3 dimensional objects


drawings and notebooks



The Percy Erskine Nobbs papers in the Canadian Architecture Collection constitute only a portion of the architect's professional and personal records, as neither Nobbs and his associates' office files nor Nobbs's private correspondence are represented in their entirety. Existing office files are noted under the appropriate operation numbers in the body of the inventory as are photographs from the office records. An inventory of Nobbs and Hyde drawings by operation number (1907-45) also survives. The papers listed here do, however, have considerable interest for the researcher, since they span much of Nobbs's adult life (c 1895-1960) and illustrate the tremendous range of his activities.

In order to arrange these fragmentary records, an artificial system was devised based on their function. The six categories into which the papers were sorted are: a) personal projects; b) McGill University; c) addresses, reports and papers; d) city planning activities; e) professional associations; and f) personal correspondence.

SERIES A. Personal projects (1906-55) 7 file folders.

Manuscripts, typescripts and correspondence regarding various projects undertaken by Nobbs out of his own interest, in particular the design of his northern lighting system.

SERIES B. Project files by operation number

SERIES C. McGill University (1904-60) 16 file folders.

Correspondence relating to Nobbs's activities as a professor of architecture at McGill University (1904-40) and details of his subsequent pension arrangements, as well as the honorary Doctor of Letters awarded him by McGill in 1957. Included are student design problems assigned by Nobbs during his years as Professor of Design at the School of Architecture (1928-40).

SERIES D. Addresses, reports and papers (1899-1957) 11 file folders.

Manuscripts and typescripts of forty-seven articles, addresses, reports and papers on art, architecture and related topics, some of which were published. The titles, in chronological order, are as follows:

[Address to Pen and Pencil Club] (n.d.) Typescript.

The Grand Manner in St. Petersburg and Chicago, (n.d.) Typescript.

The English Tradition in Canadian Architecture, (n.d.) Typescript.

The Arts of Russia, (n.d.) Typescript.

[On old English crafts] (n.d.) Manuscript.

[On the arts and crafts movement] (n.d.) Manuscript.

Gothic Sculpture, (n.d.) Manuscript.

English Church Building in the XIV Century, (n.d.) Manuscript.

Some Points about the Newly Granted Royal Arms of Canada (n.d.) Typescript.

[On art and the state]. (1899) Manuscript.

Why we go to Italy. Paper read before the Edinburgh Architectural Society. (1901) Manuscript.

[Art in the modern state: introduction]. (c1904) Typescript.

Art in the Modern State. (1904) Typescript. Notes on the Gothic Revival. (c1907) Manuscript.

The Architectural Revivals of the XIX Century in England. For the Ontario Architectural Association and the P.Q.A.A. Sketching Club, January 1907. Typescript.

The Bishop's Penny. (1906) Manuscript.

The University Lecture: Art in its Lowest Terms.(I906) Typescript.

Architectural Education in Canada. (1909) Manuscript.

Art Education in the British Commonwealth. (1909) Typescript.

[On art and architecture]. (1910) Manuscript.

On English Architecture. (1910) Manuscript.

Report on the Proposed Type Collection of British Art. To Sir Cecil Smith, Director, Victoria and Albert Museum. (1911) Typescript.

Draft article for Graduates Magazine. (1920) Typescript.

On War Memorials. (1921) Typescript.

The Architects. (c1921) Typescript.

Art Gallery, October 8th 1921. Typescript.

Literature and Architecture. (1922) Typescript.

[On sunshine]. (c1922) Typescript.

On Sunbeams. (c1922) Typescript.

Canadian Architecture. (1922) Typescript.

Planning for Sunlight. (1922) Typescript (2), blueprint.

Wall Textures (c1923). Typescript (2).

Sir William Macdonald. Some Reminiscences. (1923) Typescript.

On the Appreciation of Things Made to be Seen. (c1923) Typescript.

[Tribute to Monseigneur de Laval]. (1924) Typescript.

Report re. the State and art in Canada [Ottawa Museum] (1907-15)

Reports, correspondence, blueprint.

An Address to the Province of Quebec Association of Architects on Town Planning Effort in Montreal. (1934) Typescript.

A Metropolitan System of Water Side Parks for Montreal. (1934) Typescript.

Recent Architecture in Canada. (1936) Typescript.

Latter Day Architecture. (1937) Typescript.

Design and Art at the Mechanics Institute. (1937) Typescript.

At the Erskine and American United Church- "Your Church". (1939) Typescript.

Canadian Flag Problems. (1940) Typescript. [On interior decoration], (1941) Typescript.

Art Association of Montreal: Mr. Jacks Exhibition. (1943) Typescript.

Notes on colour and form: [McGill] extension course 1939. 9 lectures, manuscripts.

The Remuneration of Architects. 15th International Congress of Architects, Washington, D.C. (1939) Typescripts.

The Sliding Scale of Remuneration. (1939) Typescript.

Those Russians. (1957) Typescript, correspondence.

SERIES E. City planning activities (1926-50) 12 file folders.

Reports, notes and correspondence stemming from Nobbs's involvement in the Montreal City Improvement League Committee on Town Planning and the Montreal Committee on Housing and Slum Clearance.

SERIES F. Professional associations (1916-55) 5 file folders.

Correspondence relating to Nobbs's participation in several professional organizations, specifically the Art Association of Montreal (1916-33), the Royal Institute of British Architects (1927-29), the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1928-39), the Royal Society of Arts (1938-40) and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (1955).

SERIES G. Private correspondence (1893-1953) 8 file folders.

Letters from several of Nobbs's friends and colleagues, among them Sir Raymond Unwin (1934-40), Professor G. Baldwin Brown (1893-1926), Auckland C. Geddes (1909-53), Bertram Goodhue (1906-35), R.S. Lorimer (1904-24) and Noulan Cauchon (1935).

SERIES H. Photographs

SERIES I. Published materials

SERIES J. Sketchbooks

SERIES K. Miscellaneous files