Guide to the Israel Heritage Room Committee Collection, 1929-2013 UA.40.13

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Israel Heritage Room Committee Collection
Creator
University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Israel Heritage Room Committee.
Collection Number
UA.40.13
Date
1929-2013
Extent
6.5 linear feet (11 boxes)
Language
The language of the majority of materials in this collection is English. Select research documents and design plans are in Hebrew.
Abstract
Dedicated in 1987, the Israel Heritage Room (IHR) was the 20th Nationality Classroom constructed in the Cathedral of Learning and the first to be built in thirty years. Its construction marked the revival and continuation of the Nationality Rooms project begun by Chancellor John Bowman in 1926. The collection comprises correspondence, construction reports, invoices, newsletters, research notes, promotional event flyers, timesheets, disbursement requests, financial records, interdepartmental memos, by-laws, design proposals, scholarship applications and reviews, newspaper and magazine publications, scripts, a video contract, and photographs. Digital reproductions of selected photographs are online.

Preferred Citation

Israel Heritage Room Committee Collection, 1929-2013, UA.40.13, University Archives, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The construction of the Israel Heritage Room (IHR) marked the revival and continuation of the Nationality Rooms project. The IHR was the first room to be built in thirty years, the first to be housed on the third floor, and the first under the supervision of Nationality Rooms Director E. Maxine Bruhns. The twentieth classroom for the Cathedral of Learning, the IHR was in the planning stages for 21 years, and was on the mind of the Pittsburgh Jewish community since 1948 when Israel became a country and qualified by Nationality Rooms Program rules to join the Nationality Council and have their own classroom. Charles Rosenbloom, a prominent member of the Pittsburgh Jewish community and philanthropist, formed the Israel Heritage Room committee in Pittsburgh and its brother committee in Israel. After a hiatus due to the Israeli war with Egypt in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, Rosenbloom was joined by Joseph Katz, the new chairman of the committee, and moved into the design, fundraising, and construction stage of the project.

Several years of design issues followed. After a handful of false starts, New York designer Alexander Kaufman was brought in to complete the room design with Martin Chetlin. A first century Israeli stone dwelling was chosen to highlight both the shared heritage of all Jews and the rabbinic tradition of learning and study which would lend itself well to a classroom. Artifacts and replications from that era were picked to decorate the space: a hand-cut stone floor, Capernaum stone bench seating, a lion mosaic, Dura Europos chalkboard panels, a hand carving of the ten commandments, jars, a Capernaum frieze, and a length of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The construction was completed in 1987 and dedicated on November 1st of that year.

The IHR, in accordance with the mission statement for the Nationality and Heritage Room Committees, promotes and represents its culture and traditions through events, performances, lectures, films, and exhibits. They also host scholarships for summer study in Israel for sophomore, junior, and graduate students from the University of Pittsburgh. The IHR is still an active committee and regularly meets to host and promote Jewish events and study abroad for the Pittsburgh community.

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Scope and Content Notes

The Israel Heritage Room Committee Collection is composed of correspondence, construction reports, invoices, newsletters, research notes, promotional event flyers, timesheets, disbursement requests, financial records, interdepartmental memos, by-laws, design proposals, scholarship applications and reviews, newspaper and magazine publications, scripts, a video contract, photographs, DVDs, and a CD. The collection was originally housed and maintained by the Nationality Rooms Program Office, which handles outreach, promotion, and scholarship opportunities as well as administrative records management on behalf of the members of the Nationality Council.

The collection is arranged by series and subseries. There are six series in total. Series I comprises the first material deposited at the Nationality Rooms office. It richly documents the history, design, and fundraising of the IHR primarily from the 1960s to the 1980s. Series II is composed of records involved with the creation and maintenance of the IHR including: correspondence, construction and financial reports, maintenance memos, design research records and proposals, and disbursement requests from 1964-2009. Series III is composed of administrative records for the running of the Israel Heritage Room program. This includes: by-laws, membership and board member lists, promotional event flyers, newsletters, donations, minutes, in-house program planning, and dues from 1986-2013. Series IV contains publication and contributor information, this includes: event invitations, correspondence, obituaries, video scripts, a contract with AEG, event flyers, speech drafts, photographs, and newspaper and magazine articles from 1964-2013. Series V contains multimedia other than paper that were originally separated but relate to the Israel Heritage Room. This includes photographs, DVDs, and a CD from 1982-1997. Series VI contains architectural files of IHR designs, the bulk from 1982-1986.

