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George B. Tatum papers


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

George B. Tatum (1917-2008) was a nationally recognized architectural historian with special interest in the history of gardens and American architecture, particularly in the Philadelphia area.

Tatum attended Princeton University before and after World War II, receiving his Ph.D. in Art History in 1950. As professor of the History of Art, Tatum taught at the University of Pennsylvania from 1948 to 1966, where he served as Vice-Dean of the School of Fine Arts and Chair of the Department of the History of Art. In 1966, Tatum joined the Art History faculty at the University of Delaware, where he was named H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Art History. Tatum remained at the University of Delaware until his retirement in 1978. After relocating to Chester, Connecticut, Tatum became an adjunct professor at Columbia University from 1979 to 1982. During the 1960s and 1970s, he chaired the advisory board of the Historic American Building Survey and served as President of the Society of Architectural Historians. Among his many accomplishments, Tatum wrote or co-authored several important books on Philadelphia architecture and landscape design, including

Penn's Great Town: Two Hundred Fifty Years of Philadelphia Architecture in Prints and Drawings (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1961), and Philadelphia Georgian: the City House of Samuel Powel and Some of Its Eighteenth-Century Neighbors (Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1976). Biographical information supplied by the University of Delaware, University Archives.

The George B. Tatum papers comprise the reference files of a noted American architectural historian who compiled and organized numerous architectural plans, diagrams, black-and-white illustrations, tear sheets, articles, and selected photographs of architecture from the period 1900 to 1940. The 6 linear feet of material is composed primarily of published articles and pictures from architectural magazines and journals such as

American Architect, American Architect and Building News, American Architect and Architecture, Architecture, Architectural Forum, Architectural Record , Architectural Review, House Beautiful, and Pencil Points.

The materials are organized into five series. The first three series reflect the original order and arrangement established by Tatum, offering insight into his research and organization methods. Series I. Styles, brings together examples of a variety of architectural styles arranged roughly chronologically. Series II. Buildings, illustrates a variety of building types that Tatum arranged by function, such as residential, commercial, educational, industrial, and others. Series III. Architectural details, focuses on individual structural and decorative features from many different architectural styles. Tatum arranged these in alphabetical order by subject (such as corbels, fireplaces, fountains, keystones, organ cases, roofs, spires, urns, windows, etc.) and included a few broader categories, such as details of construction, engineering and equipment, and sketches and rendering.

The last two series do not represent Tatum's original arrangement. Although he gathered information about individual architects and historical properties, Tatum only loosely organized these materials. Series IV. Architects, brings together Tatum's clippings and articles about specific architects and architectural firms working in the United States during the 1920s-1930s. Arranged alphabetically by name, several of the firms and architects found here illustrate Tatum's special interest in American architecture and the Philadelphia region, including Day & Klauder; Edmund B. Gilchrist; Mellor & Meigs; R. Brognard Okie; and Verna Cook Salomonsky. Of particular note is Homsey Architects, Inc. of Wilmington, Delaware, the architectural firm of Victorine and Samuel Homsey (F207). Their projects included the Wilmington Drama League Theater, a housing development in Seaford, Delaware, a shooting box at Cat Island Plantation in Georgetown, South Carolina, the Robertson residence in Centerville, Delaware, and their own home in Hockessin, Dealware. Tatum also collected materials about architects of national and international acclaim, like McKim, Mead & White; Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson; Benno Janssen (Janssen & Abbott); John Russell Pope; Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens; and Eliel Saarinen.

Series V. Historic Properties, incorporates clippings and articles collected by Tatum about several individual works of architecture, including the monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel in France, Williamsburg and Mount Vernon in Virginia, selected Louisiana plantations and architectural views of New Orleans. Notably, Tatum collected many installments of

Records of Early American Architecture , a monographic series providing detailed research, measured drawings, and photographs of early American architecture, especially houses (F224 and F225). Tatum also kept several brochures, booklets, and trade catalogs pertaining to 1920s-1930s surburban housing developments, like Merion Park in Lower Merion Township and Forest Hills Gardens in Forest Hills, New York (F226).

