Guide to the Papers of William Graham Holford, 1st Baron Holford (as filmed by the AJCP)


M1945 - M1948

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2019

Collection Summary

Holford, William Graham, Sir
Papers of William Graham Holford, 1st Baron Holford (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1948 - 1974
Collection Number
M1945 - M1948
112 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

Papers from 1951 concerning Holford's visit to Australia, referring to town planning in Australia.

Canberra papers 1957-1974 referring to: Holford's report on the future of Canberra; appointment of Sir John Overall; Holford's consultancy agreements with the National Capital Development Commission, Australian Planning Institute, and National Urban and Regional Development Authority; and visits by Holford and R.W. Gray to Canberra between 1959 and 1966. Correspondents include Peter Harrison, Sir Robert Menzies, W.C. Andrews, R.B. Landsdown, G. Stephenson, R.K.H. Johnson, Sir John Overall and Walter Bunning.

Papers 1956-1964 concerning town planner Grenfell Ruddock.

Canberra reports 1957-1965, referring to: proposed National Gallery; Parliamentary Triangle; Central Basin area; Lake Burley Griffin; Commonwealth and Kings Avenue bridges; and Capital Hill.

Notes, correspondence and drawings 1963-1968 on Canberra Carillon.

Papers 1956-1970 concerning town planning and public buildings in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.

Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

Example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Material selectively filmed at the Liverpool University Archives as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1985 (AJCP Reels: M1945-M1948). Original microfilm digitised as part of the AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Special Collections and Archives, University of Liverpool, Liverpool.

Collection reference: D. 147. For further reference see William Graham Holford at the University of Liverpool Library (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding-aid Notes

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2019. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

The identifiers used in this finding aid were accurate at the time of filming. They have been kept to preserve the historical context of the collection.


Adelaide, South Australia: buildings; Andrews, W.C.; Australia; Australia: visits to; Australian Planning Institute; Bunning, Walter; Canberra, Australian Capital Territory; Gray, R.W.; Harrison, Peter; Hobart, Tasmania: buildings; Holford, Sir William G., 1st Baron; Johnson, R.K.H; Lake Burley Griffin, Australian Capital Territory; Lansdown, R.B.; Melbourne: buildings; Menzies, Sir Robert G.; National Capital Development Commission; National Gallery of Australia; National Urban and Regional Development Authority; Overall, Sir John; Paintings, drawings and prints: Australian Capital Territory; Perth, Western Australia; Perth: buildings; Ruddock, Grenfell; Stephenson, G.; Sydney, New South Wales ; Town planners


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 229, pp85-86.

Biographical / Historical

Sir William Graham Holford (1907-1975), Baron Holford (created 1965). Educated at Cape Town Diocesan College and Liverpool University School of Architecture. Senior lecturer in Architecture, Liverpool University, 1933-1936, Professor of Civic Design, Liverpool University, 1936-1948, Chief Architect for Ordnance Factories and Hospitals, 1939-1942, Chief Technical Officer, Ministry of Town and Country Planning, 1943-1946, Professor of Town Planning, University College, London, 1948-1970. Senior partner in architectural firm William Holford and Partners, based in London, Liverpool and Edinburgh. In 1958 wrote a report for the Australian Government, Observations on the future development of Canberra, A.C.T., followed in 1966 by The growth of Canberra 1958-1965 and 1965-1972: a review. Consultant to the National Capital Development Commission, 1958-1970.

Item Descriptions

Series AU. Australia, 1948 - 1974

109 items

Archival history

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1945-M1948

Subseries AU1. Adelaide, 31 December 1961 - 6 July 1962

1 item
R.W. Gray. Notes on new university at Bedford Park, 31 December 1961 - 6 July 1962 (File 1)

Includes notes by Holford of a meeting in Adelaide, 6 July 1962. (4pp + 2 plans).

Subseries AU2. Australia - 1950s, 1948 - 3 July 1957

23 items

Filmed selectively.

