Collection Development Statement



Purpose: 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. Both departments are parts of the College of Fine and Applied Arts and both offer professional degrees at the Masters level. Beginning in August 1984, these Departments, in conjunction with the Department of Computer Science, will offer an interdisciplinary program leading to a Ph.D. in Regional Planning. Other cooperating departments include Civil Engineering, Geography, and the Institute for Environmental Studies. The Library also serves as a resource for planning agencies throughout the state.

History of the 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 Mumford 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 stabilized at around 20,000 volumes, the 2,000 volumes added annually being accommodated by the transfer of an equivalent number. In May of 2008, the City Planning and Architecture Library (CPLA) closed its doors and merged its collections into Funk ACES Library, the newest library on campus (opened 2001), located at 1101 South Goodwin . This move provided faculty and students to large interdisciplinary collections related to agriculture and natural resources, longer operating hours, access to networked and wireless computing, access to group study rooms, and other resources. A separate CPLA Reference & Resource Center lives on the Funk ACES Library main floor (building’s 2nd floor).  A separate CPLA New Books area is also on this floor.  The rest of the CPLA collections are integrated with the Funk ACES Library collections.

Estimate of Holdings: 125,000 volumes.

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: City Planning and Landscape Architecture Library. Relevant materials are also collected by the Art and Architecture, Business and Economics, Documents, Education and Social Science, and Map and Geography Libraries.

Location of Materials: 22,000 volumes of current (1970-) monographs and serials, as well as a small collection of classics and reference tools, are located in the Funk ACES Library. Older titles and most foreign language materials are in the Bookstacks or Rare Book and Special Collections Library.  Nonprint material is located in the Media Center in the Undergraduate Library, and maps are held in the Map and Geography Library. Other related material is found in the Art and Architecture, Business and Economics, Education and Social Science, and 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.


Languages: 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, economic and environmental 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.