While the George B. Tatum papers represent an important resource for the study of pre-World War II architecture, they also offer special insight into the research methods and organizational structure of an important American author and teacher of architectural and landscape design history.

  1. Boxes 1-6: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons

Transfer from University of Delaware Art History Department, 1999.

Processed by Marina Dobronovskaya, April 2007. Encoded by Teresa K. Nevins, December 2008.


University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2008 December 9
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Classic (Greek and Roman).
Box 1 Folder F1
Romanesque and Byzantine.
Box 1 Folder F2
Box 1 Folder F3
Renaissance, French.
Box 1 Folder F4
Renaissance, English.
Box 1 Folder F5
Renaissance, Dutch and Swedish.
Box 1 Folder F6
American Colonial.
Box 1 Folder F7
Modern, European and American.
Box 1 Folder F8

Box 1 Folder F9
Early American.
Box 1 Folder F10
Box 1 Folder F11
Box 1 Folder F12
English (British work), USA [1 of 2].
Box 1 Folder F13
English (British work), USA [2 of 2].
Box 1 Folder F14
English (British work), England.
Box 1 Folder F15
English Cotswold.
Box 1 Folder F16
English (British work), Interiors.
Box 1 Folder F17
Box 1 Folder F18
Box 1 Folder F19
Box 1 Folder F20
Box 1 Folder F21
Spanish. Patios, interiors.
Box 1 Folder F22
Box 1 Folder F23
Box 1 Folder F24
Town Houses.
Box 1 Folder F25
Group Houses.
Box 1 Folder F26
Garden, Summer, Tea Houses, Studios.
Box 1 Folder F27
California Houses.
Box 1 Folder F28
European Houses.
Box 1 Folder F29
Country Clubs.
Box 2 Folder F30
City Clubs.
Box 2 Folder F31
Clubs, Interiors.
Box 2 Folder F32
YMCA Buildings.
Box 2 Folder F33
Lodge Fraternal.
Box 2 Folder F34
Charity Community Building.
Box 2 Folder F35
Schools [1 of 4].
Box 2 Folder F36
Schools [2 of 4].
Box 2 Folder F37
Schools [3 of 4].
Box 2 Folder F38
Schools [4 of 4].
Box 2 Folder F39
Colleges [1 of 2].
Box 2 Folder F40
Colleges [2 of 2].
Box 2 Folder F41
Libraries [1 of 2].
Box 2 Folder F42
Libraries [2 of 2].
Box 2 Folder F43
Box 2 Folder F44
Box 2 Folder F45
Office Buildings [1 of 3].
Box 2 Folder F46
Office Buildings [2 of 3].
Box 3 Folder F47
Office Buildings [3 of 3].
Box 3 Folder F48
Office Buildings, Modern.
Box 3 Folder F49
Banks [1 of 2].
Box 3 Folder F50
Banks [2 of 2].
Box 3 Folder F51
Banks, Interiors.
Box 3 Folder F52
Box 3 Folder F53
Box 3 Folder F54
Box 3 Folder F55
Hotels, Interiors.
Box 3 Folder F56
Apartment Buildings.
Box 3 Folder F57
Box 3 Folder F58
Power Plants.
Box 3 Folder F59
Box 3 Folder F60
Box 3 Folder F61
Broadcasting Studios.
Box 3 Folder F62
Churches [I of 4].
Box 3 Folder F63
Churches [2 of 4].
Box 3 Folder F64
Churches [3 of 4].
Box 3 Folder F65
Churches [4 of 4].
Box 3 Folder F66
Churches, English [1 of 2].
Box 4 Folder F67
Churches, English [2 of 2].
Box 4 Folder F68
Churches, Modern.
Box 4 Folder F69
School and College Chapels.
Box 4 Folder F70
Hospitals [1 of 2].
Box 4 Folder F71
Hospitals [2 of 2].
Box 4 Folder F72
Box 4 Folder F73
Box 4 Folder F74
Box 4 Folder F75
Box 4 Folder F76
Rail Road Buildings.
Box 4 Folder F77
Box 4 Folder F78
Box 4 Folder F79
Box 4 Folder F80
Gas Stations.
Box 4 Folder F81