Record reproduction was undertaken for newspaper articles, videotapes, DVDs, cassette tapes, and CDs. The newspaper articles were copied on acid-free paper and the originals destroyed. Videotapes were reformatted onto DVDs. All DVDs and CDs were copied twice: once for inclusion to this collection, and once for the Nationality Rooms Program office to retain. Cassette tapes were reformatted onto CDs and were also copied twice for the same reason as above.

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Arrangement

The collection is arranged into the following six series:

Series I. Original Deposit (1991)

Series II. Israel Heritage Room Creation

Series III. Israel Heritage Room Administrative Records

Series IV. Publicity and Contributors

Series V. Other Multimedia

Series VI. Architectural Files

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, December 2013

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Custodial History

In accordance with preserving activities of each classroom on the Nationality Rooms Council, the Nationality Rooms Program office, located on the 12th floor of the Cathedral of Learning, was the original recipient of the Israel Heritage Room (IHR) material. The collection, including material later received, was transferred to the University Archives in fall 2013.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Nationality Rooms Program Office on October 30, 2013.

Processing Information

Series I was inventoried and arranged by Linda Hartman in 1991, shortly after the Nationalty Rooms Program office received the collection by the Israel Heritage Room committee. Subsequent additons to the collection were processed by Emily Reed, Nationality Rooms Archivist Intern, from August to October 2013. She created the finding aid to the overall collection. Maintaining any original order to the collection became difficult due to the movement of “active” files to “storage” files within the Nationality Rooms Program office.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital reproductions of the photographs from the collection are available online. Video and audio materials in the Israel Heritage Room Collection have copies located in the Nationality Rooms Program office. Videotapes were converted to DVD, cassette tapes were converted to CDs and the originals discarded.

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Related Materials

Separated Material

Architectural files are located in flat file storage (Map-case 30, Drawer 2, Folder 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Cathedral of Learning (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • Israel Heritage Classroom (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • Nationality Rooms (Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, Pa.).
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Council.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program. Israel Heritage Room Committee.
  • University of Pittsburgh. Nationality Rooms Program.

Genre(s)

  • Architectural drawings (Visual works)
  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Minutes
  • Photographs
  • Slides (Photographs)
  • Sound recordings
  • Video recordings

Personal Name(s)

  • Chetlin, Martin
  • Katz, Joseph M., 1913-1991
  • Kaufman, Alexander
  • Pelzig, Perli
  • Rosenbloom, Charles J., 1898-1973
  • Toker, Franklin
  • Weiner, Margery

Subject(s)

  • Classrooms -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Jews -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • University of Pittsburgh

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Equipment in the Archives Service Center is required for DVD and CD playback.

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Previous Citation

Israel Heritage Room Committee Collection, 1929-2013, UA.40.13, University Archives, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Original Deposit (1991), 1929-1990 

Scope and Content Notes

This original deposit was initially inventoried and arranged in 1991. It contains the most substantive material documenting the history, design, and fundraising of the IHR during the 1960s-1980s.

Subseries  1. History 

  BoxFolder
 Undated 101

Subseries  2. Correspondence, 

  Folder
 1976-1987 5
  Folder
 1972-1975 4
  Folder
 1970-1971 3
  Folder
 1929-1969 2

Subseries  3. Design and Concept, 1966-1986 

  Folder
 1966-1971 6

In oversize file 8.15.10: blueprints of 123-124.In oversize file 8.15.10: blueprints of 123-124.

  Folder
 1972 7
  Folder
 1973 8-9
  Folder
 1973-1978 10

In oversize file 8.15.10: blueprints.

  Folder
 1979-1986 11

Subseries  4. Design—Toker, 1980-1983 

  Folder
 1980 12-13
  Folder
 1981 14
  Folder
 1982 15

In oversize file 8.15.10: furniture sketches.

  Folder
 1983 17

Subseries  5. Design—Chetlin, 1982-1989 

  Folder
 1982-1983 19

In oversize file 8.15.10: Perli Pelzig IHC perspective.

  Folder
 1983 20
  Folder
 1984 21
  Folder
Draft, June 1984 22
  Folder
 1984 23
  Folder
 1985 24-25
  Folder
 1986 26

In oversize file 8.15.10: blueprints.

  Folder
 1986-1987 27
  Folder
 1987 28

In oversize file 8.15.10: sketches of the door panels and window arches.

  Folder
 1987-1989 29

In oversize file 8.15.10: sketches of the mosaic and frieze.