Subseries. 1951 Visit, 1948 - 3 July 1957
23 items
Itinerary and program (4pp), 2 August 1951 - 4 September 1951 (File 1)
Notes made by Holford during tour, August 1951 (File 2)
13 items
Diary of flight from London to Calcutta (3pp), 2 August 1951 - 4 August 1951 (Item (1))
Notes on town planning and regional development in Australia (5pp), August 1951 (Item (2))
Federal Congress on Regional and Town Planning, 10 August 1951 (Item (3))

Synopsis of paper by Holford, A critical analysis of planning policy and administration in Great Britain. (5pp) and discussion on paper (2pp)

Notes on talk by C.S. Daley on Canberra (3pp), 10 August 1951 (Item (4))
Notes and outline of address at Albury (2pp), 14 August 1951 (Item (5))
Notes on planning of Melbourne metropolitan area, 16 August 1951 (Item (6))
Notes of discussion at Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (2pp), 17 August 1951 (Item (7))
Notes for address at meeting in Hobart (1p), 20 August 1951 (Item (8))
Notes for address on metropolitan planning problems to Western Australian Branch of Planning Institute of Australia and on discussion with Town Planning Board (6pp), 24 August 1951 (Item (9))
Notes for address on planning problems of an expanding city to Town Planning Institute at Adelaide (2pp), 28 August 1951 (Item (10))
Discussion at first meeting of Federal Planning Institutes of Australia (1p), 30 August 1951 (Item (11))
Notes for A.B.C. broadcast, The land of Australia (1p), 31 August 1951 (Item (12))
Other notes (2pp), August 1951 (Item (13))
Press cuttings on visit (9 cuttings), 2 August 1951 - 4 September 1951 (File 3)
Photograph of Holford (File 4)
Correspondence, telegrams, notes, programs, itineraries relating to the visit, January 1951 - November 1951 (File 5)

They refer to the tour arrangements, social events, town planning in Australia, teaching of planning at Australian universities, criticisms of Melbourne public transport, and Federal Congress of Town and Country Planning Institutes. Correspondents include R.G. Menzies, A. Fadden, C.L. Hewitt, C.J. Farrington, P.F. Harrison, C.F. Trathan, Sir Patrick Abercrombie, A. Ashton, T.S. Weir, C.S. Daley, W. Prest, R.J.H. Risson, W.R. Laurie, J.J. Sheils and G. Walkley. (66 items)

Miscellaneous correspondence on establishment of Town Planning Institute of South Australia and Torrens Island development, Adelaide (4 letters), 1948 - 1952 (File 9)
Notes by Holford, 26 October 1951 - 3 July 1957 (File 10)
5 items
Discussion with Luker on Barlow Committee and regional councils (1p), 26 October 1951 (Item (1))
Discussion with Sir Leslie Melville on planning of Australian National University (1p), 13 June 1957 (Item (2))
Notes for talk on capital cities at dinner at Australian National University (2pp), 19 June 1957 (Item (3))
Notes for A.B.C. Guest of Honour program, 23 June 1957 (Item (4))
Notes for slide-lecture at Lower Art Gallery, Perth (2pp), 3 July 1957 (Item (5))

Subseries AU3. Canberra - Accounts and Fees, 1958 - 1968

2 items
Accounts and correspondence concerning Holford's fees as consultant to the National Capital Development Commission, 1958 - 1968 (File 1)

Correspondents include Sir John Overall, R. B. Lansdown, N.R. Griffin, R.W. Gray, and L.W. Engledow. (176 items)

Agreement between National Capital Development Commission and William Holford and Partners, 16 August 1963 (File 2)

With Capital Hill Design Brief No. 17/62.

Subseries AU4. Canberra - General Correspondence, 1957 - 1974

Correspondence and invitations, 1957-1974, dealing with the following subjects: Holford's report on the future of Canberra (1957), appointment of J. Overall as National Capital Development Commissioner (1958), Holford's consultancy agreement with N.C.D.C. (1958) and later agreements, gift of clarillon from British Government, memorial to G. Rudduck (1965), planning within Australian National University, appointments at Australian universities, visits by Holford and R. Gray to Australia, work of Australian Planning Institute, articles by Holford, political situation in Canberra, siting of new Parliament House, visits by Australian architects and planners to England, establishment of National Urban and Regional Development Authority (1972), and such construction projects as Commonwealth Avenue Bridge, Kings Avenue Bridge, Russell Offices, Bureau of Mineral Resources building, Commonwealth Gardens, Australian National Gallery, and Tuggeranong Town Centre.

