• IdentificationPUBLIC "-//The Art Institute of Chicago::Ryerson and Burnham Archives//TEXT(US::ICA::1943.1::DANIEL H. BURNHAM (1846-1912) COLLECTION, 1836-1946 (bulk 1880-1925))//EN" "ica194301"
  • TitleBurnham, Daniel H., (1846-1912) Collection, 1836-1946 (bulk 1880-1925)
  • PublisherRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago,
  • Language
    • English
    • English.
  • Date
    • 1836-1946
    • (bulk 1880-1925)
  • Physical Description
    • 17.5 linear feet, (86 boxes), 8 portfolios, 17 oversize portfolios, 1 tube and flatfile materials.
    • Printed papers, correspondence, manuscripts, diaries, maps, black and white photographic prints, and architectural reprographic prints, ephemera, realia, and an oil painting.
  • RepositoryRyerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, The Art Institute of Chicago 111 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60603-6110 (312) 443-7292 rbarchives@artic.edu http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
  • AbstractNoted Chicago architect and urban planner Daniel H. Burnham was best known for his work to promote the Beaux-Arts aesthetic in architectural and city design across the United States and internationally. He also served as Director of Works for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. The Art Institute of Chicago holds the largest body of archival documents on Burnham's life and works.
  • OriginationBurnham, Daniel Hudson, 1846-1912
  • LocationThe collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

Daniel Hudson Burnham, renowned city planner and architect, was born in Henderson, New York, in 1846. At age eight his family moved to Chicago where he was educated in the city schools; he completed his later studies under a private tutor in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Burnham returned to Chicago in 1868 and was employed successively by William LeBaron Jenney, John van Osdel, and Gustave Laudreau.

In 1872 Burnham worked as a draftsman in the office of Carter, Drake & Wight, where he became acquainted with John Wellborn Root. In 1873 Burnham and Root became partners in their own practice which lasted until the death of Root in 1891. The responsibilities to complete the plans for and organization of the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago then rested solely on Burnham. After Root's death Burnham headed his own practice (1891-1894) and then D.H. Burnham and Company (1894-1912).

Building upon his experience with the vast scale of planning for the World's Columbian Exposition, Burnham developed an international reputation as one of the early planners in the City Beautiful aesthetic. In 1901 Burnham was appointed Chairman of the Senate Park Commission (Washington, D.C.) and subsequently served as Chairman of the Commission of Fine Arts. Burnham is closely identified with plans for Cleveland, San Francisco, and Manila and Baguio, The Philippines. His magnum opus, the Plan of Chicago, was authored in partnership with Edward Bennett and published in 1909.

After Burnham's death in 1912, his partner Ernest R. Graham and the two Burnham sons, Daniel H. Burnham, Jr. and Hubert Burnham, continued the practice as Graham, Burnham and Company until 1917; it then reformed as Graham, Anderson, Probst and White. In addition to this professional legacy, Burnham's bequest of $50,000 to the Art Institute resulted in the establishment of the Burnham Library of Architecture.

The collection is comprised of many personal papers, family and business correspondence, photographs, maps, plans, and diaries. Important reports and other materials relating to the World's Columbian Exposition and the Plan of Chicago are also included in the collection.

SERIES I: BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE. In the first three boxes letters to and from Daniel H. Burnham (DHB) have been filed alphabetically by correspondent name; an individual's correspondence is organized chronologically. Certain correspondents, for whom there are numerous letters, have been placed in separate folders within the alphabetical sequence. The folders for Charles McKim (45-51) maintain the sequence of material arranged in a notebook as received by the Libraries. Letterpress copybooks of outgoing correspondence are listed at the end of this series. These volumes are restricted due to their fragile nature; patrons are requested to use the microfilm copy 1972 4. A separate correspondent name index and a subject index are available for the letterpress copybooks and are appended after Series XI.

SERIES II: BURNHAM FAMILY CORRESPONDENCE. DHB's personal correspondence with various family members has been organized by individual's name. (Business correspondence with Hugh Burnham is located in Series I.) This series also includes correspondence between DHB's parents and the personal correspondence of Margaret Burnham (DHB's wife). Several letters of the young Daniel H. Burnham, Jr. are held in this series; his later business correspondence and papers are in a separate collection, the Daniel H. Burnham, Jr. and Hubert Burnham Papers, 1943.2.

SERIES III: CORRESPONDENCE FOR CHARLES MOORE BIOGRAPHY OF DHB. The correspondence between Charles Moore and members of the Burnham family, as well as with colleagues of DHB, contains much information pertinent to DHB's personal and professional activities.

SERIES IV: PERSONAL PAPERS AND MEMORABILIA. In this series are located DHB biographies, obituaries and "in memoriam" books; travel diaries and sketchbooks; documents relating to close friends and colleagues, e.g. William Keith, Charles F. McKim, and Henry Clark Corbin. Also included are miscellaneous non-architectural writings, many of which appear to be in DHB's hand.

SERIES V: OFFICE BUSINESS PAPERS AND PROJECTS (BUILDINGS AND URBAN PLANS). This series contains DHB's business diaries and documents (reports, articles and some correspondence) on specific office projects, arranged alphabetically by city and project name.