Box 4 Folder F82
Box 4 Folder F83
Box 4 Folder F84
Box 4 Folder F85
Bank Interiors.
Box 4 Folder F86
Bars, Residence.
Box 4 Folder F87
Bathroom Design.
Box 4 Folder F88
Buttresses, Gothic.
Box 4 Folder F89
Belt Courses.
Box 4 Folder F90
Bookcases, Built-in.
Box 4 Folder F91
Box 4 Folder F92
Box 4 Folder F93
Ceilings, Plaster, Wood.
Box 4 Folder F94
Chancel Furniture.
Box 4 Folder F95
Box 4 Folder F96
Box 4 Folder F97
Box 4 Folder F98
Box 4 Folder F99
Box 4 Folder F100
Box 4 Folder F101
Cupboards, Built-in.
Box 4 Folder F102
Box 4 Folder F103
Curtain Treatment.
Box 4 Folder F104
Details of Construction.
Box 4 Folder F105
Doors, Church.
Box 4 Folder F106
Doors, Exterior.
Box 4 Folder F107
Doors, Garage.
Box 4 Folder F108
Doors, Gothic.
Box 4 Folder F109
Doors, Hardware.
Box 4 Folder F110
Doors, Interior, Over-doors.
Box 4 Folder F111
Drafting, Geometry.
Box 4 Folder F112
Drawings, Measured.
Box 4 Folder F113
Engineering and Equipment.
Box 4 Folder F114
Entrances, Apartments.
Box 5 Folder F115
Entrances, Bank Office Buildings.
Box 5 Folder F116
Entrances, Byzantine.
Box 5 Folder F117
Entrances, Classical.
Box 5 Folder F118
Entrances, Colonial.
Box 5 Folder F119
Entrances, English.
Box 5 Folder F120
Entrances, Georgian.
Box 5 Folder F121
Entrances, Gothic.
Box 5 Folder F122
Entrances, Greek Revival.
Box 5 Folder F123
Entrances, Italian.
Box 5 Folder F124
Entrances, Spanish.
Box 5 Folder F125
Entrances, Seats.
Box 5 Folder F126
Entrances, Porches, Driveways.
Box 5 Folder F127
Fences, Metal.
Box 5 Folder F128
Fences, Wood.
Box 5 Folder F129
Fireplaces [1 of 2].
Box 5 Folder F130
Fireplaces [2 of 2].
Box 5 Folder F131
Flagpole Holders.
Box 5 Folder F132
Box 5 Folder F133
Box 5 Folder F134
Box 5 Folder F135
Box 5 Folder F136
Gable Ends.
Box 5 Folder F137
Gables, Gambrel.
Box 5 Folder F138
Garages, Attached.
Box 5 Folder F139
Garden Architecture.
Box 5 Folder F140
Box 5 Folder F141
Glass Structural and Decorative.
Box 5 Folder F142
Box 5 Folder F143
Box 5 Folder F144
Kitchen Design.
Box 5 Folder F145
Leader Heads.
Box 5 Folder F146
Lighting Fixtures, Church.
Box 5 Folder F147
Lighting Fixtures, Modern.
Box 5 Folder F148
Lighting, Doorway.
Box 5 Folder F149
Box 5 Folder F150
Mail Chute Boxes.
Box 5 Folder F151
Mantels (Over Mantel Treatment).
Box 5 Folder F152
Box 5 Folder F153
Box 5 Folder F154
Box 5 Folder F155
Niches, Gothic.
Box 5 Folder F156
Organ Cases.
Box 5 Folder F157
Ornament, Modern.
Box 5 Folder F158
Palladian Motives.
Box 5 Folder F159
Box 5 Folder F160
Box 5 Folder F161
Box 5 Folder F162
Box 5 Folder F163
Pew Ends.
Box 5 Folder F164
Box 5 Folder F165
Plaster Work, Exterior.
Box 5 Folder F166
Box 5 Folder F167
Box 5 Folder F168
Radiator Enclosures.
Box 5 Folder F169
Radio, Built-in.
Box 5 Folder F170
Box 5 Folder F171
Box 5 Folder F172
Roofs, Trusses.
Box 5 Folder F173
Box 5 Folder F174
Sculpture, Eagles.
Box 5 Folder F175
Box 5 Folder F176
Shutters and Blinds.
Box 5 Folder F177
Box 5 Folder F178
Sketches and Rendering.
Box 5 Folder F179
Box 5 Folder F180
Box 5 Folder F181
Stairway Design.
Box 5 Folder F182
Stairways, Exterior.
Box 5 Folder F183
Stairways, Interior.
Box 5 Folder F184
Box 5 Folder F185
Box 5 Folder F186
Box 5 Folder F187
Vanes, Weather.
Box 5 Folder F188
Box 5 Folder F189
Walls Sheathing.
Box 5 Folder F190
Window Grills.
Box 5 Folder F191
Window Heads.
Box 5 Folder F192
Box 5 Folder F193
Windows, Gothic, Romanesque.
Box 5 Folder F194
Box 5 Folder F195