Correspondents include Sir Eric Harrison, D. Winston, A. Fairhall, Sir Robert Menzies, R.W. Gray, P. Harrison, Sir John Overall, W.C. Andrews, R.B. Lansdown, E.M. Birkett, H. Ashworth, G. Freeth, W. Bunning, L.W. Engledow, G. Stephenson, Sir Daryl Lindsay, D.K.R. Hodgkin, G.E. Robert, H. Oakman, G. Walkley, D.A. Speechley, J. Toon, R.K.H. Johnson, J. C. Haskell and P. Reid. (488 items)

Subseries AU5. Canberra - Grenfell Rudduck, 15 December 1956 - 1967

3 items
Holford. Notes for a memoir of Grenfell Rudduck, Associate Commissioner of National Capital Development Commission (19pp), 1958 - 1964 (File 1)
G. Rudduck (Karachi) to Holford, 2 January 1957 (File 2)

Work with Pakistan Central Planning Board; establishment of architectural and town planning schools.

Correspondence, obituaries and memoirs of Rudduck, 15 December 1956 - 1967 (File 3)

Including notes by Loma Rudduck, memoirs of Rudduck's early life (15pp), letters concerning proposals to publish his papers and to erect a memorial in Canberra, and a paper by Rudduck, Housing and town planning in Pakistan, 15 December 1956. (9pp)

Subseries AU6. Canberra - Plans, Press cuttings and Photographs, 1951 - 1968

2 items

Filmed selectively.

Australian press cuttings, 1957 - 1968 (File 2)

They deal with Holford's report on the future of Canberra (1957), siting of Parliament House, Holford's visits to Australia in 1959 and 1965, lectures by Holford, and his 1966 report on Canberra.

Photographs, 1951 - 1964 (File 3)

They include photographs of Holford and A. Fairhall, model of Parliamentary Triangle, Lake Burley Griffin, Kings Avenue Bridge, and designs for a Carillon.

Subseries AU7. Canberra-Reports (General), October 1958 - June 1965

2 items

Filmed selectively.

National Capital Development Commission. Brief summary of civic survey of Canberra City District (26pp, typescript), October 1958 (File 4)
Papers of Department of the Interior and National Capital Development Commission, February 1964 - June 1965 (File 9)

Papers on joint accounting studies, recording of assets, acceptability of neighbourhood design for municipal purposes, housing policy in Canberra, release of undeveloped land, urban economics and urban government for Canberra (1 file, photocopies)

Subseries AU8. Canberra - Reports by Holford, June 1957 - 1965

13 items

Filmed selectively.

Miscellaneous notes, including notes of interviews in Canberra and notes on Burley Griffin's plan (12pp), 11 June 1957 - 24 June 1957 (File 1)
Details of plans and reports seen by Holford during visit, June 1957 (File 2)
Observations on the future development of Canberra (30pp, typescript), 28 December 1957 (File 3)
Notes on Parliamentary Triangle, Lakes and Central Area (6pp, typescript), September 1961 - October 1961 (File 6)
Notes on Parliamentary Triangle, Lakes and Central Area (5pp, manuscript), September 1961 - October 1961 (File 7)
Note of matters discussed at meeting between Commissioner and William Holford and Partners in London (7pp, manuscript), 25 September 1962 - 1 October 1962 (File 8)
Drawing with notes by Holford of National Art Gallery Centre, 15 November 1962 (File 9)
Proposed National Gallery-introductory note (3pp, typescript), n.d. (File 10)
Proposed National Gallery-introductory note (5pp, manuscript), n.d. (File 11)
Capital Hill; design considerations (3pp, typescript), July 1963 (File 12)
Drawings of proposals for Commonwealth Avenue Bridge and Kings Avenue Bridge, 14 August 1963 (File 13)
Summary note on Capital Hill (3pp, typescript), 5 August 1963 (File 14)
Draft versions of The growth of Canberra (manuscript and typescript), 1958 - 1965 (File 15)

Subseries AU9. Canberra - Reports by William Holford and Partners and R.W. Gray, September 1957 - November 1967

27 items

Filmed selectively.

