Town and Townscape

Thomas Sharp (1901-1978) was a key figure in town planning in the mid-twentieth century. The concepts he developed in his writings and plans have been of enduring significance and influence on thinking about planning and design for both practitioners and academics in the UK and beyond. He was a key figure in defining thinking about the forms that town and countryside should take; in reconciling existing and valued character with modernity, and; in making these arguments accessible through a series of polemical books. The plans he produced in the 1940s, primarily for historic cities such as Oxford, Exeter and Durham, were also hugely influential and were a major contribution to the development of ideas of townscape.

This project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has made a unique collection of the personal papers of Sharp accessible through archival cataloguing and conservation. The Principal Investigator was John Pendlebury (Global Urban Research Unit, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape), Co-Investigator Melanie Wood (Special Collections, Robinson Library) and Project Archivist Laura Fernandez. This web-site includes the collection catalogue; a brief biography of Sharp; an annotated bibliography of Sharp's published writings and plans; a finding aid for other publicly accessible Sharp material; and, selected digitised items.

The project was helped in many ways by the academic steering committee of Professor Peter Larkham, Dr. Richard Higgins, Martin Roberts, Kathy Stansfield and Dr. Aidan While.