SERIES VI: WORLD'S COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION. Included in this series are all reports and published materials (largely non-visual) on the development of the fair, for which DHB served as Director of Works. Programs, invitations and other memorabilia are located in this series.

SERIES VII: CHICAGO PLANNING: SOUTH PARK COMMISSION AND PLAN OF CHICAGO. This series begins with DHB's planning work for the South Park Commission, commencing after the World's Columbian Exposition. It continues through the preparation of the manuscript for Plan of Chicago, published in 1909, and also holds some material on planning in Chicago published in DHB's lifetime.

SERIES VIII: PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES; SPEECHES AND WRITINGS. Material concerning the American Institute of Architects includes documentation of DHB's presidency, membership resignation (1911) and other miscellaneous issues. DHB's presidency of the Commission of Fine Arts is recorded in correspondence and printed materials. DHB speeches and writings on non-project-specific topics are arranged chronologically, with undated items at the end.

SERIES IX: VISUAL MATERIALS: PHOTOGRAPHS, MAPS, PLANS, AND DRAWINGS. Items of specifically visual nature are arranged alphabetically by project location and name. Personal photographs, and photographs of DHB and his colleagues are also included.

SERIES X: SCRAPBOOKS. All scrapbooks, on various subjects, in chronological order.

SERIES XI: MARGARET BURNHAM PAPERS. Includes Mrs. Burnham's daybook, correspondence, ephemera, and other personal items. Items are arranged chronologically.

SERIES XII: RESTRICTED. Arranged chronolocially. These materials are restricted from patron use. Surrogate copies may be available for viewing. Please contact the archivist with any questions.

  • NamesBurnham, Daniel Hudson, 1846-1912
  • Subject
    • Burnham, Daniel Hudson, 1846-1912--Archives
    • World's Columbian Exposition (1893: Chicago, Ill.)
    • City planning--Illinois--Chicago
    • McKim, Charles Follen, 1847-1909
    • Burnham, Margaret Sherman
    • Burnham, Daniel H. (Daniel Hudson), 1886-1961
    • Burnham, Hubert, 1882-1968
    • Delano, Frederic Adrian, 1863-1953
    • Keith, William, 1838-1911
    • D.H. Burnham & Co.
    • Bennett, Edward H. (Edward Herbert), 1874-1954
    • Brunner, Arnold W. (Arnold William), 1857-1925
    • Ely, Theodore N.
    • Polk, Willis, 1867-1924
    • Carrere, John Merven, 1858-1911
    • Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930
    • United States. Commission of Fine Arts
    • Reid, Robert, 1862-1929
    • Simmons, Edward, 1852-1931
    • Turner, C.Y. (Charles Yardley), 1850-1919
    • Commercial Club of Chicago. Plan of Chicago
    • Hastings, Thomas, 1860-1929
    • Burnham and Root





















Architectural drawings by Burnham and Root, D.H. Burnham and Co., and for the Plan of Chicago are held in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Architectural drawings by Burnham and Root, D.H. Burnham and Co., and for the Plan of Chicago are held in the permanent collection of the Department of Architecture at The Art Institute of Chicago.

Some materials are restricted due to their fragile condition, as noted in the series inventories; where possible, surrogate copies are available for patron research, as noted in the collection inventories. This collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchaccess.html

The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

Daniel H. Burnham Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

The collection was the gift of Mr. Daniel Burnham, Jr. and Mr. Hubert Burnham in June 1943. Subsequent gifts have been received from Lisa Burnham, Daniel H. Burnham IV, Daniel H. Burnham V, Scott Elliott, Mrs. George B. Wells, Patrick Shaw, John W. Root, Jr., Daniel Burnham III, Eckenhoff Saunders Architects, the Hubert Burnham Jr. Family (2008), Mardi Burnham LeGrow (2008), Kendall Morris (2008), Frye Gillan Molinard Ltd. (2008), David Jameson, ArchiTech Gallery of Architectural Art (2010), and Wilbert Hasbrouck (2010). Additional materials were purchased by the Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 2002 and 2008 and donated by Wilbert Hasbrouck in 2009. Additional materials were added to the collection in 2011.

The collection was processed by the staff of the Ryerson and Burnham Archives. Additional materials were added and the finding aid was revised by Annemarie van Roessel in 2002. The finding aid was revised and expanded by Annemarie van Roessel in 2004, Nathaniel Parks in 2005 and 2008, Rory Brown in 2006, Jessica Collier in 2007, Elizabeth Hanson in 2011, and Valerie Higgins in 2011.

New materials may be added to this collection on an irregular basis.

Some items have surrogate copy negatives or digital images, as noted in the series inventories; copy photographs and digital files of these images may be ordered through the Ryerson and Burnham Archives.

Several appendices related to this finding aid are available, including: Appendix I, General Information About the Letterpress Copybooks; and Appendix II, City Planning Project Commissions Declined By Burnham.

Several appendices related to this finding aid are available, including: Appendix I, General Information About the Letterpress Copybooks; and Appendix II, City Planning Project Commissions Declined By Burnham.