Notes on Canberra (15pp typescript with amendments), September 1957 (File 1)
R.W. Gray. Diary kept on visit to Canberra, Sydney and Perth (20pp, manuscript), 3 December 1958 - 19 December 1958 (File 2)
Queries raised by Commissioner and staff concerning preliminary sketches of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge (5pp, typescript), 12 October 1959 (File 4)
Central Basin landscape; summary of proposals (3pp, typescript), 13 November 1959 (File 5)
Report on the landscape of the Central Basin and its surroundings (18pp, typescript), February 1960 (File 6)
R.W. Gray. Notes on Parliamentary Triangle (12pp, manuscript), 22 May 1960 (File 7)
Advisory report on the landscape of the Lakes Scheme with special reference to the Central Basin and its surroundings (38pp, typescript), September 1960 (File 8)
R.W. Gray. Aspects of the task of designing the new Parliament House (14pp, typescript), November 1961 (File 9)
R.W. Gray. Notes on Capital Hill (3pp, typescript), January 1962 (File 10)
R.W. Gray. Notes on the proper use of Capital Hill (2pp, typescript), January 1962 (File 11)
Capital Hill-preliminary notes on the use of land and form of building within State Circle (8pp, typescript), 2 March 1962 (File 12)
Design Brief No. 17/62. Preliminary report (12pp, roneoed), February 1963 (File 14)
R.W. Gray. Report on visit to galleries and museums in the United State of America, Holland and France 1962/63 (42pp, roneoed), March 1963 (File 15)
R.W. Gray. Canberra, index and information (42pp, typescript), June 1963 (File 16)
R.W. Gray. Capital Hill; memorandum on the landscape characteristics of the ground within State Circle; on vehicles and pedestrian movements; and on the conception of the National Centre (7pp, roneoed), June 1963 (File 17)
Capital Hill Design Brief No. 17/62, second report (23pp, roneoed), July 1963 (File 18)
Preliminary estimate No. 1 for Australian National Gallery (3pp, roneoed), July 1963 (File 19)
Putting Parliament on Capital Hill (14pp, typescript), December 1963 (File 22)
R.W. Gray. Canberra: Central Lakes report (2pp, manuscript), n.d. (File 23)
Capital Hill-notes on the model (5pp, roneoed), March 1964 (File 24)
Statement of policy and preliminary landscape report (12pp, roneoed), October 1964 (File 25)
R.W. Gray. Index and guide to current jobs (11pp, roneoed), July 1965 (File 27)
R.W. Gray. Capital cities exhibition (3pp, typescript), 15 November 1965 (File 28)
R.W. Gray. Accommodation for the Executive and the Press in the Legislature buildings at Westminster, Ottawa and Washington D.C. (13pp, photocopy), November 1967 (File 29)
R.W. Gray. Central Basin landscape report; synopsis of plans, drawings and photographs which might be reproduced as illustrations (3pp, typescript), n.d. (File 30)
R.W. Gray. Central Basin landscape; panorama of north shore of Central Basin from an imaginary viewpoint over the Government triangle (3pp, typescript), n.d. (File 31)
R.W. Gray. Note on Australian National Gallery of Art external form (1p, manuscript), n.d. (File 32)

Subseries AU10. Canberra - United Kingdom Gift (Canberra Carillon), December 1962 - 1968

11 items

Filmed selectively.

Notes and correspondence concerning Canberra Carillon competition, design of Carillon tower, Holford's 1966 report, and visits of R.W. Gray to Australia, December 1962 - September 1968 (File 1)

Correspondents include R.W. Gray, Sir John Overall, R.B. Lansdown, Sir Robert Menzies, W.A.B. Hamilton, E. Bedford and D. Gibson.

Drawings by Holford of (1) proposed carillon and clock tower, January 1963 (2) proposed carillon, peal and lantern tower, January 1963 - November 1963 (File 2)
G. Maunsell and Partners. Note on Canberra bell tower, 30 January 1964 - February 1964 (File 3)

(3pp), with note by William Holford and Partners on architectural considerations, February 1964. (2pp)

R.W. Gray. Confidential memorandum on the United Kingdom Gift to the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia (8pp, manuscript), October 1965 (File 4)
Draft on limited architectural competition for a structure to house a carillon, annotated by Holford (11pp, photocopy) (File 6)
Competition conditions (18pp, typescript), 28 October 1966 (File 7)
Notes and correspondence concerning carillon competition, September 1966 - March 1968 (File 8)

Correspondents include Sir John Overall, E. Bedford and Rev. G. Thurlow. (20 items)

Competition questions and answers (7pp, typescript) (File 9)
Commonwealth Office. Questions and answers (10pp, typescript), November 1967 (File 10)
Letters and papers concerning competition questions and answers ( photocopies), 1967 - 1968 (File 11)
Assessors' report (4pp, typescript), March 1968 (File 12)

Subseries AU11. Canberra - Visit by Holford and R.W. Gray, June 1959 - July 1959

3 items
Itineraries of visits to Snowy Mountains and Perth and letter from H.H. Long to R.W. Gray concerning Holford's visit to Perth, 15 June 1959 (File 1)
Notes by Holford for talk at Commencement Dinner, Australian National University (2pp, manuscript), 16 June 1959 (File 2)
Notes of discussion between National Capital Development Commission and William Holford and Partners (6pp, manuscript), 23 June 1959 (File 3)

