City Planning and Landscape Architecture Collection - Collections

The collection is maintained by the Funk ACES Library.

The City Planning and Landscape Architecture collection supports the teaching and research of the faculty and students in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. The collection comprises more than 190,000 volumes located in the University Library (more than 10% of them electronic). The fields of urban planning and landscape architecture are extremely interdisciplinary, serving a wide range of disciplines, including architecture, civil engineering, environmental studies, natural history, horticulture, political science, sociology, and many more. The collection of landscape architecture and planning materials is considered one of the foremost in the country. The collection is also a resource for planning agencies throughout the state, and provides the basis for an extensive interlibrary loan service for the state and nation.

Version Date: September, 2019


I. Collection Description


To support the teaching and research of the faculty and students in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the Department of Landscape Architecture in the College of Fine and Applied Arts.  Both departments offer professional degrees at the Masters and Doctoral levels. Related departments also served by the collection include Civil Engineering, Geography, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and the Prairie Research Institute. The collection and related collections in Funk ACES Library also serve as a resource for planning agencies throughout the state.

History of Collection:

Before the opening of the University in 1868, the Board of Trustees took action to provide instruction in Landscape Gardening and to purchase books in the subject. As a Division in the Department of Horticulture, a part of the College of Agriculture, the program in Landscape Gardening received strong support from Professor J. C. Blair, Head of Horticulture and an influential member of the Senate Library Committee. Soon after the construction of Davenport Hall in 1903, a Landscape Gardening Seminar was opened. By 1916, there was an unusual collection of early landscape books together with an exhaustive collection of more recent ones. Supplementing the books and periodicals were lantern slides, pamphlets, and park and city planning and landscaping projects. With the appointment in 1913 of Charles Mulford Robinson as the first Professor of Civic Design at any American university, the joint planning-landscape architecture character of the Division and its Library was established, and the Library was able to acquire an impressive collection of early materials relating to the new field of City Planning. In 1924, the College of Agriculture, including the Division of Landscape Gardening, moved to newly constructed Mumford Hall and the Seminar became a departmental library, housing some 4,000 volumes as well as cases of slides, photographs, and pamphlets. The collection has grown steadily over the ensuing sixty years, while the space allotted it has been reduced from three rooms to one. Large scale transferring of materials to the Bookstacks began in 1945. Since the mid-1950’s, the Mumford Hall collection has stabilized at around 20,000 volumes, the 2,000 volumes added annually being accommodated by the transfer of an equivalent number.

In 2010, the CPLA Library in Mumford Hall was closed and materials and the subject specialist were moved into Funk ACES Library, which also holds related collections in horticulture, natural resource management, environmental science, and natural history.

Estimate of Holdings:

>190,000 volumes as of September 2019.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The collection of landscape architecture and planning materials is generally considered second only to that at Harvard. The collection is also a resource for planning agencies throughout the state, and provides the basis for an extensive interlibrary loan service for the state and nation.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Funk ACES Library. Relevant materials are also collected by the Art and Architecture, Government Documents, Social Science Health and Education, Map and Geography, and Grainger Engineering Libraries.

Location of Materials:

Current and highly used materials and the Reference Collection are housed in the Funk ACES Library.  Older titles and most foreign language materials are in the Bookstacks or Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Audio-visual materials are held in the Undergraduate Library Media Collection, and maps are held in the Map and Geography Library. Other related material is found in the Art and Architecture, Social Science Health and Education, and Grainger Engineering Libraries.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Downs, pp. 41-42.

Ravenhall, Mary, “From Landscape Seminar to C.P.L.A.: the Historical Context of Current Problems in the Administration of the University of Illinois Planning Library.” Council of Planning Librarians Newsletter. 15:4 (July 1984): 13-18.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Standard statement.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

Landscape architecture materials related to cultures all over the world; planning publications and planning as an academic discipline originated in Europe and the United States but, increasingly, Third World countries have become more important.

Treatment of Subject:

Standard statement. The City Planning and Landscape Architecture Library collections are in three main areas: 1) landscape architecture, including the art of applying scientific principles to the land–its planning, designing, and management–for the public health and welfare, with a commitment to the concept of stewardship of the land; 2) urban planning, including the guidance and shaping of the development, growth, arrangement, and change of urban environments with the aim of harmonizing them with the social, aesthetic, cultural, political and economic requirements of life; 3) Regional planning, the planning of activities and facilities for an area larger than a single community and smaller than a nation, primarily the rational distribution of economic activities, a settlement pattern consistent with this distribution, the provision of channels of movement, and the proper allocation of open space. Historically, the disciplines of landscape architecture and urban and regional planning have grown out of the pioneering work of late nineteenth century practitioners such as Frederick Law Olmsted and Charles Eliot. During the 1920’s, urban and regional planning broke away to become independent professions, yet planning and landscape architecture continued to share an overlapping interest in the design and management of land. Since the mid-sixties, the disciplines have been drawn closer again by their mutual concern for environmental quality.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement. Nonprint audio-visual materials are selected and are housed in the Media Center in the Undergraduate Library. Maps are of great importance to both programs served by the library but are collected only by the Map and Geography Library. The Library also collects reports and working papers from academic institutions with established planning programs.  For contemporary materials, electronic formats, where the terms of acquisition allow for ownership and unlimited simultaneous user access, is preferred over print except in those cases where the practical utility of the electronic format is inferior to print.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions. The major portion of the material collected is from the United States and the United Kingdom.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

City Planning & Landscape Architecture Collection
Construction techniques 2 City Planning
Design-behavior interaction 3 City Planning / Architecture
Drawing and design visual communication 3 Art City Planning
Ecology 3 Biology City Planning / Natural History Survey
Education 3 City Planning
Environmental impact statements 3 Documents City Planning
Environmental planning 3 City Planning
Farmland preservation 3 Agriculture City Planning
Garden architecture 3 City Planning
Garden restoration 3 City Planning
History 3 City Planning
Landscape history 3 City Planning
Landscape restoration 3 City Planning
Natural resource management 3 City Planning Agriculture
Parks, open spaces, recreation development 3 City Planning
Plants and gardens 4 City Planning Agriculture
Site design 3 City Planning
Soil surveys 3 Geology City Planning
Arts planning 2 City Planning
Community development and neighborhoods 3 City Planning
Comparative planning 3 City Planning
Disaster planning 2 City Planning
Economic development planning 2 Commerce City Planning
Education 4 City Planning
Energy planning 3 City Planning
Environmental planning and law 3 City Planning Law
Federal policies and programs 3 Political Science City Planning
Health planning 2 City Planning
Historic preservation planning 3 City Planning
History 4 City Planning
Housing 4 City Planning
Intergovernmental relations 2 Political Science City Planning
Land use planning and law 4 City Planning Law
Local government 2 Political Science City Planning
Methods and theory 4 City Planning
New towns 4 City Planning
Policy analysis 2 Political Science City Planning
Population 4 Sociology City Planning
Public finance 4 Commerce City Planning
Regional planning 3 City Planning
Social planning 3 City Planning Sociology
State planning 3 City Planning
Transportation planning 3 City Planning
Urban and regional theory and analysis 3 City Planning
Urban design 3 City Planning
Urban economics 4 Commerce City Planning
Urban history 3 History City Planning

Version Date: September 2019