Sharp (Thomas) Archive

Subject strengths: Town Planning, Literature

The papers of Thomas Sharp (1901-1978) were largely gifted by his sister, Rachel Sharp and had been rescued from Sharp's Oxford house by Professor Brenikov of Newcastle University. Further material has been acquired for the collection from Patrick Horsbrugh.

Sharp was a significant figure in town planning and a major influence on the development of ideas of townscape and on the forms that town and countryside should take through such publications as Town and Countryside (1932), Town Planning (1940) and Town and Townscape (1968). His plans for historic cities such as Durham, Oxford and Exeter in the 1940s were also potent.

The collection contains information and correspondence on plans and texts, including unpublished works; original plans; documentation on key planning cases; press-cuttings; documentation relating to unsuccessful commissions; typescripts, including that of an unpublished autobiography; personal correspondence and creative writing.

This impressive archive documents the progression of Sharp's thinking throughout his career, draws attention to the important issues which underpinned the planning commission process at the time, provides information on how commissions were received and offers material showing how arguments and ideologies of urban evolution were advanced.

Collection Name and Collection Reference Code:

Collection Name: Sharp (Thomas) Archive

Archive Ref Code: GB186/THS

Date Range of Material

1932 - 1984

Type of Material

Personal Archive of Thomas Sharp (including much relating to his professional life and project commissions)

Size of Collection

10 Linear Metres of shelving 

How To Order Items From This Collection

Please use the finding aid below to search through a list of the individual items we have within this collection.

If you find an item you would like to consult in the Special Collections reading room, simply make a note of the reference number and title of the item(s) you are interested in (for example GB186/THS 1.1 Receipt from Oxford University Press, 1946).

You can then place your order by linking to our request form

Finding Aid

Archival catalogue available via Archives Hub.

Scanning and Photocopy Service

If you are unable to visit our reading room, we also have a scanning and photocopying service.

Other Resources

An exhibition to compliment this collection is available to view here.

Projects, Progress and Updates:

These papers were made accessible through an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project. A dedicated website to this project is available to view here.