Guide to the Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Records

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0969
Creators:
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas
Dates:
1906-2003
bulk 1906-1918
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Physical Description:
5 film reels
5 Cubic feet
11 boxes
Repository:
Collection documents the engineering firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas through reports prepared for a variety of clients.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
These records contain reports (some containing photographs and full size drawings folded) from the New York engineering firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas. Included are typewritten and printed reports for a variety of clients. The bulk of the reports relate to power and transportation. The collection includes five 16mm motion picture films, relating to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1: Background Materials, 1960-2003
Series 2: Reports, 1906-1918
Series 3: Moving Image, 1960 and undated

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
On January 1, 1885, William Barclay Parsons (1859-1932) and his younger brother Henry de Berkeley Parsons founded a consulting engineering firm in New York City. The brothers combined their talents as civil and mechanical engineers to create a firm that would making a lasting mark on designing and constructing infrastructure. Among the firm's most notable projects were the original IRT line of the New York City Subway, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART), the Cape Cod Canal, and the charting the course of a railway in China from Hankow (Wuhan) to Canton (Guangzhou). The firm also designed and built large water supply systems, railroads, hydro-electric dams, refrigeration warehouses, marine terminals, and conducted survey work. Through the years, the firm diversified its engineering competence and knowledge by adding partners: Eugene A. Klapp (b. 1867), chief engineer and bridge specialist; Henry M. Brinckerhoff (b. 1868), a traction engineer; Walter J. Douglas (b. 1872), structural engineer and bridge specialist; and Maurice Quade (1900-1966), structural engineer. The firm had several name changes and became known as Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas with both domestic and foreign offices. Today the company operates in the fields of strategic consulting, planning, engineering, construction management, infrastructure and community planning. Parsons Brinckerhoff was acquired by WSP Global in 2014.
Sources
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Notes, December 1960.
Bobrick, Benson. Parsons Brinckerhoff The First 100 Years. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1985.
Petroski, Henry. "William Barclay Parsons," American Scientist, Volume 96, No. 4, July-August 2008, pp. 280-283.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by Alison Oswald, 2017.
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The initial collection was donated in 1967, presumably by the firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, to the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History).

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Records Collection, 1905-ca. 1970s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Streetcars and Subways (AC0060)
Materials at Other Organizations
New York Public Library
William Barclay Parsons papers, 1880-1939
Collection consists of correspondence, lecture notes, and materials used in preparation of Parsons's book, Engineers and Engineering in the Renaissance, published in 1939. Correspondence, 1881-1900, relates to his student days at the Columbia University School of Mines, appointments to various railroads, and activity as Columbia trustee. Notes on lectures about mining at Columbia, 1880-1881, are illustrated with drawings and plates. Materials used in the preparation of Parsons's book include final typescript, proofs, illustrations, maps, notebooks, and other source materials.
Columbia University
Papers, 1899-1915
Correspondence including letters from Grover Cleveland, Gilbert Parker, and printed monographs and magazine articles. Mr. Parsons' diaries of Panama Canal years and World War I have been catalogued as book manuscripts.

Accruals
Accruals
The addendum of motion picture films was donated in 1985 by Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The entire collection was transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Work and Industry, 2007.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Detroit (Mich.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Texas Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wharves Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Fremont (Neb.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Columbus (Neb.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Subways -- New York (N.Y.) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tunnels Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Subways Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Subways -- Boston (Mass.) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dams Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroads Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
16mm films Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Boston (Mass.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bridges Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chicago (Ill.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Death Valley Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chicago Traction and Subway Commission Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Belvedere, DeKalb, and Southern Railway Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Detroit Rapid Transit System Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives