Charles Burchard Collection
Scope and Content
The Charles Burchard Collection includes personal and professional correspondence, architectural drawings from private practice work, publications, subject files, administrative papers relating to Burchard's teaching at Harvard's Graduate School of Design (1946-1953), as a senior partner at A.M. Kinney and Associates in Cincinnati, Ohio (1953-1963), and from his tenure as dean of the College of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (later Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Materials in this collection span Burchard's education and career, dating from between about 1935 and 1989. The collection is organized into seven series, based on the type and format of materials: Professional Papers; College of Architecture, Program & Curriculum; Studies & Proposals; Publications & Reports; Personal Papers; Multimedia & Audio/Visual; and Artifacts. Most series contain multiple sub-series and in some cases, there is overlap between series or sub-series, but during processing, Special Collections and University Archives staff attempted to retain the original organization of the creator wherever possible.
- 1935-1989, n.d.
- Burchard, Charles, 1913-1990 (Person)
Language of Materials
The materials in the collection are in 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: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.
Charles H. Burchard (1913-1990) was the founding dean of Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies. During Charles Burchard's 14-year tenure as dean from 1965 to 1979, he transformed the Department of Architecture into one of the nation's top colleges. When a new addition was added to the existing architecture building it was called the Charles Burchard Hall.
In 1965, then-President T. Marshall Hahn recruited Burchard to come to Virginia Tech as part of Hahn's sweeping initiative to transform Virginia Tech from a technical institute to a major comprehensive university. As dean of architecture, Burchard enlisted an imaginative and innovative faculty, installed a new five-year undergraduate program and restructured the master of architecture program. He complemented those programs with bachelor's and master's programs in urban affairs and landscape architecture, a doctoral program in environmental design and planning, and a study-abroad program in Switzerland. For building what became a model for architectural schools around the country, he was designated a University Distinguished Professor in 1966 and later received the University Distinguished Achievement Award in 1985. Upon his retirement, he was bestowed the honored title of dean emeritus. After gaining national prominence as an innovative leader in architectural education, Burchard was elected a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in 1970. In 1983, he was presented the Award for Excellence in Architectural Education, the joint award of the AIA and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). Burchard, a prolific writer, outlined his concepts of architectural education in numerous professional journal articles, monologues, and in papers delivered in many professional conferences throughout the world. He became active nationally as a director of the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), president of the ACSA, and chairman of NAAB evaluation teams visiting various campuses across the country. Burchard earned his bachelor's in architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At the Harvard School of Design, he studied under world-renowned architect Walter Gropius and received his master's degree in 1940. Burchard was 75 when he died in 1990.
This note was written by Julie Kane for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.
36.9 Cubic Feet (37 boxes; 9 folders)
The Charles Burchard Collection includes personal and professional correspondence, architectural drawings from private practice work, publications, subject files, administrative papers relating to Burchard's teaching at Harvard's Graduate School of Design (1946-1953), as a senior partner at A.M. Kinney and Associates in Cincinnati, Ohio (1953-1963), and from his tenure as dean of the College of Architecture at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (later Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Materials in this collection span Burchard's education and career, dating from between about 1935 and 1989.
This collection is organized into seven series. Each series contain one or more subseries, with the exception of the artifacts, which are listed at the item level. Wherever possible, Special Collections and University Archives staff retained the folder titles created by Charles Burchard.
Please note: there is some overlap between series and sub-series, so there may be materials on a topic/subject/person/event/etc. in more than one location in the collection.
Series I: Professional Papers, 1935-1989, n.d., contains ten subseries. Subseries A: Undergraduate & Graduate Work/Professorship at Harvard, 1935-1953, n.d., includes personal and professional papers relating to Burchard’s undergraduate and graduate education (at MIT and Harvard University, respectively), including course work, subject/research files, photographs, drafts of his thesis, and travel notes. In addition, this subseries includes lecture notes, student work, committee service, and presentations/talks from his tenure as an instructor at Harvard University. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries B: Burchard Trail, Fulbright Fellowship, & Legal-Sized Notes, 1950-1981, n.d. (bulk, 1950-1962), primarily contains papers from Burchard’s Fulbright Fellowship in London in 1950-1951—travel documents, notes, and materials on the Architectural Association, School of Architecture, London. In addition, there are items on what Burchard called the “Burchard Trail” from the early 1960s, some undated notes and legal pads, and readings and project ideas. This subseries is in chronological order with undated materials at the end.
Subseries C: A. M. Kinney Firm: Architectural Projects, 1960-1979, n.d., consists of papers, correspondence, small drawings, and other documentation on specific project Burchard worked on while with the A. M. Kinney Firm. Most, but not all projects, were completed in Ohio. In addition, this subseries contains materials for a variety of unnamed projects, described in general terms. This subseries is organized in alphabetical order by project title (for private residences, projects are sorted by last name), with the unnamed projects at the end.
Subseries D: A. M. Kinney Firm: Office Documents and Memos, 1954-1964, n.d., includes professional papers created during Burchard’s tenure with A. M. Kinney Firm in Ohio. In addition to inter-office notes, there are research and reference materials, project books, and records of his career with the firm. This subseries is in chronological order with undated materials at the end.