Subseries  6. Fundraising, 1981-1989 

  Folder
 1981-1986 30
  BoxFolder
 1986 111
  Folder
 1987 2
  Folder
 1987-1988 3
  Folder
 January 1989 and undated 4

Subseries  7. Donor Book, n.d. 

  Folder
 Undated 5

Subseries  8. Construction Blueprints n.d. 

Folder
36
  Folder
 Undated 6

In oversize file 8.15.10: floor plans and blueprints.

Subseries  9. Construction Minutes, 1986-1987 

  Folder
 1986-1987 7
  Folder
 1987 8

Subseries  10. Dedication, 1987 

  Folder
 1987 9
  Folder
Undated 10

Subseries  11. Furnishings, 1988-1990 

  Folder
 1988-1989 11
  Folder
 1989-1990 12

Subseries  12. Publicity, n.d. 

  Folder
 Undated 13

Subseries  13. Newsletter, n.d. 

  Folder
 Undated 14

Subseries  14. Supporting Documents, 1970-1988 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains obituaries, “Specifications for Israel Heritage Rooms 336-337” spiral-bound, historical reports, “Expressions of Jewish-American Life” spiral-bound curriculum guide and data file, program brochures, E. Maxine Bruhn’s handwritten notes, and five envelopes of photographs (mostly undated). The photographs have been digitally copied and are also located here: URL.

  Folder
Histories and other supporting documentation, 1970-1984 15
  Folder
Histories and other supporting documentation, 1986-1988 16
  Folder
Specifications, 1986 17
  Folder
The Ancient Synagogue of Beth Alpha by Eleazor Sukenik, 1932 18
  Folder
Experssions of Jewish American Life 1980 19
  Folder
Daniel Kafri Catalog 20
  Folder
Louis Kahn article, 1972 21
  Folder
Nationality Rooms Directors Notes 53-54
  Object
Photographs n.d. 1-5

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Series  II. Israel Heritage Room Creation, 1971-2009 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains information about the proposal, planning, design, construction, expenses, and maintenance of the Israel Heritage Room.

Subseries  1. Proposal, 1972-1988 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains correspondence about the Women’s Committee and their assistance, the building fund, and development. Also included are policy statements, pamphlets, progress reports, summaries of design, and a newsletter calling for members for the IHR.

  BoxFolder
 1972-1977 11
  Folder
 1979 2
  Folder
 1980-1982 3
  Folder
 1984-1988 4

Subseries  2. Planning, 1971-1985 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains sketches, concept reports and reviews, architectural graphics, Israel trip logs, and correspondence about the design committee and budget. Because of concern for provenance, some dates of the folders in this subseries are a bit mixed together from previous filing.

  Folder
 1971-1980 5
  Folder
 1979-1983 6
  Folder
 1980-1981 7
  Folder
 1981 8-10
  Folder
 1980-1983 11
  Folder
 1981-1983 12
  BoxFolder
 1983-1985 21

Subseries  3. Design, 1979-1990 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains examples of Hebrew text, pictures of the IHR before construction, concept designs for furniture and inscriptions, design proposals, floor plans, correspondence, guidelines for development, design submissions, and research articles. Folder 1 contains a spiral-bound report titled: Program for The Israel Room of the University of Pittsburgh. Folder 2 contains a folder full of research. Folder 2 contains a foldered preliminary concept presentation. Folder 4 contains a binder about the design of the IHR. Because of concern for provenance, some dates for the folders in this series are out of order due to previous filing.

  Folder
 1979-1996 2
  Folder
 1980-1981 3
  Folder
 1981-1983 4
  Folder
 1989-1990 5

Subseries  4. Construction, 1982-1992 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains room book orders, invoices, reviews of construction, research, service requests, progress reports, and correspondence to Anatoly Lendel about his furniture designs and about suggestions and specifications. A Construction Account is included in this subseries which has already been previous assembled and maintained in a large binder. The Construction Account maintains funding, construction expenses, bond reports, finance reports, contract sheets, a contractor’s application for payment, change order forms, invoices, disbursement requests, and memos. Because of concern for provenance, some dates for folders in this series are out of order due to previous filing.

  Folder
 1982-1988 6
  Folder
 1986-1991 7
  Folder
 1988-1989 8
  Folder
 1989 9
  Folder
 1990-1992 10
  BoxFolder
Construction Account, 1987-1991 31-4

These materials used to be housed together in a binder titled: Construction Account.

