The Albert Kahn Papers offer researchers the opportunity to study the correspondence, transcripts of speeches, photographs and architectural drawings of the preeminent, American, industrial
architect. On March 21, 2003 (the 134th anniversary of Kahn's birthday), Albert Kahn Associates, Inc. (AKA) donated this collection to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of
Michigan to ensure the conservation and accessibility of these papers. Through this gift, AKA has shown its commitment to preserving the legacy of Kahn, whose factories on five continents
influenced the development of industrial architecture and whose commercial, residential and institutional buildings define the character of Detroit and the University of Michigan today. The
collection encompasses thirteen linear feet of correspondence, transcripts of speeches, newspaper and journal articles and construction photographs, as well as 7,417 architectural drawings in
32 flat-file drawers and 69 oversized tubes.
The Albert Kahn Papers are comprised of eight series: Personal Papers, Professional Papers, Photographs, Photographs of Completed Buildings, Books Owned by Albert Kahn, Albums Containing
Furniture, Fabric, Ironwork and Terra Cotta Samples, Audio-Visual Material, and Project Records. The narrative and visual materials in these series illuminate the breadth of Kahn's career from
Job Number 1, A. Dupont Residence (1896), designed shortly after the founding of his first firm, Nettleton, Kahn and Trowbridge, to his last great project before his death, the Ford Motor
Company Willow Run Bomber Plant (1941). In pairing the textual materials with the construction photographs and architectural drawings associated with 145 of Kahn's projects, this collection
offers a rich perspective on the master architect himself, illuminating his personal views on his own architecture and its place in a changing and often tumultuous world. It is anticipated
that the collection will grow over time, as AKA donates more historic materials tothe Bentley Library. When the additional papers are processed, a description of these documents will be added
to this finding aid.