materials about the Rietveld-Schroeder House and biographical material about Rietveld and her mother, Tr. Schroeder-Schraeder, examples and other materials associated with her typographical (or stationery design) work, and work-related and personal photographs.


  • 1914 - 1992



The collection contains materials in Dutch and English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Han Schroeder was born in July 16, 1918, in Utrecht, Netherlands. Her artistic and architectural education began early, when her mother commissioned the architect Gerrit Thomas Rietveld to design what is now known as the Rietveld-Schroeder House, completed in 1924. For this house, Rietveld employed the revolutionary concept of moveable walls to make the interior flexible, thereby redefining the limits of space. Growing up in this house fueled Han's interest in architecture, and was the beginning of her friendship to Rietveld and her devotion to his ideas. With the encouragement of her family, Han developed her artistic talent, and worked with Rietveld and G. van de Groenekan on carpentry and furniture making in her teenage years. In 1936 she entered the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, and graduated in 1940 with the degree of Diplom Architekt. She did not return to the Netherlands during World War II, but worked in Portugal (where she worked for the Red Cross and the Netherlands Embassy) and Great Britain. She returned to the Netherlands in 1946. From 1946 to 1949 she worked in the Municipal Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam under W. Sandberg.

Beginning in 1949 Schroeder worked first as a draftsman and then as a personal assistant to Rietveld. During these years she experimented with materials and concepts of interior design. She worked with Rietveld on Federal housing projects, schools, exhibitions, and the Sonsbeek Sculpture Pavillion, among other projects. She opened her own office in 1954. At that time she was one of two registered woman architects among 3000 registered men in the Netherlands. The most significant designs she did between 1954 and 1963 were the Gaastra House in Zeist; Ellinchem, a Center for Rejected and Problem Children in Ellecom; the Academy of Social Work, Amsterdam, where she designed a snack bar and auditorium; the Kessler House, a recreation building for employees of the Netherlands Steel Furnaces; and various Youth and Community Centers in Utrecht, Oldebrock, and Eerbeek. During this time she also designed stationery and exhibits. In 1963 she emigrated to the United States. She first worked at firms in Los Angeles, California, but accepted a position at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, to teach interior design. In 1966 she taught at the Parsons School of Design in New York City, and then at the New York Institute of Technology from 1967 to 1979. In 1979 she became a Professor of Interior Design at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

Schroeder retired in 1988, and died in Amsterdam on March 20, 1992.


40 Cubic Feet (12 boxes; map cases)


The Han Schroeder Architectural Collection consists of correspondence, clippings, publications, teaching materials, scrapbooks, photographs, family information, and architectural materials by Schroeder (1918-1992).


The collection is divided into four series by type. Series I-III are divided into subseries, arranged alphabetically with General Files listed at the beginning. Sub-series are arranged alphabetically.

Series I. Personal Papers, 1925-1992

Series II. Professional Papers, 1920-1992

Series III. Faculty Papers, 1963-1990, n.d.

Series IV. Project Records, 1914-1975, is arranged by project number.

Source of Acquisition

The records were donated in January 1989 by Han Schroeder to the International Archive of Women in Architecture housed in the Special Collections Department of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Libraries. An addition to the collection was made in 1992, after Schroeder's death. Materials dated after 1992 were placed in the collection by Laura Katz Smith, Curator of Manuscripts.

Separated Materials

The following five books were removed from the collection and placed in the Rare Book Collection:

  • Haags Gemeentemuseum Piet Mondriaan
  • Dutch Architecture: 1907-1917 by Theodore M. Brown
  • Vormen Van De Kleur
  • Villa's en Buitenhuizen by Jan Henselmans
  • Theo van Doesburg Propagandist and Practitioner of the Avant-Garde 1909-1923 by Hannah L. Hedrick

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Han Schroeder Architectural Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the Han Schroeder Architectural Papers was completed in October 1998. The original accession was processed by Laura Katz Smith, April 1990. The second accession was processed in October 1998 by Brad Shearer, student assistant, Special Collections Department. The finding aid was rearranged December 2013.

Han Schroeder Architectural Collection, 1914-1992
Laura Katz Smith, Archivist, and Brad Shearer, Student Assistant
2014 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US