Subseries  5. Expenses, 1980-1996 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains two groups of expense reports. The first three folders, general expenses, were loose-leaf and had to be arranged. The other folders were already filed in order and contain more specific groupings than the first three folders. The first group contains papers about construction costs, invoices, time sheets, disbursement requests, reports on state of endowments, and correspondence. The second group contains papers about expense reports, financial reports, disbursement request, cash reports for construction, invoices, completion certificates, and correspondence with hired persons. Because of concern for provenance, some dates in the second group overlap due to previous filing.

  BoxFolder
General Expenses, 1980-1996 41
  Folder
General Expenses, 1988-1989 2
  Folder
General Expenses, 1989-1996 3
  Folder
Expenses for Artwork, 1985 4
  Folder
Expenses for Office and Agency, 1987-1988 5
  Folder
Expenses for Office and Agency, 1988-1989 6
  Folder
Expenses and Financial Reports, 1986-1987 7
  Folder
Expenses for Construction, 1981-1990 8
  Folder
Expenses for Construction, 1987 9-10
  BoxFolder
Expenses for Construction, 1988-1989 51
  Folder
Expenses for Construction, 1989-1990 2

Subseries  6. Maintenance, 1984-2009 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains correspondence regarding IHR maintenance, invoices, and reports about photographs, cushions, books, and lights.

  Folder
 1984-2009 3

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Series  III. Israel Heritage Room Administrative Record, 1971-2013 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains administration records for the Israel Heritage Room (IHR) and the Israel Heritage Council (IHC). These records include subjects about by-laws, IHC membership, IHC meetings, creation of the Book of Donors, minutes, fundraising, donations, dues, awarded scholarships, and room events.

Subseries  1. By-laws, 1991-2002 

  Folder
 1991-2002 4

Subseries  2.  1988-2005 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains membership lists, election of new board members, and correspondence.IHC Meetings,

  Folder
Board and Members, 1988-2005 5

Subseries  3. IHC Meetings, 1990-2009 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains annual membership meeting flyers and other flyers, printing requests for flyers, featured speakers, executive committee information, and correspondence about meetings.

  Folder
 1990-1996 6
  Folder
 1997-2002 7
  Folder
 2002-2009 8

Subseries  4. Book of Donors, 1987-1989 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains book bindery information, leather samples, rough drafts, a cover design, invoices, and correspondence.

  Folder
 1987-1989 9

Subseries  5. Minutes, 1971-2002 

  BoxFolder
 1971-1988 61
  Folder
 1988-1992 2
  Folder
 1993-1994 3
  Folder
 1995-2002 4

Subseries  6. Fundraising, 1981-2011 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains newsletters, forms and flyers, cards, letters, and reports of artifact sales. The first folder was previously filed and exclusively contains information about the Children’s Campaign for fundraising. This includes: flyers, letters, correspondence, curriculum reports, surveys, and bulletins.

  Folder
 1981-1986 6
  Folder
 2002-2003 7
  Folder
 2003-2005 8
  Folder
 2005-2011 9
  Folder
The Children’s Campaign, 1986-1987 5

Subseries  7. Donations, 1981-2013 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains correspondence, checks and newspaper articles about donations.

  Folder
 1981-1989 10
  Folder
 1989-2013 11

Subseries  8. Dues, 1988-2005 

  BoxFolder
 1988-1994 71
  Folder
 1994-1996 2
  Folder
 1996-1998 3
  Folder
 2001-2005 4

Subseries  9. Scholarships, 1980-2013 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains letters from scholarship winners, applications, newspaper articles about scholarships, photographs, reviews of trips, Codicil of Golomb, and correspondence about winners. The second folder of the subseries was previous filed and contains papers and a folder about the scholarship winners, therefore the content was not rearranged.

  Folder
 1980-1988 5
  Folder
 1984-1999 6
  Folder
 1991-1996 7
  Folder
 1996-1997 8
  Folder
 1997 9
  Folder
 1997-1999 10
  Folder
 1999 11
  Folder
 2002-2003 12
  Folder
 2005-2013 13

Subseries  10. Room Events, 1987-2013 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains papers about the Room Dedication, holiday decorating, community service tours, children’s school programs, and anniversary events.

  BoxFolder
 1987 81
  Folder
 1988-1989 2-3
  Folder
 1990-1995 4
  Folder
 2005-2013 5

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Series  IV. Publicity and Contributors, 1964-2013 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains records about the publicity of the IHR and its major contributors. This includes mostly publication records, correspondence, newspaper articles, and speech drafts.