Subseries AU12. Canberra - Visit by Holford, July 1963 - August 1963

3 items
National Capital Development Commission. Itinerary, papers and minutes on Capital Hill, proposed National Centre, U.K. gift to Australia, central area traffic and other subjects. (1 vol) (File 1)
Notes by Holford for A.B.C. Guest of Honour broadcast (5pp, typescript), 8 August 1963 (File 2)
Notes by Holford for speech at luncheon given by G. Freeth, Minister for the Interior (1p, manuscript), 14 August 1963 (File 3)

Subseries AU13. Canberra - Visits by Holford and R.W. Gray, May 1965 - October 1966

5 items
Correspondence concerning the visits, landscape problems in Canberra, the U.K. gift to Australia, Holford's 1966 Report, and the response of the National Capital Development Commission to the Report, May 1965 - October 1966 (File 1)

Correspondents include Sir John Overall, R.W. Gray, H. Oakman, R.B. Lansdown, L.W. Engledow, A.H. Higgins and W.C. Andrews.

Address by Holford, 'Universities and cities in a rapidly changing world', given at the Academy of Science, Canberra (12pp, roneoed), 16 August 1965 (File 2)
Invitation list to Holford's lecture (5pp, typescript), August 1965 (File 3)
Minutes of discussions between Holford and National Capital Development Commission (8pp, roneoed), 3 August 1965 - 6 August 1965 (File 4)
Notes by Holford and agendas for meetings on Acton Peninsula Study (1 bundle), August 1965 (File 5)

Subseries AU14. Canberra - Miscellaneous, June 1957 - July 1967

5 items
Notes by Holford of discussions with Sir Robert Menzies on Canberra planning and architecture and site of new Parliament House (manuscript and typescript), July 1957 - August 1963 (File 1)
Message from Holford to Australian Planning Institute Jubilee Conference, Adelaide (typescript), July 1967 (File 2)
National Capital Development Commission statement on Canberra (2pp), n.d. (File 3)
Cross-Section (Melbourne), no. 56 (4pp), June 1957 (File 4)
Miscellaneous notes and addresses by Holford. (6pp) (File 5)

Subseries AU15. Hobart Bridge, November 1956 - May 1957

2 items
Correspondence between Holford and G. Maunsell and Partners (London) concerning new Hobart Bridge (6 letters), November 1956 - May 1957 (File 1)
William Holford and Partners. Details of pier, Hobart Bridge (1 plan), 4 December 1956 (File 2)

Subseries AU16. Melbourne - Civic Centre, June 1970 - December 1970

1 item
Correspondence concerning possible appointment of Holford as consultant for Melbourne Civic Square Project and possible establishment by William Holford and Partners of an office in Melbourne, June 1970 - December 1970 (File 1)

Correspondents include D.M. Cato, R.W. Gray, P.B. Marber and E.H. Doubleday.

Subseries AU17. Perth, May 1952 - June 1952

1 item
Correspondence between Holford and H.M. Wright and R.J. Dumas (Perth) on planning scheme for Perth Metropolitan Area (2 letters), May 1952 - June 1952 (File 1)

Subseries AU18. Sydney, March 1969

4 items
Note by Holford on Sydney University and its Faculty of Architecture (manuscript), n.d. (File 1)
Notes by Holford on paper on Sydney Opera House by O. Arup and G.J. Zuwz (2pp, manuscript), 27 March 1969 (File 2)
Notes by Holford on contribution to discussion on Sydney Opera House (2pp, manuscript), 27 March 1969 (File 3)
Notes by Holford on contribution to discussion on Sydney Opera House (2pp, typescript), 27 March 1969 (File 4)

Series LA. Lectures and Articles, 1958 - 1972

3 items

Filmed selectively.

Archival History

Originally filmed on AJCP Reel M1948

Subseries LA3. Lectures and Articles - C, July 1969

1 item
Canberra, July 1969 (File 3)
1 item
A place for Parliament (31pp, 2 typescripts), July 1969 (Item 1)

Subseries LA28. Miscellaneous, 1958 - 1972

2 items
Town Planning Review (University of Liverpool) (File 7)
2 items
Book review by Holford of National Capital Development Commission. Tomorrow's Canberra.(16pp, manuscript and photocopy), 1970 (Item 3)
Revised introduction by Holford to The growth of Canberra (2pp, typescript), 1958 - 1972 (Item 4)