University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Allison Dunham Papers 1936-1976 (bulk: 1960-1971)

© 2007 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Dunham. Allison. Papers


1936-1976 (bulk: 1960-1971)


7.5 linear ft. (10 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Allison Dunham (J.D.’39 Columbia University) began teaching at the University of Chicago Law School in 1951 as Arnold I. Shure Professor of Urban Law. Best known for his work on probate and property law, Dunham was also an expert in the field of urban studies and was appointed Director of the Center for Urban Studies at the University of Chicago in 1971. The Dunham Papers consist largely of research materials related to Dunham’s work on the Land Planning and Development Code. Additionally, the collection includes a small general files series which houses some student papers and several folders of miscellaneous research materials.

Information on Use


No restrictions


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Dunham. Allison. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Allison Dunham (1914-1992) was born in Wessington Springs, South Dakota. He graduated from Yankton College in 1936 and completed his law degree at Columbia University in 1939. Upon graduation, Dunham spent two years clerking for Supreme Court Justice Harlan F. Stone. He then taught at Columbia University and Indiana University before joining the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School in 1951, where he remained until his retirement in 1983. While at the University of Chicago, he held several administrative positions: in 1971 he was appointed Director of the Center for Urban Studies and in 1976 he was named General Counsel of the University and Secretary of the Board of Trustees.

In addition to fulfilling his various roles at the University of Chicago, Dunham also worked with several public and private organizations in order to promote the standardization of American law. He worked on the Uniform Commercial Code, sat on the Illinois Commission on Uniform State Laws, and from 1962 to 1969 was the executive director of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Dunham was an expert in probate and property law, including zoning, land regulation and urban development and published widely on these topics.

Dunham died at his home in 1992 in Pomona, California and was survived by his wife Anne Toll; his two sons, Stephen, of Denver, and Andrew, of Colorado Springs; two brothers, Douglas Dunham of East Lansing, and Roger Dunham of San Francisco; and two grandchildren.

Scope Note

The Allison Dunham Papers contain 7.5 linear feet of material and roughly cover 1936-1976, though the bulk of the materials were generated in the 1960s. The collection consists primarily of research materials related to Dunham’s work on land planning and development. Additionally, there is a series devoted to general files in which a small collection of miscellaneous papers are housed.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

University of Chicago. Law School. Records and Addenda

Subject Headings


Series I: Land Planning and Development

Series I contains materials related to Dunham’s research into land planning and development. The first subseries consists of files pertaining to a larger project to create a land planning and development code. These files include correspondence, notes, and drafts of the code. The second subseries contains case-study files, the contents of which range from the development and use of agricultural land in the state of New York to the development of Chicago’s Woodlawn neighborhood. Subseries III covers materials related to beautification specifically and consists largely of reports on and proposals for scenic developments. Subseries IV contains a wide variety of journals and other shorter publications whose contents relate to land planning and development, while Subseries V consists of general files. Again, these files consist largely of reports and proposals.

Subseries 1: Correspondence

Box 1   Folder 1

American Law Institute, 1963, 1968

Box 1   Folder 2-4

Haar, Charles, 1963-1965

Box 1   Folder 5

Jan Z. Krasnowiecki, 1967

Box 1   Folder 6

Henry H. Krevor, 1963

Box 1   Folder 7

Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1964-1965

Subseries 2: Drafts of the Land Planning and Development Code

Box 1   Folder 8-9

Drafts and related correspondence, 1964-1968

Box 2   Folder 1

Drafts of first section/ general comments, n.d.

Box 2   Folder 2

Drafts of second section, n.d.

Box 2   Folder 3-4

Drafts of third section, n.d.

Box 2   Folder 5

Drafts of Articles 7 & 9, n.d.

Box 2   Folder 6

Drafts prepared by Jan Krasnowiecki, 1965-1966

Box 2   Folder 7

Outline of Land Planning Code, 1965

Box 2   Folder 8-9

Pull draft of the Land Planning Code, n.d.

Box 3   Folder 1

Full draft of the Land Planning Code, n.d.

Box 3   Folder 2-5

Unidentified subsections of typescript, n.d.