Subseries  1. IHC Video, 1996-1998 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains A&E contracts, invoices, newspaper articles about the IHC video, ordering forms, flyers and advertisements, the video script, a photo list, DVD packaging design, and correspondence.

  Folder
 1996 6
  Folder
 1996-1997 7
  Folder
 1996-1998 8

Subseries  2. Publications, 1972-2013 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains publications about the IHC. This includes magazine articles (the Hadassah Magazine, The  B’nai B’rith IJM, and the   Pitt Magazine), newspaper articles (the  Jewish Chronicle,  Pitt News,   Destination Guide,  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,  Details, and  Excelsior), newsletters (the   Nationality Rooms Newsletter,  Executive Board News,   Jewish Studies Newsletter, and  Israel Heritage Room Newsletter), pamphlets, and correspondence. Articles range from news releases, promotion, notes to the editor, and photographs. Because of previous filing, some dates are mixed.

  Folder
 1972-1985 9
  Folder
 1970-1990 10
  BoxFolder
 1985-1988 811
  Folder
 1990 12
  Folder
 1989-1998 13
  Folder
 1997-2000 14
  BoxFolder
 2001-2002 91
  Folder
 2002-2007 2
  Folder
 2008-2013 3

Subseries  3. Public Events, 1980-2013 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains manuscripts about public events hosted by or related to the IHC. This includes: flyers promoting choir performances, lectures, book signings, holiday parties, botanical garden shows, Israel’s 50th Anniversary, folk dancing, workshops, an Israel Consul visit, and the 44th International Cabaret Ball.

  Folder
 1980-1997 4
  Folder
 1998-2013 5

Subseries  4. Contributors, 1964-2012 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains papers relating to important members and contributors to the IHC. This includes correspondence, newspaper articles, obituaries and condolences, speeches, other publications, wedding anniversary invitations, and photographs. Notable names include: Doris Binstock, the B’nai B’rith Women of Pittsburgh, Gertrude Caplan, Sorlee and Martin Chetlin, Marcella and Wilfred Finegold, Margie and Jerry Goldberg, Joseph Katz, Alexander Lowenthal, Eva Mars, Samuel McCullogh, Albert Raizman, and Margery Weiner.

  Folder
 1964-1997 6
  Folder
 1998-2012 7

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Series  V. Multimedia, 1982-1997 

Scope and Content Notes

This series contains a variety of records, from photographs, DVDs, a CD, and Kodachrome slides.

Subseries  1. Photographs, ca. 1980- ca. 2000 

Scope and Content Notes

Selected photographs within the collection were digitized and available online.

  Folder
 1981-1995 8

Photographs #1-14

  Folder
 1982-1995 9

Photographs #15-58

  Folder
 1990-1998 10

Photographs #59-85

  BoxFolder
 ca. 1980-1996 35

Photographs #86-139

  Folder
 ca. 1980-1987 6

Photographs #140-208

  Folder
 ca. 1980-ca. 2000 7

Photographs #209-259, including 7 negative

Subseries  2. DVDs, 1987-1996 

Scope and Content Notes

These DVDs were copied in October 2013. One copy of each remains in the Nationality Rooms Program office, another copy is included in this collection. DVD 2 was reformatted from VHS.

  BoxDisk
“Seeking Ancient Roots”, 1996 101
  Disk
“Israel Heritage Room Dedication”, 1987 2
  Disk
“Interview with Martin Chetlin”, 2009 3
  Disk
E. Maxine Bruhns Interview on the Israel Room July 1991 4

Subseries  3. CD, 1994 

Scope and Content Notes

A CD was made in 1997 from the IHR audio tour recorded in 1994. The recording is in English and voiced by E. Maxine Bruhns. This copy was burned in October 2013. The original CD remains in the Nationality Rooms Program office.

  Disk
“IHR Audio Tour”, 1994 5

Subseries  4. Kodachrome Slides, circa 1990s 

Scope and Content Notes

This subseries contains two kodachrome slides of the completed IHR.

  Folder
 circa 1990s 8

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Series  VI. Architectural Files, 1980-1986 

Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains architectural files. These files are oversized and located separately from the rest of the collection in Map-case 30, Drawer 2, Folder 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

  Map-caseFolder
Toker Designs, 1980 30-21
  Folder
Pelzig Designs, 1983 2
  Folder
Chetlin and Kaufman Designs, 1984 3
  Folder
Chetlin and Kaufman Designs, 1984-1986 4
  Folder
Pelzig Designs, 1983 5
  Folder
Kaufman Designs, 1983 6

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