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Blair Birdsall Papers

Identifier: SC MS 0175

Scope and Contents

The collection includes the technical documents and historical notes on the projects Birdsall worked on, including the Golden Gate Bridge and Chesapeake Bay Bridge Project. Along with these are collections of both technical reports and structural engineering papers either written by Birdsall or referencing him. A collection of papers from the professional societies to which Birdsall belonged are included in the collection.


  • Inclusive Dates

Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Status

Please inquire about copyright information.

Biographical / Historical

Blair Birdsall was a civil engineer who was an expert in cable and suspension systems. His project history included the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and, at the time of his death in 1997, the Great Belt East Bridge. For most of his professional career he worked with the engineering firms John A. Roebling Sons, a world leader in cable engineering, and Steinman Boynton Gronquist & Birdsall. Birdsall recieved multiple honors including Roebling Awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers and a lifetime of achievement award from the International Bridge Conference of 1989.


105.0 Linear Feet (180 boxes, 105 linear feet)

Language of Materials



This collection contains the technical and professional documents of consulting engineer Blair Birdsall. Most of the collection are documents pertaining to the multitude of bridges he worked on, including the Golden Gate, Chesapeake Bay, and Brooklyn Bridges, as a consulting engineer or as a design engineer. The collection spans from 1900 to 2002 covering his entire career and also early Steinman Boynton Gronquist & Birdsall and John A. Roebling Sons Engineering companies.


Processing archivists tried to keep the original order of arrangement in series as projects and subject files as it was kept by Blair Birdsall himself.

Related Materials

Civil engineering collections. Bridge collections.

Blair Birdsall papers SC MS 0175
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Zion Um, Andrew Stahlhut, Greg Edwards and Kevin Augustyn.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Finding aid written in English.
The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources' "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" Project. Created in 2008, the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program supports the identification and cataloging of special collections and archives of high scholarly value that are difficult or impossible to locate. It is administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources in Washington, D.C. Award recipients create descriptive information for their hidden collections that will eventually be linked to and interoperable with all other projects funded by this grant program.

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Grant Projects Repository

Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18015 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)