Subseries 3: Case Studies

Box 3   Folder 6

Berkeley; "Unified Summary of the Berkeley General Plan"; Photocopied excerpt of the University of California - Berkeley newsletter, 1970

Box 3   Folder 7

Chicago; Reports regarding neighborhood development, 1961-1971

Box 3   Folder 8

Chicago; Newsletter regarding the push toward racial integration in select Chicago neighborhoods, 1966

Box 3   Folder 9-10

Chicago; "Woodlawn’s Model Cities Plan; A Demonstration of Citizen Responsibility"; Report prepared by the residents of Woodlawn and University of Chicago faculty, n.d.

Box 4   Folder 1-2

Chicago; "Woodlawn’s Model Cities Plan; A Demonstration of Citizen Responsibility"; Report prepared by the residents of Woodlawn and University of Chicago faculty, n.d.

Box 4   Folder 3

Colorado; Copy of Colorado state bill for "An Act Concerning the Establishment of a Colorado Land Use Commission," n.d.

Box 4   Folder 4

Colorado; "The Law of Planning and Land Use Regulation in Colorado"; Bound volume put out by the Colorado Chapter of the American Institute of Planners, 1966

Box 4   Folder 5

Connecticut; "New Directions in Connecticut Planning Legislation; A Study of Planning, Zoning, and Related Statutes"; Bound volume put out by the American Society of Planning Officials, 1967

Box 4   Folder 6

Great Lakes; "Reviving the Great Lakes" by John R. Shaeffer; Photocopied article, n.d.

Box 4   Folder 7

Illinois; "State of Illinois, Lake Michigan and Adjoining Land Study Commission; Report to the Governor and the 77th General Assembly"; Booklet, 1971

Box 4   Folder 8

Massachusetts; Planning Division Memo of the Massachusetts Department of Commerce and Development, 1968

Box 4   Folder 9

Michigan; "Utilities; New Technologies and their Application to the Muskegon County Area"; Booklet, 1970

Box 4   Folder 10

Michigan; "The Muskegon County Wastewater Management System"; Booklet, 1971

Box 4   Folder 11

Michigan; "Official Statement; $16,000,000, County of Muskegon, Michigan"; Bond statement prepared in booklet format, 1971

Box 5   Folder 1

Michigan; "Overall Economic Development Program; An Economic Development Program through Integrated Environmental Systems in Muskegon County, Michigan"; Bound volume, n.d.

Box 5   Folder 2

New York; "A Base Case for Program Budgeting; Housing Programs in New York City"; Report put out by the Rand Corporation, 1968

Box 5   Folder 3

New York; "Proposed Zoning Ordinance for the City of Buffalo, New York," 1968

Box 5   Folder 4

New York; "Preserving Agricultural Land in New York State"; Booklet, 1968

Box 5   Folder 5

New York; "Draft Revision of N.Y. State Planning Enabling Law; Study Document #3"; Typescript, 1969

Box 5   Folder 6

India; Reports regarding regional planning in India (with an emphasis on Bengal), 1965

Box 5   Folder 7

Case study materials on California, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York, n.d.

Subseries 4: Planning and Beautification

Box 5   Folder 8

"Roadside Development and Beautification; Legal Authority and Methods" (Parts I & II); Bound volumes put out by the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council, 1965-1966

Box 5   Folder 9

"Preservation of Open Space Areas; A Study of the Non-Governmental Role"; Book written by Dunham and published by the Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago, 1966

Box 5   Folder 10

"A Proposed Program for Scenic Roads & Parkways"; Bound volume prepared for the President’s Council on Recreation and Natural Beauty by the U.S. Department of Commerce, 1966

Box 6   Folder 1-2

Workshop manual for the Conference on Scenic Easements in Action, 1966

Box 6   Folder 3

"Scenic Easements in the National Park Services Program" by Donald E. Lee; Photocopied article, n.d.

Box 6   Folder 4

"Federal, State and Local Programs for Beautification;" Typescript of report, n.d.

Box 6   Folder 5

"Alternatives in the Control of Scenic Enhancement Acquisitions"; Typescript of report, n.d.