Subseries E: Miscellaneous Professional, 1936-1961, n.d., contains professional correspondence relating to architecture projects, writings by Burchard, and professional colleagues. It also includes materials relating to project files (preliminary studies, sketches, technical drawings, and some of his student work from graduate school. This subseries is arranged in chronological order.
Subseries F: Papers & Talks, 1940-1984, n.d., consists of drafts and final copies of published and unpublished talks, papers, and presentations given by Burchard. This subseries is divided into two sub-subseries: Sub-subseries 1: By Date (if the materials were dated or could be dated based on information about Burchard) and Sub-subseries 2: By Title (if the materials were not clearly dated and dates could not be inferred). Sub-subseries 1: By Date is arranged in chronological order. Sub-subseries 2: By Title is arranged alphabetically by title.
Subseries G: Articles and Newspaper Clippings, contains four folders of articles and newspaper clippings and articles about Charles Burchard collected from various sources. (See also Series IV, Publications & Reports, Subseries I: Newspapers, Clippings, & Tear Sheets for similar materials). This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries H: Professional Memberships & Organizations, 1959-1989, includes Burchard’s files relating to professional organizations in which he held membership and leadership roles. This subseries is primarily organized into three sub-subseries: Sub-subseries 1: Alpha Rho Chi (APX), Sub-subseries 2: the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Sub-subseries 3: The Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). In addition, there are a few folders relating to other organizations outside and within Virginia Tech. This subseries is arranged in chronological order within each sub-subseries.
Subseries I: Architectural Plans & Drawings, 1940-c.1968, contains drawings, sketches, blueprints, plans, and some photographs and boards relating to professional projects on which Burchard worked. This series primarily represents work done while Burchard was an associate of A. M. Kinney in Ohio, but also includes projects completed later in his career, like his residence in Blacksburg. This subseries is in alphabetical order by project name (for private residences, projects are sorted by last name).
Subseries J: Certificates, 1938-1960, n.d., includes documentation of architecture and other professional certifications, as well as degrees (BA and MA) and recognitions from Virginia Tech. Items are organized into two sub-groups: architecture-related and degrees & promotions. Within each sub-group, materials are in chronological order.
Series II: College of Architecture, Program & Curriculum, 1959-1987, n.d., consists of five subseries. Subseries A: Proposals & Studies, 1961-1980, includes proposals for majors, courses, and departments added to the College of Architecture during Burchard’s tenure, as well as materials relating to a new building request in the early 1960s. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries B: VPI College of Architecture Self Studies & NAAB Accreditation Materials, 1959-1980, consists of materials collected for and using in the course of college self-studies, for long-range college planning, and for accreditation by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. This subseries is in chronological order. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries C: Brochures, Booklets, & Student Work, 1965-1982, n.d., includes works and project created by students of Burchard (models, negatives, photographs), booklets and pamphlets about the programs in the college (as well as resources used to generate booklets), and items relating to the construction and dedication of Cowgill Hall.
Subseries D: General Curriculum Materials, 1964-1980, contains notes, statistics about the college, documentation on the early 1970s reorganization, information on degree programs and courses, and programs abroad. This subseries is organized alphabetically by folder title (subject).
Subseries E: Administrative Materials, 1959-1987, consists of papers and files relating to the day-to-day and managerial aspects of the College of Architecture. This includes administrative correspondence, notes from committee meetings, files and programs from events, newspaper clippings, and recommendation letters. This subseries is organized into sub-groups by type of material. Within each sub-group, folders are in chronological order.
Series III: Studies & Proposals, 1967-1984, n.d., includes three subseries. Subseries A: Student & Faculty Studies & Proposals, 1977-1982, n.d., includes reports, proposals, and studies with which Burchard was involved as a participant, consultant, or had some oversight as a professor. This subseries is in alphabetical order by folder title.
Subseries B: Pre-Planning & Preliminary Reports, 1976-1982, includes material surrounding the general campus planning discussions at VPI at the time, as well as documents relating to specific locations and buildings. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries C: Grant Applications, 1967-1984, consists of papers and files relating to research and applications for grants in which Burchard was involved. This subseries is in chronological order.
Series IV: Publications & Reports, 1938-1987, n.d., contains nine subseries. Subseries A: Publications about Schools/School Buildings, 1941-1969, includes materials collected by Burchard as research for designs. Burchard designed several schools while working for the A. M. Kinney during this time. Folders in this subseries are in alphabetical order by title.
Subseries B: Government Publications, 1969-1980, consists of two folders of United States government publications relating to architecture and design. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries C: Reports & Design, Education & the Architecture Profession, 1966-1978, includes several catalogs from learning institutions, as well as multiple folders of reprints, reports, individual articles, and single issues of publications. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries D: Building Design & City Planning, 1968-1987, includes publications relating to aspects of design, urban planning, city planning, and landscape design. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries E: Virginia Tech Publications, 1964-1980, contains published reports, journals, and other items produced by the College of Architecture and the university at large. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries F: Conferences & Seminars, consists of programs, conference proceedings, and other materials produced as a result of conferences, seminars, and other professional events. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries G: Popular/Commercial Periodicals, 1938-1979, includes single articles, usually removed from popular magazines, relating to aspects of architecture and design. In addition, there are a few full issues of architectural journals and popular magazines. This subseries is in chronological order.
