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Reginald R. Isaacs papers, circa 1842-1991, (bulk 1883-1985)

Isaacs, Reginald R., 1911-1986

Teacher, Architect

Collection Information

Size: 22.54 linear ft.

Summary: The collection includes Isaacs's personal and professional papers, as well as extensive research material he collected and created for his two volume two-volume biography of Bauhaus architect, Walter Gropius: Walter Gropius: The Man and His Work. The bulk of Walter Gropius' papers are housed at the Busch Reisinger Museum at Harvard University, and the Bauhaus Archiv in Germany.
The papers contain biographical, legal, and financial material; personal and professional correspondence; project and subject files; writings and publications; teaching files; works of art; scrapbooks; printed material; and photographs relating to Isaacs' personal and professional career.
The bulk of the collection pertains specifically to the writing and publication of Isaacs' biography of Gropius. It contains research material, correspondence (much of it with Gropius), drafts of the manuscript, publication correspondence, photographs and illustrations, and printed material. Some of the research material, including some of the photographs and illustrations that were used in the biography, appear to have been original documents of Walter Gropius, while large portions of the material are photocopies of the originals, many of them in German.
ADDITION (1 ft.): Correspondence, drafts of portions of manuscript, notes, copy photographs and negatives, publishing information--all pertaining to Isaacs' biography of Walter Gropius, 1974-1985.

Biographical/Historical Note

Architect, city and regional planner, educator, and author, Cambridge, Mass.; d. 1986. Studied architecture at the University of Minnesota and Harvard University under Walter Gropius, and sociology and planning at the University of Chicago. Isaacs was active in numerous architecture, planning and housing projects in Chicago, South America, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and elsewhere. At Harvard, he was named Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning in 1951, chaired the Dept. of City and Regional Planning, 1953-1964, and played a key role in the development of the urban design program. His 2 v. biography of Walter Gropius was published in German (Walter Gropius: Der Mensch und sein Werk) in 1983 and 1984. Walter Gropius: An Illustrated Biography of the Creator of the Bauhaus was edited posthumously and published in 1991.


The bulk of the papers, 22.5 ft., donated 1991 by Henry Isaacs, Reginald Isaacs' son. An additional 1 ft., pertaining mostly to the German publication of the Gropius biography, were donated by his daughter, Merry White, in 1998, who had received them from her father. Additions are possible.

Language Note

Certain Bauhaus questionnaires, research files, and writings by Isaacs are in German, French, and Spanish.