The Osborn Archive

Sir Fredrick Osbourne

Sir Frederic Osborn (1885-1978) was, with Ebenezer Howard, one of the two most significant and influential figures in the British and International Garden Cities/ New Towns movement.
He was first employed at Letchworth in 1912, moved to WGC on its foundation in 1919, and from the 1930's onwards worked within the Town and Country Planning Association from where he was the prime mover in the campaign which resulted in the New Towns legislation after World War II.

The Osborn Archive, housed in WGC Library, comprises manuscript and printed material amassed by Osborn throughout his long and active life. As well as documenting in great detail the movement in which he played so central a role, it also contains items reflecting his wider planning, housing, political and personal interests.
There are significant collections on Osborn's early years, on Howard, the early Fabian Society, the histories of Letchworth and WGC and on post war reconstruction. Much of this material is unique. Osborn's own copious writings, his articles, speeches and massive correspondence with planners throughout the world, also form a substantial part.
A printed catalogue of the Archive is available from the Library priced £5 and it is open to scholars by appointment.


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