Charles Kahn Papers circa 1950-circa 1960

Summary
Contents
Names/subjects
Using these materials
Creator
Kahn, Charles H.
Size
1.7 linear feet (2 tubes, 1 oversize flatbox, 1 flat folder)
Call number
MC 00149

The Charles Kahn Papers collection contains design proposals and drawings, course materials, journal articles, pamphlets, brochures, and photographic negatives documenting work of Charles Kahn and his students as well as local architects, including Horacio Caminos, Matthew Nowicki, James Fitzgibbons, Eduardo Catalano, and George Matsumoto. Materials related to Buckminster Fuller are also included. Items in the collection are described using titles found on Kahn's original files.

Charles Howard Kahn was born in Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1952, he joined the faculty at North Carolina State University as an instructor in Civil Engineering. He was appointed Associate Professor of Design in 1959. Kahn remained at North Carolina State University until 1968, when he left for the University of Kansas. Kahn's research focused on thin-shell structures and membranes of long-span roofs for buildings. Notably, he designed North Carolina State University's Carter-Finley Stadium. The items included in this collection reflect Kahn's time at North Carolina State University.

Biographical/historical note

Charles Howard Kahn was born in Salisbury, North Carolina. He received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1946, a Bachelors of Civil Engineering from North Carolina State College in 1948, and finally a M.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1949). In 1952 he joined the faculty at North Carolina State College as an instructor in Civil Engineering. He was appointed Associate Professor of Design in 1959. Kahn remained at North Carolina State University until 1968, when he left for the University of Kansas, where he became the first dean of the School of Architecture and Urban Design. He retired from academia in 1991 and returned to North Carolina.

Kahn's research focused on thin-shell structures and membranes of long-span roofs for buildings. Notably, he designed North Carolina State University's Carter-Finley Stadium. His time at Kansas was marked by his own interest in social activism and the vision of architectural design as a problem-solving activity.

Scope/content

The Charles Kahn Papers (ca. 1950-1960) contain design proposals and drawings, course materials, journal articles, pamphlets, brochures, and photographic negatives documenting the work of Kahn and his students as well as local architects, including Horacio Caminos, Matthew Nowicki, James Fitzgibbons, Eduardo Catalano, and George Matsumoto. Materials related to Buckminster Fuller are also included.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into three series:

  • Lecture Notes
  • Maps
  • Office papers
Items in the collection are described using titles found on Kahn's original files. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Kahn Papers, MC 00149, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of Charles H. Kahn, 2009 (Accession 2009.0136).

Processing information

Processed by: Matisha Wiggs; machine-readable finding aid created by: Matisha Wiggs and Todd Kosmerick, July 2011.

Sponsor

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.

The collection is organized into three principal series:

Lecture notes 1952-1968 (MC 00149 Series 1)

These materials maintain original file names as assigned by Charles Kahn. They are arranged alphabetically.

Arches circa 1952-1968

Various notes, drawings, and other graphic materials related to the history and development of arches. Created by Charles Kahn for teaching purposes.

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 9
Evolution of structures circa 1960 (2009.0136)

Large timelines charting construction trends.

Tube 2
Loose pieces for an exhibition or teaching display circa 1952-1968

Small strips of paper, all with text related to various specific structures or types of structures. Glue on the back of each piece. Held together in an envelope with Virginia Tech letterhead on the return address.

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 10
Slabs circa 1952-1968

Various notes, drawings, and other graphic materials related to the history and development of slab construction. Created by Charles Kahn for teaching purposes.

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 7
Space frames circa 1952-1968

Various notes, drawings, and other graphic materials related to the history and development of space frames. Created by Charles Kahn for teaching purposes. Includes a number of U.S. Patent Office documents submitted by Buckminster Fuller, John S. Adams, and R.B. Hartman.

Patents
Oversize flat box 1, Folder 8
Suspension systems circa 1952-1968

Various notes, drawings, and other graphic materials related to the history and development of suspension systems. Created by Charles Kahn for teaching purposes.

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 6
Truss development: Usage, etc. circa 1952-1968

Large graph showing the history of truss bridge development.

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 10
Maps 1974-1980 (MC 00149 Series 2)

These materials do not represent original work by Kahn. They were possibly used as aids during educational lectures.

Dymaxion sky-ocean world map 1980 (2009.0136)

Grip-Kitrick Edition of Fuller Projection Map, designed by R. Buckminster Fuller.

Fuller, R. Buckminster, (Richard Buckminster) (Creator)
Tube 1
Fuller projective-transformation circa 1980

Accompanying explanatory document for the Dymaxion Sky-Ocean World Map

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 11
Remapping our world 1974

Article by Buckminster Fuller from 1974 issue of Today's Education, highlighting the value of his new world map design.

Fuller, R. Buckminster, (Richard Buckminster) (Creator)
Oversize flat box 1, Folder 11
Office papers 1954-1993 (MC 00149 Series 3)

These materials maintain original file names as assigned by Charles Kahn. They are arranged alphabetically.

Aluminum Research Program for Aluminum Company of America 1961 (Accession 2016-0282)

Two sets of drawings by Edwin F. Harris. Set one: "Space Frame," 11 pages. Set two: "Shell Structures," 26 pages. Negative prints of original drawings.

Drawings

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 12
Aluminum Research Program for Aluminum Company of America 1961 (Accession 2016-0282)

Report by Horacio Caminos and Charles Kahn detailing structures created for the Aluminum Company of America.

Report

Caminos, Horacio, 1914-1990 (Creator); Kahn, Charles H. (Creator)
Oversize flat box 1, Folder 12
Life, the teaching, and the architecture of Matthew Nowicki 1954

Four part biographical article about Matthew Nowicki from Architectural Record, June 1954.

Lewis, Mumford (Creator)
Oversize flat box 1, Folder 2
Miscellaneous sketches and drawings
Flat folder 1
Notebooks: old man river project 1970

Bound, 62-page book published by The Parsimonious Press, School of Architecture, Washington University, St. Louis, Mo. Book's contents consist of copies of notes, newspaper clippings, and text concerning the development of the East St. Louis (Mo.) Riverfront. R. Buckminster Fuller assisted with the development of this project.

Fitzgibbon, James (James Walter), 1915-1985 (Creator)
Oversize flat box 1, Folder 1
School of Design student papers circa 1964 (2009.0136)

Charles Kahn's students' papers and notes on bridges. Some labeled with students' names.

Oversize flat box 1, Folder 5
Sketches circa 1960s

Ten loose notepages (some are NCSU School of Design letterhead) covered with hand-drawn sketches of bridges and other architectural features. These are possibly school notes. Sticky note on the front of the group reads "Horacio Caminos."

Caminos, Horacio, 1914-1990 (Creator)
Oversize flat box 1, Folder 3
Sketches and visions, exhibition guide 1993

Exhibition guide for show at the Visual Arts Center at North Carolina State University, January 21 1993-March 21 1993.

Nowicki, Matthew, 1910-1950
Oversize flat box 1, Folder 2

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Because of the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to digital files may require additional advanced notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Kahn Papers, MC 00149, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.