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Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Records

Collector:
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Creator:
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas  Search this
Names:
Belvedere, DeKalb, and Southern Railway  Search this
Chicago Traction and Subway Commission  Search this
Detroit Rapid Transit System  Search this
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority  Search this
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.)  Search this
Extent:
5 Film reels
5 Cubic feet (11 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Film reels
16mm films
Motion pictures (visual works)
Reports
Place:
Detroit (Mich.)
Texas
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
Fremont (Neb.)
Columbus (Neb.)
New York
Boston (Mass.)
Chicago (Ill.)
Death Valley
Date:
1906-2003
bulk 1906-1918
Summary:
Collection documents the engineering firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas through reports prepared for a variety of clients.
Scope and Contents:
These records contain reports (some containing photographs and full size drawings folded) from the New York engineering firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas. Included are typewritten and printed reports for a variety of clients. The bulk of the reports relate to power and transportation. The collection includes five 16mm motion picture films, relating to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1: Background Materials, 1960-2003

Series 2: Reports, 1906-1918

Series 3: Moving Image, 1960 and undated
Biographical / Historical:
On January 1, 1885, William Barclay Parsons (1859-1932) and his younger brother Henry de Berkeley Parsons founded a consulting engineering firm in New York City. The brothers combined their talents as civil and mechanical engineers to create a firm that would making a lasting mark on designing and constructing infrastructure. Among the firm's most notable projects were the original IRT line of the New York City Subway, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART), the Cape Cod Canal, and the charting the course of a railway in China from Hankow (Wuhan) to Canton (Guangzhou). The firm also designed and built large water supply systems, railroads, hydro-electric dams, refrigeration warehouses, marine terminals, and conducted survey work. Through the years, the firm diversified its engineering competence and knowledge by adding partners: Eugene A. Klapp (b. 1867), chief engineer and bridge specialist; Henry M. Brinckerhoff (b. 1868), a traction engineer; Walter J. Douglas (b. 1872), structural engineer and bridge specialist; and Maurice Quade (1900-1966), structural engineer. The firm had several name changes and became known as Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas with both domestic and foreign offices. Today the company operates in the fields of strategic consulting, planning, engineering, construction management, infrastructure and community planning. Parsons Brinckerhoff was acquired by WSP Global in 2014.

Sources

Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Notes, December 1960.

Bobrick, Benson. Parsons Brinckerhoff The First 100 Years. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1985.

Petroski, Henry. "William Barclay Parsons," American Scientist, Volume 96, No. 4, July-August 2008, pp. 280-283.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Streetcars and Subways (AC0060)

Materials at Other Organizations

New York Public Library

William Barclay Parsons papers, 1880-1939

Collection consists of correspondence, lecture notes, and materials used in preparation of Parsons's book, Engineers and Engineering in the Renaissance, published in 1939. Correspondence, 1881-1900, relates to his student days at the Columbia University School of Mines, appointments to various railroads, and activity as Columbia trustee. Notes on lectures about mining at Columbia, 1880-1881, are illustrated with drawings and plates. Materials used in the preparation of Parsons's book include final typescript, proofs, illustrations, maps, notebooks, and other source materials.

Columbia University

Papers, 1899-1915

Correspondence including letters from Grover Cleveland, Gilbert Parker, and printed monographs and magazine articles. Mr. Parsons' diaries of Panama Canal years and World War I have been catalogued as book manuscripts.
Provenance:
The initial collection was donated in 1967, presumably by the firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, to the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History).
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Wharves  Search this
Subways -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Tunnels  Search this
Subways  Search this
Subways -- Boston (Mass.)  Search this
Dams  Search this
Railroads  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Genre/Form:
16mm films
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Reports
Citation:
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Records Collection, 1905-ca. 1970s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0969
See more items in:
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0969

Curators' Annual Reports

Creator::
United States National Museum  Search this
Extent:
49 cu. ft. (98 document boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Date:
1881-1964
Descriptive Entry:
The administration of the United States National Museum required curators to submit regular reports on the activities of the departments, divisions, and sections. Prior to about 1900 these reports were often made monthly and semiannually as well as annually. The reports were traditionally submitted to the Director of the National Museum to be used in preparing the published Annual Report of the United States National Museum. The individual reports, however, were not reproduced in their entirety in the published Annual Report and generally contain more information than is to be found in the published version.

Reports were stored by the Office of Correspondence and Reports (later known as the Office of Correspondence and Documents), and then by the Office of the Registrar.

Includes reports submitted to the Director of the United States National Museum by curators and administrators.
Topic:
Museums -- Administration  Search this
Museum curators  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 158, United States National Museum, Curators' Annual Reports
Identifier:
Record Unit 158
See more items in:
Curators' Annual Reports
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0158
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