Subseries 5: Journals, Pamphlets, and Booklets

Box 6   Folder 6-8

Journals; Journal of the American Institute of Planners (January 1970), Zoning Digest (March 1965-April 1965), ASPO [American Society of Planning Officials] Newsletter (13 issues 1965-1968), Planning; The ASPO Magazine (November 1972 and January 1973), "Urban Housing and Planning" Law and Contemporary Problems (Summer 1955), 1955-1973

Box 6   Folder 9-10

Short pamphlets and articles; "Council of Planning Librarians; Exchange Bibliography" (July 1968), "Council of Planning Librarians; Exchange Bibliography" (January 1969), "The Determination of Benefits in Land Acquisition," California Law Review (December 1963), "The Effectiveness of Metropolitan Planning," the Joint Center for Urban Studies of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University (1964), "Report of Committee on Mortgage and Foreclosure Laws," Chicago Bar Association (1936), "Toward the Five-Year Goal; Supplement #1 to "Facing the Issue of Income Tax Discrimination,"" National Association of Manufacturers (1956), 1936-1969

Box 7   Folder 1

"Suggested Land Subdivision Regulations"; Booklet put out by the Housing and Home Finance Agency, 1960

Box 7   Folder 2

"Study of Compensation and Assistance for Persons Affected by Real Property Acquisition in Federal and Federally Assisted Programs"; Bound volume put out by the United States Congress and printed for the use of the Committee on Public Works, 1964

Box 7   Folder 3

"The Text of a Model Zoning Ordinance (3rd ed.)"; Bound volume put out by the American Society of Planning Officials, 1966

Box 7   Folder 4

"Junkyards, Geraniums and Jurisprudence; Aesthetics and the Law; Proceedings of a Two Day National Institute June 2-3, 1967" bound volume published by the American Bar Association National Institute, 1967

Box 7   Folder 5

"Management Study on Development Control"; Booklet put out by the Minister of Housing and Local Government and the Local Authorities Associations (United Kingdom), 1967

Box 7   Folder 6

"Policy on Zoning and Low- and Moderate-Income Housing"; Booklet put out by the Cambridge Planning Board, 1969

Box 7   Folder 7-9

"Land Planning and Regulation of Development-III"; Study materials published by the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Committee on Continuing Professional Education and intended for a three day course (February 6-8, 1975) in New Orleans, 1975

Subseries 6: General Files

Box 8   Folder 1-2

Miscellaneous Acts and Bills related to planning, 1960-1976

Box 8   Folder 3

"Memorandum on Legislative Policy in Planning a Law on City Planning"; Typescript, 1964

Box 8   Folder 4

American Society of Planning Officials; Newsletter, 1966

Box 8   Folder 5

American Bar Association newsletter (contains open letter regarding planning and zoning), 1966

Box 8   Folder 6

Copies of "What is PPB? Planning, Programming, Budgeting for City State County Objectives," and Allen Schick’s "The Road to PPB; The Stages of Budget Reform," 1966-1967

Box 8   Folder 7

S.J. Schulman’s "The American Law Institute’s Model State Planning and Zoning Statutes," 1968

Box 8   Folder 8-11

Uniform Land Transaction Act; Photocopies of documents and reports related to the Act, 1972-1974

Box 9   Folder 1-3

The American Law Institute City Planning Project; Research monographs, reports, n.d.

Box 9   Folder 4

"Public Control of Land-Use Planning and Development"; Typescript, n.d.

Box 9   Folder 5

Proposal prepared by the States Urban Action Center and submitted to the Committee on Suggested State Legislation, n.d.

Series II: General Files

This series contains a small collection of materials unrelated to Dunham’s work on land planning. Included are files on criminal legislation and law enforcement as well as several student papers.

Box 9   Folder 6

"Rules of Procedure of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation," 1971

Box 9   Folder 7

Annual report of the Roger Baldwin Foundation of the ACLU, Inc., 1971

Box 9   Folder 8-9

Folder titled "Materials Mailed Out to Members of the Planning and Budget Committee Meeting"; Reports and correspondence regarding the Illinois Law Enforcement Commission and the Chicago-Cook County Criminal Justice Commission, 1973

Box 9   Folder 10

Student papers, n.d.

Series III: Oversize Materials

Box 10   Folder 1-2

Land Planning Code; Charts, n.d.