Papers of and about Thomas Adams (Town Planner)

Scope and Content

The archive consists of material collected by Thomas Adams during his work in Britain, Canada and the USA, along with material collected by Michael Simpson during his research on Adams. The material includes correspondence, published material and research material.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Adams was born in Edinburgh on 10 September 1871 . In 1901  he became the first paid British planning official as Secretary of the Garden City Association and from 1902-1905  he was the Manager of the First British Garden City in Letchworth. In 1906  he became closely involved in the establishment of town planning and by 1914  he was regarded as the head of the planning profession in Britain. He was the first President of the British and Canadian Town Planning Institute and was also a co-founder of the American City Planning Institute. He died in 1940 .


The material has been divided into 3 main sections:

  • D653/1 Correspondence
  • D653/2 Published Articles and Press Cuttings
  • D653/3 Other Research Material

Within these sections the material has been divided up by topic e.g.: British work; Canadian work; and US work, as this is in keeping with the original arrangement.

Access Information

Access is open to bona fide researchers

Acquisition Information

Received from Jack R K Adams (son) per Michael Simpson, Department of History, University College Swansea 16 February 1995.

Other Finding Aids

A copy of the finding aid is available in the Special Collections and Archives' reading room.

Separated Material

Correspondence between Thomas Adams and Frederic Osborn is held at Welwyn Garden City Central Library , reference: B2.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction and licensing rules available on request


Simpson, MichaelThomas Adams and the modern planning movement: Britain, Canada and the United States, 1900-1940Mansell, London 1985Adams, ThomasRural Planning and Development: a study of rural conditions and problems in CanadaOttawa 1917Hulchanski, John DavidThomas Adams: a biographical and bibliographic guideToronto: Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Toronto 1978Nolen, JohnMadison, a model city Boston, Massachusetts 1911Regional Survey of New York and its Environs Vols.I-VIIINew York 1927-1929Regional Plan of New York and its Environs Vols.I-IINew York 1929-1931

Copies of all of these books are available at Liverpool University Library. Please see the class numbers after each entry.

Class number: Sydney Jones Library HT 166.S61

The following volumes formed part of the Thomas Adams collection of archival material given to Liverpool University's Special Collections and Archives . They have therefore been catalogued as part of the book collections of this department (please see individual class numbers).

Class number: SPEC S/HD315.A21.

Class number: SPEC R/Z8015.9.H91.

Class number: SPEC S/NA9127.M3.N49.

Class number: SPEC S/HT394.N5.R33

Class number: SPEC S/HT394.N5.R33.