Albro Lindeberg.
Box 6 Folder F196
Baum, Dwight James, 1886-1939.
Box 6 Folder F197
Bullard, Roger H.
Box 6 Folder F198
Carrère Hastings.
Box 6 Folder F199
Cram, Goodhue, and Ferguson.
Box 6 Folder F200
Davis, Dunlap Barney.
Box 6 Folder F201
Day Klauder.
Box 6 Folder F202
Delano Aldrich.
Box 6 Folder F203
Eyre, Wilson, 1858-1944.
Box 6 Folder F204
Gilbert, Cass, 1859-1934.
Box 6 Folder F205
Gilchrist, Edmund Beaman, 1885-1953.
Box 6 Folder F206
Homsey, Victorine Samuel.
Box 6 Folder F207
Janssen Abbot.
Box 6 Folder F208
Lindeberg, H. T. (Harrie Thomas), b. 1879.
Box 6 Folder F209
Lutyens, Edwin Landseer, Sir, 1869-1944.
Box 6 Folder F210
McGoodwin, Robert Rodes, 1886-1967.
Box 6 Folder F211
McKim, Mead White.
Box 6 Folder F212
Medary, Milton Bennett, 1874-1929.
Box 6 Folder F213
Mellor Meigs.
Box 6 Folder F214
Okie, R. Brognard (Richardson), 1875-1945.
Box 6 Folder F215
Platt, Charles A. (Adams), 1861-1933.
Box 6 Folder F216
Pope, John Russell, 1874-1937.
Box 6 Folder F217
Saarinen, Eliel, 1873-1950.
Box 6 Folder F218
Salomonsky, Verna Cook, b. 1890.
Box 6 Folder F219
Wills, Royal Barry, 1895-1962.
Box 6 Folder F220

Abbaye du Mont-St-Michel, France.
Box 6 Folder F221
Williamsburg, Louisiana Plantations, Mount Vernon.
Box 6 Folder F222
Box 6 Folder F223
Records of Early American Architecture [1 of 2].
Box 6 Folder F224
Records of Early American Architecture [2 of 2].
Box 6 Folder F225
Brochures, Booklets, Magazines.
Box 6 Folder F226

Print, Suggest