Subseries H: Academic Journals, 1940-1989, n.d., contains single issues and runs of academic journals in the architecture field. Some include notes, marginalia, or other markings by Burchard. In addition, there are publications that specifically contain articles by Burchard or about him, and there is one folder of award excerpts removed from publications. This subseries is in chronological order with undated materials at the end.
Subseries I: Newspapers, Clippings, & Tear Sheets, 1938-1983, has individual articles removed from periodicals, newspaper articles, and collections of clippings on architects (Burchard included) or architecture topics. Some materials contain marginalia and notes by Burchard. This subseries is in chronological order with undated materials at the end.
Series V: Personal Papers, 1935-1989, n.d., contains four subseries. Subseries A: Personal Papers, 1935-1989, n.d., consists of subject files, research files, and personal documents. Materials in this subseries are organized into sub-subseries by use/type of document (educational/professional, family/personal, financial, photographs, and travel). Each sub-subseries is arranged in chronological order.
Subseries B: General Correspondence, 1939-1989, includes a group of Burchard’s correspondence with family, friends, and professional colleagues (Sub-subseries 1: General Correspondence), as well as a group of correspondence kept by topic (Sub-subseries 2: Correspondence by Topic). Sub-subseries 2: Correspondence by Topic contains letters to and from organizations, clients, publishers, and other university administrators. Sub-series are arranged in alphabetical order by title. Materials in each sub-subseries are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries C: Correspondence with Individuals, 1939-1989, consists of letters between Burchard and a specific correspondent OR between Burchard and others about a specific person/project. This subseries often includes materials surrounding well-known architects or firms, especially the work of Walter Gropius. Materials in this subseries are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the correspondent/subject.
Subseries D: Certificates, 19271971, contains baptism and confirmation certificates from Charles Burchard, as well as honorary and fraternity related certificates and awards. This subseries is in chronological order.
Series VI: Multimedia & Audio/Visual, 1941-1985, n.d., consists of three subseries. Subseries A: Slides, 1951-1985, n.d., contains personal images from 1973 and 1974; slides used by Burchard in his teaching; images of student and professional projects; extensive slides from professional travel in Europe and Mexico. This subseries also contains three boxes of glass plate negatives and lantern slides which include travel images, professional research, and student projects. This subseries is arranged into sub-subseries based on original use and format.
Subseries B: Oversize Materials, 1941, c.1950s, includes a painting owned by Burchard and a set of boards with photographs from various architecture projects. This series is arranged by material type.
Subseries C: Videotapes & Audio Cassettes, 1977, 1980, n.d., consists of a ½” reel video of a lecture by Burchard, three UCA videocassettes with lectures from the 1980 Burchard Symposium, and several microcassette recordings. This subseries is arranged by material type.
Series VII: Artifacts, 1971-1985, n.d., contains a collection of small objects, including medals awarded to Burchard by professional organizations, items from his professional career, and some small artifacts relating to the history of the College of Architecture. This series is arranged in alphabetical order by item title/description.
Source of Acquisition
The first group of materials in the Charles Burchard Collection were donated in 1991. The bulk of the collection was received in 2002, with additional materials transferred from the Art & Architecture Library in 2007, 2016, and 2017.
The following books were removed and cataloged for the Special Collections and University Archives Rare Book Collection:
- Architectural Registration Handbook: A Test Guide for Professional Exam Candidates. Washington, DC: National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, 1973.
- Bacon, Edmond N. Design of Cities. Rev. ed. New York: Penguin Books, 1976.
- Le Musee Picasso de Barcelone. Leon, Spain: Editorial Everest, 1975.
- Patracos, Basil Chr. Delphi. Athens, Greece: 1971.
- Prigogine, I. Order Out of Chaos: Man's New Dialogue with Nature. Boulder, CO : New Science Library : Distributed by Random House, 1984.
- Sharp. Thomas. The Anatomy of the Village. Harmondsworth, Middlesex [Eng.] Penguin Books, 1946.
- A Tribute to William Emerson. Meriden, CT: Meriden Gravurte Company, 1958?
Rights Statement for Archival Description
The guide to the Charles Burchard Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).
Some description of the collection was completed in 1991 and in the early 2000s. The majority of the arrangement and description took place between 2015 and 2017.
- Architecture (discipline)
- Architecture -- Study and teaching
- Burchard, Charles, 1913-1990
- Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969
- University History
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1944-1970)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1970-)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. College of Architecture (1974-1978)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. College of Architecture and Urban Studies (1978-2022)
- Virginia Polytechnic Institute. College of Architecture
- Charles Burchard Collection, 1935-1989, n.d.
- Special Collections and University Archives Staff
- 2017 (CC0 1.0)
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository
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